Sacrificing yourself to satisfy your clients

As an agency owner or freelancer, there’s never enough time to work on your own business.

If you’re like me, then for years you’ve built an endless list of ideas for blog posts, videos, outreach, collaborations, referral programs, and processes you’d like to get done (or at least started!).

Yet, when it comes to client work — we’re Johnny-on-the-spot.

Why is that?

Your clients provide you with a natural accountability system.

If you don’t do what you say, you’ll end up with a mad client, bad reviews, or invoices that never get paid.

For most business owners, there’s no repercussions for putting off that blog post another week (again).

We keep telling ourselves “When I get caught up, I gotta get to that” — but that day rarely comes. And even when it does, they are few and far between.

But the truth is, fueling your business is just as important (if not moreseo) than fulfilling your clients’ needs.

You might get away with it for a few months, or even a few years, but if you put your business on the backburner for too long, it’s going to catch up to you.

It typically manifests itself as burnout — which can take on many forms and range in severity — and it’s not where you want to be.

Not only will it make your job miserable, but those clients you’ve been bending over backwards for won’t get you doing your best work either. You can hide that temporarily, but believe me — they’ll notice eventually.

The irony is that in sacrificing yourself to satisfy your clients, you’ll end up failing them and yourself.

It’s the same reason why they tell you to put your oxygen mask on first on a plane — you have to put yourself in the right condition in order to be able to help someone else.

And it’s the same for your business.

Businesses die every day from this condition — and it’s completely preventable.

If you’re neglecting your business, here are 3 things you can do to avoid suffocating it:

  1. Set goals. The act of simply writing down what you want to accomplish (in place of “mental list”) can make you more likely to do it. Put your goals somewhere where you have to see them regularly, or set up email reminders (I use Follow Up Then) as check-ins on your progress monthly or quarterly.
  2. Make yourself a client. Open up your project management tool and add a new customer: your business. Put all the things you want to do for your business in there as a task just like you would for a client.
  3. Find accountability. This could be a friend, your spouse, or a buddy from the group — tell them about the tasks you’re working on for your business and ask them to follow up with you weekly or monthly on your progress (this works good if it’s reciprocal).

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