I had a call with a prospective client, someone referred to me by a mutual friend.
He definitely could have benefited from my specialty – an email newsletter, but after about ten minutes on the phone, it was obvious to me that we just didn’t click.
In short, I didn’t want to work with him. So I never mentioned a newsletter and we went our separate ways.
1. You get to choose.
Getting hired is not simply about the prospect wanting you – you have as much choice in the decision as they do.
2. You don’t have to wait.
You may think you’re not yet “successful” enough to turn away business. Of any kind.
But here’s the thing: If you want to work only with clients that you really like, you need to stop working with clients that you really don’t.
It won’t happen until you start walking away from the wrong companies and people.
In 1912, my grandfather traveled by himself from his native Lithuania to New York. Eight years later, on this very day in 1920, my grandmother arrived at Ellis Island with their four children.
Nine months and approximately twenty minutes later, my dad was born, making him the first domestically produced member of the family.
Milestones are important in your business, too, whether that means commemorating anniversaries, framing important accomplishments, or taking a day off to acknowledge reaching a particular goal.
Big companies love to celebrate. It helps make things feel more real. There’s no reason we shouldn’t too!
Not only did I spell “embarrassed” wrong in the previous sentence, but last week, when I sent out my newsletter, I accidentally sent it to 5,000 people who had previously unsubscribed.
I’ll spare you the “why,” other than to say that it was entirely my fault.
A few things to note…
#1. As you can see, many people have unsubscribed from my list over the years.
So what? People move on; a few leave every time I push “send.” I pay no attention to that side of the equation.
#2. The world didn’t end.
If you are going to get out of bed, sooner or later, something will go wrong. And if you work for yourself, there are few places to hide.
But here, too, so what? The fear is almost always worse than the reality (children being the notable exception).
As race car driver Mario Andretti famously said, “If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.”
That was after exercising (you don’t look this good by accident), watering the garden and eating breakfast outside on the back deck.
Tomorrow, my wife and I are taking the day off to go biking in Rhode Island.
The way I look at it, if you’re going to choose the uncertainty and occasional terror that comes with working for yourself, you ought to balance it with the freedom to come and go as you please that “the jobbed” don’t enjoy.
And by the way, you are entitled to start that balancing the day you begin working for yourself.
If you think you have to wait until you achieve some vague and arbitrary level of “success,” you’ll miss a lot of days out on the bike path.
I wasn’t trying; I went to log into a current client’s account and clicked the wrong box on my password manager.
Suddenly, I was in!
I haven’t worked with that client for more than five years. Apparently, their password hasn’t changed and I still have it.
Update your passwords regularly and take away access from people like me who no longer need it!
P.S. I’ve been using LastPass for years to manage my passwords. Easy to use and free.