As I bop around the various dance floors of the interwebs, a lot of busy entrepreneurs like you have hit me up with this all-too-common struggle.
“I want to change things up, but I’m too balls-out busy with client work to work on my own business.”
Maybe you can relate?
It feels like you’re always just waiting ’til the end of the month, because surely thennnn things will get a little less wild. THEN you can work on that offer/product/course/content strategy.
Or that, sure, while you might not love what you’re working on, you’re just finishing up this one contract, then you can breathe and think about stuff properly.
Or that every time you tell yourself “ENOUGH! I’m over working this way!”… another client inquiry lands in your inbox, and you think “OK, well I need something to tide me over before I transition…”
(^^ only to find yourself giving the same reasons when a new less-than-ideal project comes down the pipeline.)
The Key Ingredient to Move Your Business Ahead
And boy oh boy do I get it.
Been there, got several trophies.
Now, this isn’t a “LEAP BEFORE YOU LOOK!!!” email. You’ve got responsibilities and bills to pay, after all.
I’m not here to tell you to drop all your clients and go flying blind in some other random direction tomorrow.
But here’s what I can tell you:
Often, the main thing holding you back from building the business and brand you really want (whether that’s with a program/product suite, a new consulting offer, a consistent content strategy, or whateva) isn’t just clients banging down your door, cash in hand, eager to snap up offers you hate.
It’s that you may not be sure exactly what you want to offer next, or who you want to build yourself into being.
You might have some ideas! But more than likely, you don’t really know precisely.
And you know what that kind of clarity requires?
Even just a tiny bit, here and there.
How to Build Momentum Even When You’re Unsure
After all, creating new things for yourself, and a new structure of your business, needs two key ingredients:
- A clear vision + game plan — which takes TIME to create
- Enough of a belief in yourself to bet on yourself, come what may — which takes TIME to build
(My clients always come to me feeling like they can’t make a move until they’re 150% sure things are going to work perfectly — however, there’s simply no way to know with absolute certainty.
So we imprint the next best thing into their brains: a 70% certainty based on what they know of themselves and their market, a solid approach, and a confidence in their own ability to figure ish out if stuff goes wrong.)
First Step? Put. The Shovel. Down.
The fact is, you just can’t shovel your way out of a client work pit to create something new in a perpetual state of exhaustion.
Because if that’s your habit, you’ll buried again soon enough.
You need to find a way to pause, take a breath, and look around to figure out how you can build a ladder out instead.
Yes, there will still be some digging to do, and obstacles to navigate (and often, clients to release).
But eventually, that ladder of new positioning, offers, and revving-up strategies will be complete — and off you’ll go.
You can’t solve a problem with the same energy that created it. If you’re time poor, the only way out is to deliberately carve out more time to plot your escape.
So — how does one start to do that?
The Take Time to Make Time Paradox
By taking the time (even if it’s just one hour a week) to get crystal clear on what you really want to be doing and your own unique approach and framework, and get your business to a place where you can see the end goal, and start working towards it.
Fun fact: if you do this, you will actually watch yourself get BACK oodles of hours.
Taking the time to develop that clear focus for your next phase means you will KNOW what you’re supposed to be offering… so you can work on cutting out the rest.
Isn’t that every creative’s dream??
Buuuuuut here’s the thingiemajig:
No business fairy godmother is gonna appear out of thin air, wave a magic wand and give you the instant fix for climbing out of the client work pileup.
Or to sit with your notebook and plan your next big thing FOR you.
Unless you commit to moving forward, you’re gonna stay stuck where you are.
So taking that first leap to find some time, and finally figure out what you want to cut, or reshape? It’s the hardest part.
After that one super scary stare down with your calendar?
You figure out that an hour spent working strategically on your vision (like we do in my Power Position coaching calls) doesn’t just vanish into the void.
You’ve invested that time and turned it into clarity that will free you up, even if just a bit, foreverrrr.
And every time you do that, it builds.
How to Build a Ladder to Business Success? One Rung at a Time
Until suddenly you’re cracking your laptop open on Monday totally clear about what your brand is, how it works, and how you can get clients better results with way less freaking out. (Because we all freak out every once in a while)
If I have one piece of advice for creative entrepreneurs it’s this: don’t just keep shoveling out of that pit.
Start to look for the pieces that will help you build a ladder.
Take the first step to analyze what’s going wrong…
(What are you sick of doing? What types of clients are you done working with? Where do your boundaries melt like popsicles on the fourth of July?)
… So you can figure out what you actually want.
(What would you LOVE to be doing, and for how much money, and how can you test that idea? Who would you love to be working with? What boundaries would feel amazing to keep around your time, and your joy?)
If You’re Still Stuck, Consider a Coach
And… when it feels like you can’t read the label from inside the bottle, get a coach who can see what you’re missing. #justsayin ;)
Ok — how ’bout you?
Ever feel like you’re too busy doing for others to do for yourself?
Or have you started to build your ladder out of the pit?
Would love to hear what that’s been like for you (just comment below, my ears — and inbox — are open!)