I want to write to you today about patience.
I’ve been staying with my mum since Thursday last week. She’s 81, incredibly independent and wants to stay this way for a long while yet. But she’s had another operation on her hip; to correct the one she had in 2019 which left her with one leg an inch shorter than the other, which also led to her having to have a knee replacement last year.
You could say we are getting pro at this after surgery care, but unfortunately she’s now having to deal with the fact that, this time around, she can’t put any weight on her hip for the next six weeks.
Her desire to be independent is being tested. And her need to be patient is forcing her to slow down and ask for help in almost everything, from cooking meals to washing her feet. (And yes, I know she’s providing me a wonderful mirror opportunity for my own life lessons LOL)
On one hand six weeks is a long time for her to be resting. And it’s a long time for my brothers and I to juggle the after care needed. But I also know that six weeks in the grand scheme of things is nothing, if being patient now will mean she will be walking without pain by the summer, and be set to carry on her independent living for many, many more years to come.
All this has got me thinking today about how often do we choose to play the patient game in our businesses, in particular the patience at winning over our ‘pregnancy clients’.
There are two types of clients that I talk to my clients about:
– the ‘bread-and-butter work’ that pays the bills, is easier to turn around and get results quickly, but are often short-term, lower paying clients who can use a lot of your time and energy without the right systems and processes in place.
– and the ‘pregnancy clients’ that – yup, you guessed it – can take up to nine months (or more) to sign the contract or buy your programme, but they are often buying at a higher price point, can be more profitable and potentially have a longer and more meaningful relationship with you, which in turn reduces your need to rely on ‘bread-and-butter work’.
Our 24-7 society, that means we can get groceries and books delivered the same day, expect responses to our emails within hours and answers on chat within minutes, has meant that our expectations have massively increased over the past decade.
And not only do we expect results and success quickly, we, as consumers, demand far more trust and confidence in the brands and businesses that we buy from than ever before; we check out online reviews, speak to friends or family members, scroll through social media feeds to see what they are publicly sharing and may even google the CEO to see what they stand for or what causes they support with the profits of their business.
All of which has had an impact on our own businesses and marketing. These shifts have meant that we all have to work that little bit harder to win more ‘pregnancy clients’ in order to avoid getting exhausted chasing too many bread-and-butter clients.
We have to choose to spend more time on projects such as:
- nurturing relationships
- creating content that builds trust and confidence (rather than trying to beat the algorithms)
- hiring the right team to support you and your business
- having a sales process that gives them what they need to make a decision in their own time (and not because it suits you and your need to make money right now)
Projects that may not give us the immediate results we are programmed to expect. But, with patience, will allow more ‘pregnancy clients’ to come to you; clients that give you more meaningful work, and potentially better profitability.
Wherever you are at in your business journey, there is a time to hustle … but as you become more established and want to grow, there are more times needed for patience.
Not sitting back, twiddling your thumbs and waiting kind of patience.
But the patience needed to doing the work that gives the clients you want to attract, the trust and confidence that you have the skills and expertise to help them give what they want. Just like my mum right now, ensuring that she take her slow recovery seriously for the next six weeks in order to be back walking at a pace by the summer!
Until next time, be more, play bigger.