There has been lots of talk about money around here lately. First off, Tara and I recently worked with a business coach who forced us to take a look at our streams of revenues, our expenses, our income and basically crunch the numbers. We’ve also been talking to our own clients and mastermind groups about packaging their creative process in ways that people know how to buy, as well as pricing their products and services appropriately based on how much money they want to make against how many hours they want to be working a week. It’s all simple math, really - so why does a numbers game feel like such an emotional tug-of-war?
Because for us creatives it’s not just about making money. It’s about living the dream, designing portfolio-worthy work, and working with dream customers who really care about what we’re doing for them. And let's face it, money is an easy and standard way to measure success. So if we’re not making very much of it we feel bad. But if we’re making lots of money but are working with mean and disrespectful clients we feel even worse (and a bit like hookers).
So, today I want to give you more details on the single most powerful tool we use to not only track our income but also to attract our dream customer - the chalkboard wall.
When Tara and I first started Braid Creative we worked with our life coach, Jay Pryor, to help us cope with the transition of a stable day job to the uncertainty of self-employment. After three months and zero clients we started feeling a little anxiety around this so-called dream job we had created for ourselves. Jay told us that the universe abhors a vacuum and that we simply needed to create a vacuum. "Now do what?" I asked as I started to visualize deconstructing my Roomba to somehow magically manifest a paycheck. He explained that we needed to create space for our clients - that if we build it, they will come. Jay also instructed us to create a mantra to manifest not just cash, but the kind of dreamy clients that make your job well ... a dream.
So as instructed, I created space for these potential clients by drawing 10 big empty spaces on the chalkboard wall I had painted in my home office. It was nothing less than terrifying. Then Tara drew a magnet with a cupid’s arrow through it to represent our mantra which was: “We are attracting dream customers with cash.” Jay also instructed us to create space for “unexpected extra” - that way we weren’t constrained by our own self-limiting goals.
A week later all 10 spots on our chalkboard were filled. A week after that the “unexpected extra” spaces were filled with fun projects too. Now, it sounds a little Law of Attraction woo-woo. And while I’d like to believe there was some universal magic at play, I think what the chalkboard system really did was guide our conscious minds into action around what was possible. Tracking our progress was also a huge confidence boost. And now, it’s become an almost superstitious act of faith.
To this day we still use our chalkboard every fiscal quarter to not just track our 1:1 dream customer engagements but also to track and manifest personal goals, projects, social media stats, and ECourse enrollments. And every quarter it feels just as scary as the first time to create all those new blank spots - but every time we manage to fill them. Oh, and we still have our good luck magnet and we still create space for those unexpected extras. We also recommend each and every one of our clients use this method for tracking and attracting - like us they're scared and resistant at first, but without fail we always get bewildered and excited emails that it actually works. So go forth, make a chalkboard wall!
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We get more specific about how we currently track what we attract in our Braid ECourse Dream Customer Catching - which will be in-session again in mid-September. But for now, you have through tomorrow, Thursday July 18th, to register for our popular Braid ECourse for creative entrepreneurs Shape Up Your Content: Tame Your Ideas and Tell People How to Buy You. We promise you’ll come away from it with new ideas for working with your ideal client without becoming an order-taking pixel pushing hooker. Register and learn more about that Braid ECourse here. Use the code JULY2013SHAPEUP50 to take this $75 ECourse for $50.
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Need even more help around getting right with money? Check out the new book The Declaration of You by Jessica Swift & Michelle Ward. The Declaration of You, gives readers all the permission they've craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do! This post is part of The Declaration of You's BlogLovin' Tour, which I'm thrilled to participate in alongside over 200 other creative bloggers. Learn more -- and join us! -- by clicking here.
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