I used to have pretty terrible rules and boundaries around money. I thought I was doing the right thing, but the trouble was I didn’t have a strong filter on who I worked with, who my clients were and what my money rules were.
Clients would come to me and I thought I HAD to work with them. Even when my intuition was telling me something wasn’t right I would ignore it and carry on. Because, money, right? And it’s crazy to turn down money. But guess what? My intuition was ALWAYS RIGHT. When I ignored the signs, and didn’t listen to my intuition I ended up with a client who wasn’t the perfect fit. No a win/win for either of us!
I would also do crazy things like let the client tell me how much they would pay me. Money boundaries? None!
The way my business used to be set up was I would do the work first and then the client would pay me. And If they didn’t pay me on time and I had to chase them for my money. Is there anything that will spoil a client relationship than having to spend time, energy and emotion in any amount to have to chase what’s due?
I would be so polite about it too! Well, most of the time 😉 We don’t want to upset a customer do we? They might want to work with us again (and have the chance not to pay us again, eh?). What a delightful situation to look forward to!
I even did work for free with that famous carrot dangled in front of me – “If you do the work for us now, we will hire you for a big job we’ve got coming up”. Well, you can take that carrot and……!!!
And if you are a business that does that. The carrot dangling thing. STOP it.
Talk about stressful and time consuming…
I hated negotiating. I found it such a waste of time. And by getting into negotiating i was doing something I DIDN’T love doing. And why fill your business with something you don’t LOVE doing? Sales almost filled me with dread. They certainly weren’t FUN. I didn’t realise back then that I didn’t have to have anything in my business that wasn’t fun. I just thought it was part of the process.
Plus even if I negotiated on my price, I wouldn’t be getting paid what I actually wanted and that didn’t build a relationship with my clients where I LOVED THEM! And I want to LOVE my clients. I do now of course, but back then I’d get ANNOYED by my clients. But it was all my own doing. I attracted those type of people and not only that I allowed myself to indulge them in negotiating.
Now, I get paid on time ALL THE TIME and it’s by clients who I really LOVE working with.
I set my prices and that’s what my clients pay. No more attracting the wrong clients…… well, actually I did have one the other week. One slipped through my usually thorough net and I banned her. I won’t have anything or any ONE in my business that doesn’t make me happy.
My point is you have GOT to get rid of the ‘bad’ in whatever shape that takes in your business and life to make room for the good. The next day I was approached by 4 potential new clients. Coincidence? Probably. But if I had let that client take up more of my time and energy, then that would detract from the clients who deserve my best.
As they say, out with the old, in with the new. Or out with the bad to make room for the good!
But considering that was the only one this year then that’s pretty good going! 7 years ago that was maybe 70% of my clients!
So, how do I get paid what I want and get paid on time?
I set my price, I stick to it and here’s the magical part – my clients pay me in advance. I don’t do invoicing anymore (another time such which got on my nerves). It’s as simple at that.
You can do what you like in your business. If you don’t want to negotiate, don’t. If you don’t want to invoice, don’t. And if you want to get paid on time, every time. ASK FOR IT! If you get clients that don’t want to do that, then they aren’t the right clients for you.
It can be a bit of an adjustment turning away money and clients, and especially hard if you really need the money. That’s what I’ve done. There have been times in the past when I have needed the money BUT if the work isn’t the right work for me, or the client isn’t quite right, or they don’t want to pay in advance, then I have turned it away. By taking on the wrong clients/work/etc then you are using up valuable time and energy that could be spent on attracting and working with the right clients.
If you are to create a life and business on your terms that’s exactly what you have to do NOW. NOT in a few weeks or months or next year. You run your business the way you want it to and have the business of your dreams. Get rid of the stuff in your business that doesn’t serve you or your clients 100%. I want you make a list of your your money boundaries and your client boundaries and then make a deal with yourself to stick to them.