“I got to get paid,” are some of the first words I heard from an entrepreneur I knew and respected. All of his businesses seemed to be thriving! He had consulting clients, coaching clients, and a stack of contracts. “Get your money up front; or at least get half,” he warned, “especially with private clients. People will start a process, not finish it, and then they won’t want to pay.”
This sounded rather logical and, so, being naive to business I took his advice: I charged my value! My self-procured contracts contained a clause that confidently proclaimed all funds were due before any services would be rendered. I demanded my money up front and managed to sign a few clients. Just a few. I quickly learned that most companies and organizations do not operate on a pay-upfront contingency. I was sinking my ship before I had even set sail.
So, I started thinking…
What if the advice I received was wrong? What if this person I respected didn’t really know what he was talking about? Being almost 20 years my senior, maybe his advice worked for him during his day. The what-if questions that started seeping in ultimately turned into a deeper exploration of who I am and what I value … and then everything shifted.
I started asking potential clients questions about what they were willing to invest and then tailored packages to meet their needs first. Together, we developed individual payment terms that allowed them to make monthly payments. An unexpected by-product was increased monthly cashflow for my business. Not only did I not need all the money up front, I was profiting greater by meeting clients where they were at. It hit me like a ton of bricks: perhaps this is what scarcity mindset and lack of confidence looks like in business.
Scarcity mindset creates feelings of fear, stress, and anxiety. It is the belief that there will never be enough – so get what you can get while you can get it. This mindset, coupled with a lack of confidence in the ability to deliver results for someone else, can leave anyone feeling like, “I better get paid while I can”.
Switching this thinking into what-ifs was transformative for me: What if I provide so many mind-blowing results, clients will want to stay with me until I retire? What if they pay me more than I charge because they want to procure even greater results? What if I have the luxury of being selective in my clientele? What if I trust that we will work out the money exchange that produces the results they seek, along with some unexpected windfalls? What if I stood firm on my ability to help transform their careers, lives, and organizations – so much so that they will not only pay me, but they will refer me? One relationship will beget others, and yield bountiful results for so many others.
This adjustment of mindset is how I made over ten-thousand dollars in one week and almost thirty-thousand dollars in one month from my private-client coaching business alone. Through increased client satisfaction, I gained new opportunities to work with non-profit organizations and corporations. My network expanded.
My shift of focus to people and cashflow created a sense of freedom for my business. No longer am I beholden to an abstract dollar sign. Now I get to focus on others, understand money flows, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a solid client base. Now I attract people that value themselves and, thereby, value me and the results we achieve. This has proven true across all aspects of my business, private-client coaching, speaking, and organizational work.
Choosing a type of negative thinking that creates a hidden prison, locks away success. Shifting to a personal-relationship and cashflow model of business will position your business for sustainable success and longevity.
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