Trying to grow a service business is really fucking hard.
It’s simple, but it’s not easy. It takes a lot of work. You have to work on being good at what you do. You have to work on being the best for your clients. You have to work on marketing, and sales, and actually doing the work.
But you also have to work on your mindset.
And the most important mindset shift you have to make is this:
Stop caring about whether or not you get the client.
I know, I know. This sounds completely counter-intuitive. You’re trying to grow a service business, after all, and service businesses need clients.
But when you care desperately about landing a client, you show up differently in your business. You undercut your prices. You try to convince the lead that you’re the best provider for the job. You sell. You smell desperate.
And you know who people don’t want to hire?
Someone who is desperate.
Desperation kills service businesses.
We naturally assume someone who is desperate isn’t good at what they do. We assume they’re not in demand. We know they don’t have a waitlist. We believe they’re not an expert, and that they’re not good at running their business.
Nobody wants to hire someone who isn’t an expert, and who isn’t good at running their business.
But for the first several years I was in business, I was desperate.
My business was my bread and butter. If I wasn’t bringing in new clients, I wasn’t going to pay the electric bill. So I took on every. single. client.
Anybody who wanted my services could have them. Even if they paid badly and treated me like crap.
This means I was doing custom websites for $300.
That’s insanity. And when I ran the numbers, I was making well below minimum wage, but I was desperate. So I did it.
And it nearly killed me. It nearly cost me my marriage. I was so exhausted and burned out, I pushed my husband away. When I actually had time to spend with my family, I wasn’t very nice to be around. My service business was destroying my life.
Happily, those days are well behind me now.
Gone are the days when I would bend over backwards to work with everyone who comes my way. More than 50% of the referrals I receive now do not result in a client.
And it started when I took a stand and decided:
I don’t care whether or not I land any one particular client.
I want to do good work; to be the go to authority in my niche. But I can’t do that if I get emotionally wrapped up in every potential client who comes my way. It’s emotionally draining, and it takes a toll on my health and well-being. I cannot do my best work when I’m not at my best, and neither can you.
If you want to succeed as a service provider…
If you want to grow a service business…
But you’re spinning your wheels, riding an emotional roller coaster, and you have a roster of clients who drive you insane and pay badly…
Decide right here, right now, you no longer care about whether or not you’re going to get the client.
It is so fucking liberating.