Speaker 1 (00:00):
Who's in charge of your calendar, you or your clients.
Speaker 2 (00:04):
You are listening to the Teri Holland show, the podcast for high performing entrepreneurs ready to take your life and your business to the next level. And if you wanna get there faster, go to teriholland.ca.
Speaker 1 (00:17):
Now before you answer that, you are in charge of your calendar. How do you arrange your bookings? This is a mistake that I see almost every single solopreneur service-based entrepreneur doing is allowing the clients to dictate their schedule. Here's what I mean by that. So you have your booking app, you have your system for booking, and the client goes in, they log in, they book your time, that's all fine and good. The problem is when the entrepreneur prioritizes the client's schedule over them running their business, and I see this over and over again, and this is, and I, I really want you to listen to me. If you are a service-based solopreneur, so you're a coach, you're a practitioner of some kind, you meet with clients, you are someone who has clients that you see, and you are the only one in your business. Maybe you have a VA or a couple people to help you.
But essentially you are the business. When you are running a business, you need to allow for time to do your sales and marketing activities, networking events. You need time to create content. You need time to write your newsletters, follow up on emails, do your bookkeeping, organize your receipts, all the things that happen outside of client time. Now, the problem that I see is so many, so many service-based solopreneurs are allowing the clients to dictate what the schedule looks like, and then they're trying to find pockets of time to run their business in between the client sessions. Now, this comes from a scarce mentality. This comes from a feeling of lack. This comes from fear. This says, if I don't let the clients book when they want a book, then I'm not gonna have enough clients and I need to be flexible for them. I need to allow them to fill in the schedule and I will work around my clients because I'm afraid that if I limit my availability to them, I'm not going to have enough clients.
Here's the thing, here's the truth of it, is that the client who's going to book with you will book with you when you have availability to be booked. What's not okay though is sacrificing meals to service clients. And I've had this conversation with so many entrepreneurs who tell me, yeah, you know, on, on these days, like I just have to skip lunch and work through it because I have clients who book me at that time. Why are they booking you during your lunch? Why are they booking you during your dinner? Why do they determine when you eat? I've had entrepreneurs tell me that they are staying up late because they have to catch up on all the other things in their business. So they're sacrificing on sleep. You should not be sacrificing your sleep, your meals, your wellbeing to serve your clients. This is a recipe for burnout.
And I've been there. This is a problem with a one-on-one model. If you're building your business solely on a one-to-one basis, meaning that you see clients one-on-one, you will run out of hours in a week and you will try in order to grow your business and grow your revenue, you will try to squeeze in extra hours where the clients don't belong. They don't belong on your lunch break, they don't belong on your dinner time, they don't belong. They don't, they don't belong there, . They don't belong in your workout time, your family time. You need to prioritize your business over your client time. And I know some of you are thinking right now, but then how am I gonna have a business if I don't prioritize my clients first? Well, you will have a smarter business and a more sustainable business, and I've been there, I have made this mistake.
Learn from my mistakes. Listen to me. I, I walked the line of burnout. I completely burnt out. I had to give up everything because I burnt out so severely. I had to switch careers. You do not need to sacrifice meals, your fitness, your health, your wellbeing, your downtime, your rest in order to serve your clients. Your clients will book when you let them book. So here's what to do instead, instead of just opening up the books to them and letting them slot themselves in to any scrap of time you have available and then trying to run your business around that and then saying, oh my gosh, I don't have time to do marketing. I don't have time to plan these things. I don't have time to update my emails or my website. I don't have time to do my books. I don't have time, I don't have time, I don't have time.
And I hear this all the time. If you don't have time to run your business, you are not running a business. You have created yourself a job. And spoiler alert, even jobs have schedules. So if you are not scheduling your business properly, if you are not taking control of your calendar and your bookings, then you are not running a business. And in fact, you don't even have a job. You have created a well, you've become a servant to your business. You become a slave to the business. That is exactly the opposite of freedom. That is the opposite of why we get into entrepreneurship. You, if you are like most entrepreneurs, you became an entrepreneur because you want time freedom and money freedom. And if you are shackled to your client's schedules, then you no longer have time freedom and you don't have money freedom if you are solely basing your business on one-to-one revenue.
Now how do we get around that? Well, the first thing is you have to take control of that schedule. So here's what I want you to do and, and you can do this now or you can do it after you listen to the podcast, but here's what I want you to do and I want you to do it soon. Open up your calendar to a blank week where no one has booked you yet. So go to your next blank week in the schedule and I want you to take a look at that calendar and decide what is client time, when can they book you? What is business development time when you are working on your business, not in your business, on your business? What is downtime? I color code my calendar. I have client time is in green because that's time I'm paid for directly.
I have yellow, which is networking because I like networking. So it's yellow, it's happy, fun, social. So yellow is networking time. That's when I'm, I'm out, I'm meeting people or I'm on an online networking call. Blue is business development time, yellow and blue, make green, green is paid time. See where I'm going here? Purple is terry time. Those are, that's my time. That's time off for me. That is my nail appointment, my hair appointment, self-care time time with friends. And I always make sure there's a lot of purple in the calendar to balance out all the blue, yellow, and green. Why purple? Because it's my favorite color. That's why. Now you don't have to color code it the way I do, but you do need to decide what your hours are for your clients and you need to set some boundaries on your time.
My computer is off at 5:00 PM unless I'm doing something funner shopping or whatever, but you know what I mean. I'm not working after 5:00 PM no one can book with me after 4:00 PM because I feel like I'm just not at my best after four. So I don't take evening sessions with clients. Could I? Sure will. I, no, I won't see clients On weekends, I will run trainings on weekends. That's different to me. My one-on-one clients can only book me on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. That's when I will see a one-on-one client and they can only book me within certain hours. Now Mondays I run my mastermind program and I run a marketing meetup. So those are two things I do on Mondays. The rest of my Monday is content creation. On Tuesdays I record my podcast. I have some time slots available for clients and I also record a podcast on Wednesdays.
I have some time available for clients and I also have more marketing time. On Thursdays, I open my books fully for clients on a Thursday and on Friday, Friday's my catch up day. So it's blocked off from appointments. And Friday is like a catch all day where I might do some marketing activities, I might catch up on some bookkeeping things. I may take the day off and just have some fun for me. I might see a friend on a Friday if everything is caught up and tidied up from the week. So Friday is a catch all day of whatever needs to be done. And then the weekend is my time. Unless I'm actively in a training, then that's different. That's how I run my week. And I do not let clients book during other activity times, but I do not schedule around my clients.
They schedule when they can schedule with me. So what do you do if, and, and to be clear, I only take a handful of one-on-one clients at a time because I like to devote my full attention to those one-on-one clients. So I'm not gonna overwhelm myself. And I like flexibility in my schedule. I did it the wrong way when I was in personal training. I did this the wrong way. I let clients book whenever they wanted and I kept finding more and more hours for them to book. I burnt out. I'm not talking about I got tired and had to change things. No, I mean my doctor sat me down and said, you're done. You can no longer work this way. You can now work two mornings a week, three hours each. That's it. And the rest of the time I needed to rest because my adrenal system was shutting down.
And if I didn't wanna end up in the hospital, I had to listen to her. So when I talk about burnout, I'm not talking about, oh, I'm tired. I've been working so much, I need a break. I'm talking about I needed a break from everything I was doing. I needed to stop. Not just a full break. I needed a full stop. So if you are letting the clients dictate your schedule, you're doing it wrong. You should never sacrifice a meal for clients. Schedule in your meal breaks. My meal breaks are scheduled in. Clients can't book during those times. My walking, my dogs is scheduled in on days where my husband is working. I schedule in my dog walks so no one's gonna interfere with that time. I schedule in breaks in between every client session. They can't book back to back because I need a moment to reset, recalibrate, refill my water, go play with my dogs for a few minutes, take care of my bio needs, and then I can sit down, recalibrate and get ready for the next session.
So my clients, I have a half hour break in between every client. But here's the catch, I'm not relying on one-on-one business anymore. I used to in personal training, I burnt out. So how do I make money in my business? I sell courses, I sell online programs, I do more group stuff now. I run events, I run trainings and I work with very few one-on-one clients. This is the model that works best for me. This has given me the most flexibility, freedom, time freedom and money freedom in business so far. Now, if you are full with one-on-one clients right now, you might be thinking, how can I create a course or how could I create a group program? I don't have time, Terry, because I'm so busy with one-on-one clients. That was me in personal training. And one thing that you can do is see if when you have clients who are wrapping up, for example, maybe they've been coaching with you for a while and they're starting to wrap up their sessions, see if, if you know, if they're wanting to renew and continue with you, can you funnel them into a group program?
Do you have clients who are working on similar things within their business? Could you put them together in a group? The benefit to them is that the cost of a group program is going to be a lot lower than the cost of one-on-one coaching, or it should be if you're doing it right, they shouldn't be paying for 1 0 1 coaching in a group. So see if you can group some of your clients together and offer them for a lower rate. Maybe you can work with them in a group situation. Can you find some time? And I guarantee you Ken, can you find some time to create an online course, a product that you can sell over and over and over again, an evergreen course that you don't have to take people through, they don't get you, they don't get your time personally. Maybe you run a q and a for that group.
We can, we can get into specifics on that. But otherwise it is hands off from you. You create it once and then you can continue selling it. So you are making money off something that isn't requiring more time from you. And that would be a lower price point. Again, lower than the group coaching, cuz this involves less of you. In fact, when it comes to your products and pricing, the less time they have with you, the less of your involvement, the lower the price should be. So think about some ways that you can make money in your business where you can leverage your time and make more money even if you're selling it at a lower rate. If you have more people in those programs, you have the potential to make more money. In fact, an online evergreen course is limitless for how many people can take that course.
You can sell that over and over again. You can put thousands of people through that course. You can't put thousands of people through one hour of your one-on-one time. It doesn't work that way. This also gives you the opportunity to make a bigger impact. So if part of your business, if your vision is that you wanna make a big impact in the world, if you wanna touch more lives, you can't do that one-on-one. You can only do that with groups, courses, public speaking, podcasts. That's how you reach many people. If you wanna reach a lot of people, you need to get your head out of the one-on-one model and you need to take charge of your calendar. So what are your non-negotiables? What do you want your week to be like? My non-negotiables is I will not sacrifice mealtime to service clients. I will not work past 5:00 PM I won't coach anyone past 4:00 PM but I won't work past 5:00 PM because that's time with my husband.
That's time with my dogs. That's, that's for me. That's not for anybody else. I won't work on weekends unless it's a training. And the difference in my mind, by the way, if you're wondering, is that a training is a one-off event. It's not every week. I won't see people on weekends one-on-one. I don't do it. But you know what, that works for my business because I work with entrepreneurs who are in charge of their own time or they should be. So they shouldn't be, they shouldn't need me on a weekend or an evening. I don't coach employees, people in jobs where they have to be there at a certain time. I don't, those aren't my clients. I coach entrepreneurs. So is this making sense to you? I hope this is making sense to you and I hope that if you are one of these people and you're not in charge of your time, you need to get in charge of your time.
The other thing to look at is when you are busy, are you really busy? What are you doing with your time? How are you spending it? Are you as busy as you think you are? What if you carved out just a little bit of time? So say for example, if you need to create some content in your business and, and if normally that would take you hours, say say five hours of work. What if you gave yourself one hour? Could you create the same amount of content in one hour of laser-focused work? Because here's something I've found working with my clients is that the more time you give yourself to complete a task, the longer it takes to complete the task. If you give yourself an hour and in that hour, if you need to write a blog or a newsletter and create a podcast and maybe record a couple of reels or short form videos, if you only had one hour to do it, how much of that could you get done?
Because you probably don't need five hours to do that kind of work or to do, you probably don't need the amount of time that you think you need to complete the tasks that you have. So challenge yourself. What can you get done in a shorter amount of time? Take the tasks you routinely do and give yourself maybe half the time to start and say, okay, normally this takes me three hours. I'll give myself 90 minutes. Set yourself a timer. Get really focused. Get the work done and see how quickly you can complete it. Instead of giving yourself three hours. It's kind of like goldfish, like we will spread the task out to fit the container of time that we've given ourselves. Just as a goldfish will grow to the size of their tank. You will grow the task, you'll stretch the task in the time it takes to complete it in relation to the amount of time you have to complete it.
So just a quick recap. You need to get in charge of your calendar. You need to decide when clients can book you and when they can't, you need to block off times for things like meals, sleep, family time, workout time, self-care time. You need to decide what your week is gonna look like before the client's book. You need to carve out time and, and specifically schedule time for your marketing activities, for all your business growth activities, for networking, to do all the things that continue to drive your business every day or you won't have one for very long. And you know, and that creates the rollercoaster. And we've talked about the rollercoaster before. Entrepreneurs get into this rollercoaster of fast and or feast and famine, right? Where they have a really good month and you make a lot of money and you're so busy serving all those clients that you stop doing all the marketing and the networking and all the things that brought those clients to you.
And then you hit a famine because you haven't been filling your pipeline and now you're hungry. So now you do all the things, you do, the marketing, the networking. You post on social media, you do all the things that you need to do to bring more clients in, and then you get too busy again, and then you're busy servicing those clients and you don't have time to keep the business running. So you need to find a balance in there so that you can predict your income month to month without sacrificing your business, without sacrificing your health, without sacrificing sleep, meals, family time, self-care time, and without sacrificing your clients because you do need to be of service to your clients. Okay, I feel like that was a really big rant today, but that's been on my mind all week and it's been a conversation I've had a few times this week already.
So if you enjoyed this episode, if it was helpful to you at all you know what would make me really happy is if you shared it with a friend and you know, what would make me even happier? Follow me on Instagram, take a screenshot of this episode and post it in your stories and take me. I would love to see it. I would love to see it. And I think I'm gonna have a contest soon. So I don't know what that is yet, but I'm gonna start doing some giveaways on the show for people who do just that. Anyway, thanks for listening today. Hope you have an amazing, wonderful day and I will be back soon. Bye for now.