Why I Stopped Chasing Clients
As soon as you stop wanting something,
you get it.
Invariably, you’ve likely pursued many things in your life. You’ve dreamed up, planned, mood-boarded, reverse engineered, obsessed, + worked your soul to the bone to achieve that which you’ve set out to achieve. While this is admirable, this juggernautal approach to a voracious life, there is likely one thing that has derailed or distracted you at some point or another:
It’s that feeling that creeps in when roadblocks appear. It’s the door-crack for doubt to creep in + mess about your mind palace into disarray.
It’s the wanting. The feeling that where you are, wherever you are, for whatever reason, isn’t good enough.
It is likely prompted by that social media post you just read.
Its when inaction sets in, beset by overthinking. Staring blankly into space, amidst all your creative talents, a wanting for more money, more projects, more clients, starts as a heavy mental rain until it consumes you as a tidal monsoon.
Let me tell you why I stopped chasing clients.
I’ve reinvented my firm at least four times. It all started with a name, an idea, + a need to escape my previous ‘employer’ (the reason for ‘employer’ being in quotes is subject for another post). As time went along, I would constantly review, take stock, assess, refine, then reimagine the business into a sleeker version of itself, iteration after iteration.
While, in theory, this is what any entrepreneur should ideally be doing, streamlining down to the most core of guiding principles + practice, my practice was bordering OCD. I was constantly learning new things about myself, about which industry I fell into, how to be more proficient, all the great things.
Yet I was always. chasing. clients.
A very promising initial consult or a productive intake meeting would end up becoming weeks of phone tag, missed messages, + ultimately, a vanishing client.
It’s enough to knock the wind out of your sails.
Yet I persevered. Kept refining. ‘Ok, that didn’t work, let’s do this thing’. Kept at it. Kept pursuing new clients. Until, one day,
I had a client that meant the world to me. I loaded all my chips, my talent, my resources into this client’s project (this was a very high-visibility client), had strategize show to leverage this project into so many others, future success, a new building…
Listen. I had the next ten years on paper.
I lost them.
They stopped answering calls. The meetings all ceased. The teams I had set in place dispersed. The holds on venues + technicians withered. My rapport + reputation with my contacts strained to the edge of credulity.
I had put everything into this client. I wanted it so. bad. I wanted to create the world for them.
But they were not as ready as they made it seem they were.
My spirit in pieces, I took almost an entire year off from my firm. Just, left it. Left it dormant. Let it flounder. Questioned myself. Questioned my abilities, my talents, my skill set, my very value in being.
Upon this period of soul searching, two realizations became clear:
One: I had been a freelance serial monogamist. I would only take on one client at a time, meaning that I was at a frantic pace to chase down a new client at the close of each one, as opposed to having multiple projects on at once (which, also required a more simplified, consistent practice of internal protocol, which I learned to develop.)
Two: I was prostituting my talent. Instead of letting my talent flourish, + aligning the proper clients accordingly, in relation to my talent level, I was actively just trying to cram my talent into small minded client visions, for the sake of a check.
I realized I was letting my short term shortcomings of finance cripple my long term visions for future endeavors, all of which was clouding my judgement, my sense of worth, + accepting the wrong type of clients for the legacy I hoped to leave.
It was that day I made the decision to stop chasing clients.
I stopped the ‘wanting’. I had conversations with friends + close colleagues to check myself. I shared stories, asked questions about myself from the outside. I did a review of the works I had done. I listened. Then, I began the slow process of listing out on paper, into a PDF, of what projects I did that came naturally to me, using this as the litmus to detect my talent. From there, I realized where I had been misstepping:
I had been building a business on how I thought (read: hoped) clients saw me, instead of being in the business of professionally being myself, with intention, + letting them get their business in line to do business with me.
I was chasing clients for monetary creditation + external validation.
I started focusing on myself. I focused on what I do well. I structured the protocol clearly. I shared the information with those that I felt would benefit from my talents.
I left my contact info, + kept. it. pushing.
I went from chasing one client at a time, to screening an influx of multiple clients + vetting which ones get to work with me.
It. Has. Been. Glorious.
All this because I stopped wanting something, outside of myself. For I’ve learned that when you chase something, you have switched your polarity, like a magnet. You are pushing your energy outward, which makes the ‘want’, or the ‘chase’, because you are blowing energy outwards.
Reverse that polarity. Look inward. Suddenly, everything is coming your way. Clients wonder why you’ve not been beating down their doors. Projects appear in your queue because you’ve set standards. The world now wants to get behind your velvet rope, into your factory, inside your inner circle.
Worth a thought.
Besides. We’ve already seen what happens the other way.
Flip the switch.
Stop the hunt.
You might really, really like what happens next.