It’s easy to give away time in your business, especially if you are a people-pleaser or someone who is kind-hearted and loves to help. It’s easy to think it’s just a few minutes, it doesn’t matter, and to jump on a call with anyone who shows interest in your business to let people ‘pick your brains’ free of charge.
And sometimes, people don’t want to do it but continue to because they are worried about judgement if they say no or decide to start implementing boundaries into their business.
But the truth is, if you want to earn more in your business and work fewer hours to do it, there is ONE thing at the heart of it all – protecting your time. That means:
Because it really does start with you.
If you don’t value your time, NO-ONE else will either.
Here are three simple ways you can start:
How often have you gotten on a call with someone and spent far longer than you wanted to talk to them? Chatting about how you can help them, giving them ideas, being helpful, over-giving because you want to impress them only to find out that they aren’t serious about investing in your services or that they don’t have the budget?
This isn’t a good use of your time. Imagine if you spent 2 hours a week doing this. Over a year, that’s 104 hours of your time; say you charge £30 an hour, equivalent to £3210 lost income. Granted, some of those calls might convert, but what if you could ensure that a much higher percentage of your calls converted into paying clients?
A great way to do this is to introduce a pre-qualifying form you can ask people to fill in when they enquire about your services or working together. On it, you can gather some information about their business and the type and level of support they are looking for. You can also provide some guidance on your pricing and ask them to confirm they are ready to invest at this level so you know this BEFORE you get on a call with them.
This information is vital because it will help you decide whether they are someone:
👉 You can help, and the support they are looking for is the type of support you offer.
👉 They have the budget and are committed to finding the proper support.
This is a simple step to add to your enquiry/onboarding process, but it can save you so much wasted time over the months.
I am all for providing lots of free and valuable content to your audience to build trust in your expertise. However, when you a) love what you do and b) love to help people, it’s very easy to give too much away for free unless you are careful.
An easy way to combat this is to have a paid power hour/pick your brains type call. Then, when you feel people are crossing a boundary and asking for too much of your time for free, you can direct them to book a call with you where they can pay for the advice and guidance you will happily provide. This helps you honour your time and leads by example! You are also honouring your paying clients who already pay for your support.
Unfortunately, some people will continue to take if you continue to give; at some point, you have to decide where to draw the line.
👉 Do you find yourself answering the same questions repeatedly with clients?
👉 Is there something that people always want to ‘pick your brains’ about?
👉 Is there something all of your clients need support with?
👉 Do you often have conversations with people who need support but aren’t ready to invest or have the budget to access your done-for-you services?
Creating a lead magnet or low paid resource to support your audience with this is an excellent (and strategic) step with lots of benefits:
Similar to the above, this stops you from repeatedly repeating yourself, sharing the same information with people – you can just direct them to your resource! This allows you to help people that reach out but provide information and guidance in a way that benefits and supports your business (and protects your time!
These are three easy ways to help you start protecting your time and establishing boundaries in your business. Remember, just because something feels easy to you, don’t assume that doesn’t make it valuable. Often because something feels easy and natural to you, it can feel uncomfortable charging people for that. If you feel that is happening, take a moment to think about the time, energy and effort that went into you gaining that knowledge, gaining the experience for it to ‘feel easy’. Don’t devalue your knowledge; remember, it starts with you!
If you are an ambitious female entrepreneur and would LOVE to learn more about creating better content, attracting more of your ideal clients, pricing and packaging your services and growing a happy and profitable business, I would love to invite you to join me over in my free Facebook Group The Happy Business Hub.
Here you will find a like-minded community of female business owners with monthly free training and co-working sessions to support you in growing your business.