Defining Your Safe Space. Your Terms
This is not a "call to arms". It's quite the opposite - an invitation to BE, no explanation needed. If you've been in business for a while, I know that change requires new habits. When you're ready (and not a second before), you will. If you're not yet in business, this is your perfect invitation to start as you mean to go on. I hope to help you simplify by starting with these three (3) areas:
- About Your Lifestyle
- Business, You & Your Clients
- Community & Champions
Let's take a closer look.
About Your Lifestyle
Remember this? It's called the Wheel of Life. What I'm talking about under lifestyle, is primarily Self, getting clear on You, what you want, like, feel and need, your actual boundaries. I'm not talking about what you were taught, but what is truly your own. Your boundaries literally save your life. It's what makes you stop when you need water, sleep, a vacation, a hug! A good place to start in examining this is your Schedule. (In consulting I call it "Rethink Project Management". You may click to go deeper yourself). What would a week (or a month) in your life - when you feel healthy, energized and happy all day, everyday - look like? If you had the house, car, food and all the money you wanted:
- What time do you wake up? Everyday, or just the first few days?
- Do you collaborate/hang out with friends first, or get in some alone time?
- What do you do during the day? Different things each day, or the same?
Keep going until you can actually feel it, because that's your optimal schedule. You get a sense of when you're most creative and when you need more inspiration; when you're more collaborative and when you need alone time. Explore this more on my Protect Your Dreams blog.
Business, You & Your Clients
At the end of your week, do you still love your business? Need to refine it to say 'Yes' or change direction altogether? Remember, you're working ON and IN your business. What would bring the life back into it for you?
(A) Your Role
Looking at your new schedule, when are you most driven to work ON your business: Where have you created extra, unnecessary work for yourself in serving clients? You know how you serve your clients. You do it every month. Is there an easier, better, smarter way to do it? This might allow you more time to:
- Take on more clients or spend more time with each,
- Offer premium services at premium pricing,
- Take that vacation and live that life you were daydreaming about more often.
Exploring if there is an easier, better, smarter way to do it, also helps you answer more readily "How do I work with you?" At Successiory, it's called your Client Engagement Process.
(B) Your Clients
Now, working IN the business. At this point, getting clear on Who Your Clients Are, and the Client's Role, is a lot easier. "My clients value and invest in me. They appreciate my Client Engagement Process because... <fill in the blanks on how your process truly meets their needs>." Once you refine this (your Ideal Client Profile), you'll be more targeted in your:
- Networking - from conversations to events and even event pricing.
- Communications and marketing - streamlining will be extended to who gets how much of you.
- Acceptance of clients - you'll become very clear on who you will (and will not) work with.
So, who are your clients? Once you connect with these, answering "how do I work with you" is far easier.
Community & Champions
This is the outward-facing piece of the puzzle. Everything above was your internal conversation. Once you own that part, and are clear on what your needs are there, it's time to step into your community again and identify your champions. Who is/are:
- Supportive of your dreams, highlighting paths forward instead of fears and concerns?
- Your ideal client, a true fan of working with you, of how you do business?
- Your friend(s), who ensures you take a break sometimes, and honours your work?
- Your companion, your spouse, the person your share your everything with?
Your community and champions, in this context, refer to those you can let your guard down with and still be respected, in all facets of your persona. Who are they? Few will be all things to you, but finding people who make up the whole is important.
Taking Action Today
No pressure. What small step can you take today to start turning things around? Start with examples that already exist in your life, if they do, then build on those. It may help to write them down or say them out loud, to make this real to you. Explore with a group of friends, or even in your mastermind, if they're truly on board with your vision. I'm also here, if you need someone who "gets it" to talk to. Pop me an e-mail and, if you need a deeper connection, book a session (start anywhere here).
Crystal-Marie Sealy, MBA, is a speaker and business strategy consultant focused on pricing, social media and more, for established small businesses, entrepreneurs and executives. President, founder of Successiory and her signature E.A.S.Y. Strategy process, Crystal-Marie works with professionals who want to build sustainable (livable) business models around their lifestyles and create sustainable client community on social media. She also speaks and delivers workshops at business and motivational conferences on business entrepreneurial strategy for pricing, your schedule and client social media community. Connect with her and subscribe at www.successiory.ca