I’ve been mulling over the word “professional”. I used to despise it.
I never used it to promote my work. As far as I was concerned, “professional” meant:
“I know what I am doing, I am trained and/or experienced in this “thing” you are paying me to do”.
And in that definition, I felt this was a given. I would not ask for money to do a thing I was clueless about. Nobody with a moral compass would!
But still, professional sat in the corner, glowering at me.
It visited me in my low periods, the words “that’s not professional” spat at me from the mouths of various people in my past.
- The Director of Studies in one of the language schools I worked for, used it as a tool to shut off any new ideas.
- The old school Copywriter who didn’t want to hear about different writing styles.
- The Middle Manager who was getting it in the neck from all sides and needed everyone to STFU for five minutes!
To me, “professional” was a weapon to shut me down, to silence me, to make me conform. 🤐
I’m pleased to report that it didn’t work! 🤭
I swear, I send gifs, I poke fun at tech and I have beeen known to send YouTube comedy clips along with my How To videos.
But lately, I pulled the word professional out again. And looked at the times I’ve benefitted from it. 🧐
- The cheery reply I get to a grumpy email sent to tech support when I was feeling utterly defeated
- The fast turnaround I get from an urgent piece of work I’d handed to an assistant in “last-minute Mary” mode.
In all those times, the other person put their desires aside and focussed on me instead. These are the actions of a professional.
Then I realised I do this too.
- The piece of work I think will take 2 hours but takes 5.I do it because my client has paid me to fight the tech battle.
- When I do a little extra cos I know it’ll make a big difference to my client.
- When I take a client question with me on my evening walk to tease out the best solution for them.
I realised that I have Hell Yeah Tech so organised that I do have extra energy to spare. I’m not exhausted from trying to do All The Things. Yay me.
But what about you?
If you’re finding your business drains all your energy, that’s a huge Red Flag 🚩
If this is happening too often, it’s time to get the business working in a way that supports you.
That might mean dropping some services. Or changing how you deliver so that you feel full of energy.
Spoiler Alert: It rarely involves adding anything. It’s almost always removing or changing.
For example, people often come to me asking me to automate their business. They have multiple offers on their websites and want to find a simple and easy way to deliver them all. Right now.
But that doesn’t help. It’s usually a sign they are frazzled. That they haven’t laid out what they offer and how it’s delivered in a way that is so simple a pre-school child could grasp it.
Once that’s done, they see they don’t have to buy BizProcess-a-Tronic 4000 (available in 9 easy payments of $126.96.36.199 a month). They need to offer less and make client intake super clear.
Many of my clients don’t have 100’s of their own clients. They don’t have complicated funnels in their email system.
- They tend to take on 4 – 10 clients a month, who pay them £250 – £1,500 a month.
- They cultivate good client relationships (and get a lot of referals)
- They have strong boundaries around the services they offer
- They keep the tech and the admin minimal.
Sure, thy’re not in the seven figure club. They’re not jetting off to Bali in a top of the range Bentley, dripping in diamonds. But their lives are pretty easy.
They have more energy.
They feel more motivated.
And they come over to their clients as 100% professional. 😊