How to Transform Your Time into Income

by Barbara Saunders

Do you find yourself continually ‘busy’ but still struggling with creating enough income?

That’s common for a lot of Solo Pros. There are several causes like:

    * Continually tweaking marketing materials, messages, or forms instead of just getting them out – aim for completion, NOT perfection
    * Having a ‘Job’ mindset where you concentrate on looking ‘busy’ or waiting for the client to give you work rather than on charting your own course and taking the steps to get there
    * Too broad of a focus instead of concentrating on moving strategically in one direction towards a specific goal
    * Fear of stepping up into a new reality can cause you to hide out in your comfort zone
    * Trying to do everything yourself rather than getting help so you can concentrate on your brilliance
    * Shotgun networking – attending every possible networking event and not strategically targeting where to show up to get the biggest BANG for your networking buck
    * A lack of clarity with your target market and/or your marketing message or not zeroing in on your perfect niche
    * And many more reasons

Four Simple Steps to Transform Time into Income

Step up into that Solo Pro CEO space for a moment. Let all the little ‘to-dos’ on your list fade away. Take a few deep breaths to clear the clutter from your mind and see your business as an ‘Entity’. If you need to, go to another physical space so you are not distracted by email, the tasks that you’re doing, or whatever else is in your office space.

Some times we get so entrenched in what we’re doing that we need to ‘reboot’ in a new operating system when we switch into the Solo Pro CEO space. That’s OK. Do what you need to get into that new space. It will help you make the necessary changes more quickly rather than trying to cut through the clutter that’s in the way now.  Doing this ‘rebooting’ exercise once a month can be a powerful way to change your business from struggling to thriving.

RULE: While you’re in this Solo Pro CEO Operating System
you’re not allowed to think in the old ‘dollars-for-hours’ paradigm.

Write these four steps down in an official spot where you will see them every morning. You will also track your progress. Here are the steps to take:

   1. Set a money goal.
This is how much money you’re going to earn. Make it daring. Push the boundaries of what you think you can do. DO NOT revert to “I want to work so many hours…”! Example: “I want to earn $5,000.”

   2. Decide on you’re offering. Think packages NOT services or tasks. For example: A Business Identity Tune Up Package that includes a consultation, a review of existing resources (message, logo files…), a strategy session that includes goal setting, obstacle/challenge identification, and an action plan for next steps) for $1,500. (notice that we’re not saying 10 hours of work.) Tip: Think of what your target clients are struggling with; what problems do they want solved; what’s their biggest pain. Create a package to solve that one thing. Think ‘Results’.
3. Choose who to ask for help. Maybe you need a VA that you can turn the marketing and appointment setting over to. Perhaps this package would be a great joint venture where you offer your package to augment another expert’s program. For example: you could offer this package (complete with a snappy benefit/results rich title) to a business coach to offer to their clients. They get a great one-stop resource to give their clients (who are motivated), you get a great referral -  and the client gets to bypass the stress of trying to find someone on their own.

   4. Set a time frame. Determine a target date that you’d like to shoot for. Having a date helps to add structure. Keep the time frame short. Start with 30 days. Put it on your calendar. Also put the ‘milestone’ dates into your calendar, for example: if you’re shooting for a month, make your milestones weekly and track your progress to monitor your progress.

Now turn these steps into a Statement of Intention. Make it formal. Write it where you MUST see it every day. Here’s an example of this 4-step method in action:

“I’m going to earn $5,000 by selling four of my Business Identity Tune Up Packages for $1,500 each by December 7. I’m going to hire a VA (check out O Desk for low-cost, project-based help) to help me get the marketing message out.”

Now just do it. DO NOT sit and tweak or second guess yourself. Here’s a tip: Decide on a target number of potential clients to talk to in order to reach your goal. A good rule of thumb for conversion when just starting something like this is 50%. That means that if you’re wanting to sell 4 packages, you’ll need to speak to 8 potentials. That’s just talking to 2 people a week, or 4 people the first two weeks and fulfilling the last two weeks. Simple.

Barbara Saunders is a publication designer and has run a successful solo pro business for more than a decade. She is the Solo Pro Success Coach and the Director of the International Association of Self-Employed Communication Professionals and the Solo Pro Academy. She also hosts the Solo Pro Radio show every Wednesday at 10am Pacific and 1pm Easter. It's our mission to build community and help creative solo pros build and run successful businesses by providing support, innovation, tools, and strategies. Our goal is to liberate our members from the feast and famine cycle.


Professional Women Organization said...

it was really nice as well informative post. the business development program transforms workplaces by strengthening the capacity of organizations and businesses to create work environments that are inclusive and value the skills and contributions of working women.

Zsa Zsa said...

Very simple tips, but very powerful! Thanks! Really like the concept of rebooting -- helps you get the clarity you need!

Deb Bailey said...

Hi ZsaZsa! Rebooting always helps - with computers and with life! :) Thanks for your comments!

Deb Bailey said...

Professional Women Organization - thanks for your comments!

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