The Bitch Slap: Be Your First Client Every Day

be your first client every dayEver wake up and realize that you haven’t:

Posted a blog in a week
Started that website redesign your aching website yearns for
Contacted that person who can help get you UNstuck
Dealt with the everloving clusterfuck that is your bookkeeping

Yeah. Me too.

Above every other piece of advice I’ve been given in my business career, the practice of making myself my first client every day has topped all other morsels of knowledge.

It’s hard — we get sidetracked.

It requires commitment — and even the most important of commitments get deprioritized sometimes.

Whatever your reasons for not taking care of your business shit, they’re bullshit. If you have time to work for other paying clients, you have time to pay yourself first and work on your business.

How I Do It (most of the time)

I use my calendar. I block time out for specific tasks and have three separate calendars:

  • Erika (red)
  • Speaking Events (blue)
  • Buy Me Coffee Sessions (green)
  • Client Projects (yellow)

The first activity every morning is ALWAYS red.

The last activity of the work day is ALWAYS red.

How I Keep from Cheating on My Calendar

I look at weeks like this week and think, “Wow — that sucked.” The only thing that should suck in my business is the vacuum cleaner on the area rug.

On Friday, I set my calendar for the following week and ensure that I have My Business Shit on the calendar.

What Helps

There’s shit I hate doing. Hates it, preciouuuuuuuus. There’s also shit that’s not financially worth the time cost for me to do. Thus, I have a Virtual Assistant. I have a bookkeeper. I have a CPA.

Whatever I pay these folks, it’s fucking worth it. I’ll be publishing a list of Virtual Assistant resources very soon for you to review so if this is a potential solution for you and your shit that needs to get done, you can start on it and quit with the excuses.

So…Who’s Your First Client on Monday?

It’d best be YOU. Because it’s the only thing you can start doing today that will grow and improve your business by metric ass tons.

Don’t believe me?

On February 5, I launched my rebranding and new site. I also launched my Buy Me Coffee offering.

In 24 days, I booked and completed 17 (SEVENTEEN) Buy Me Coffee sessions. I’ve booked 3 paid speaking engagements. I’m interviewing 2 new full-time clients.

Completed WIN for my business? $25,593

Potential additional WIN for my business? Around $14,000/month for the next 12 months.

And none of that would have happened if I’d told my business to take a back seat to everyone else’s.

Today, all I’m wondering is why I didn’t take my own advice sooner.

You — and I — have both been slapped.

23 comments
joetaylorjr
joetaylorjr

I've been doing something similar, but I adopted your color scheme and the difference is pretty remarkable. Along the same lines, I assigned a shit-brown color for all my errands, since they're not adding much value to anyone's day. The less of those tasks on there, the better.

NikkiGroom
NikkiGroom

NEEDED to hear this. Also, Skype date soon. I'll email you. xo

Fuelburner
Fuelburner

<bowing in your general direction>  Excellent, as always. 

Nickeyh
Nickeyh

Wow - I've definitely been slapped.  Thanks!


PeaToTheBee
PeaToTheBee

Hi Erika! I've followed your posts for the past few months now, but this is the first time I'm commenting. Just wanted to say that damn, you make so much sense!
And your 'Buy Me Coffee' session idea sounds great. I'm not even actually 'stuck' (I'm still in college), but I still feel like signing up for it! :P
Anyway, look forward to more bitch slaps! 
-Priyanka Banerjee

Jen Havice
Jen Havice

Wow! That's inspiring. I'm working on launching my new business and already have my first client. So, I'm juggling doing work for that person and getting my new website up and running, etc., etc., etc. You've got to take care of business at home otherwise all the other stuff falls apart.

SteveZanini
SteveZanini

Thanks Erika, 

Simple, effective and didn't leave a red mark this time...

Create a great day!

ShareCatcher
ShareCatcher

Great post pointing to the confirmation moment in my brain - I was just thinking about doing the calendar yesterday. The second point of irony is I am currently working on setting up a virtual assistance business, just have to get things in order and find the clients.  BTW, loved your TED talk, and although our word options vary, I love your knowledge share. 

jzine
jzine

The day after Christmas I realized I hadn't done a hard hike in 5 months. I fired my hiking partner and I've done a hard hike every morning since. I invited some friends along. One of them hired me to help put on a fundraiser (we're doing all our meetings up on a mountain). Another friend asked me if I had any work for her daughter. She organized my photo gear. Then my office. Then my entire house. I didn't plan any of this, but I'm sure glad it happened. Here's to a happier, healthier year ahead!

handwrtsensei
handwrtsensei

Awesome as always. And thanks for the ROI on your calendaring....spectacular!

MitchRezman
MitchRezman

My favorite tool is Google Docs - I have one spread sheet that gives me an over view of finances that I must look at daily so I added  a daily "to-do" list and a separate "must do" list that helps keep me prioritzed - I've also found going to the gym after work pumps me up so I take advantage of the quiet in the wee hours of the morning. Last night I redesigned our home page after Tim Ash from Site Tuners slammed it in a webinar (deservedly so) 10 pm to 3 am with just my good friend John Jameson, XM radio - no calls nor distractions 

megcarpen
megcarpen

Damn. I've been a fan of your site for ages, literally years. And I've always been able to take something away from everyone of your blog posts. But this one, this is exactly what I needed to hear. I've been wanting to focus on writing more, and I keep telling myself "I'll do it tomorrow" or "I'll start that after the day job work is done." I bet you can see where that's been going. Me, tired at the end of the day, and while I can still write, I've hardly got the energy to do anything beyond plan. And I think I've done too much planning at this point. It's time to follow your advice, and start making myself my first client. Then, just maybe, I can get out of the day job!

jeffg11561
jeffg11561

Good lookin', funny, smart, sassy AND you quote Gollum? I'm lovin' you babe!!

ExtremelyAvg
ExtremelyAvg

The most logical and simple ideas are often the hardest to see. This is a good idea. Thanks for the slapping...now, where did I put that V-8?

Latest blog post: Underwood Scotch and Wry Ch 31

jtillz
jtillz

I actually did this yesterday for the first time. I posted a blog post and a celebrity designer retweeted my blog post taking my traffic sky high. Glad I did that and will continue to for the next year.

mikestenger
mikestenger

It's always soooo much easier to help others than ourselves. Personally, I've found that helping myself physically in the arena of diet and daily exercise has helped a lot in other areas and rubbed off on the business side. By the way, it's been a while since I've been here and holy crap is your site looking awesome!

hannahdee
hannahdee

lalalalalala, I can't hear you!

Actually, I spoke to an amazing book keeper yesterday, and I told her what I needed was as follows: get my shit straight, teach me how to manage my shit, yell at me to take care of my shit, be bossy. She was down with all of it, I'm so excited!

JoySteele
JoySteele

Sage advice timed perfectly on the 1st day of the new month. You've slapped me into re-evaluating how I schedule and coordinate things.
Thanks a happy, pant-load!

WilliamCMurray
WilliamCMurray

This is how I just finished my first textbook and plan to kill my dissertation this year (not 'finish' - that bad boy has been a house guest drinking my beer for far too long!).  

pixeldeath
pixeldeath

Nicely said. And it all makes perfect sense. Best I get my calendar sorted and ready for Monday.

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