In my consulting work with CEOs optimizing their early stage tech ventures, and with expert consultants maximizing their practices, I train my over-committed clients to “work smarter.” Here continues a series of articles sharing some of those tactics.
Getting work while doing work
The first rush of success (or your current rush) is thrilling. Sales are up, new prospects are filling your pipeline, a new and challenging consulting gig is just starting, and you are being invited places and becoming known.
As always, you must be careful what you wish for. Of course we want this success, and this very success will threaten your discipline with the best of excuses.
One of the first disciplines that gets lost during a rush of business is the consistent structure of seeking the next new work while you are busy fulfilling the work you just closed.
I see this phenomenon year after year, especially with new or growing companies and consultancies. The excitement of the new work takes over, and balance is lost. In the focus to do excellent work, the prospecting and marketing that will fill the pipeline is forgotten.
Real paying customers, strategic partners and new clients fill all your waking consciousness. This success implies the next success (except that it doesn’t imply that — it simply offers you a chance to create a satisfied, hopefully testimonial-writing success story and perhaps a referral).
The consequence of losing your balance and forgetting to create new prospects in your pipeline — a serious down-draft of no work, no customers, no sales, no gigs — can easily cost you your profits for the year. In this vacuum, you must scurry to catch-up, to re-build, to start again to build the visibility and momentum that brings the new work.
The discipline to continue to prospect, market, network, speak and publish is critical to working smarter. To keep your balance, you must continuously create visibility for your venture. Prospecting while you are busy working, and creating outreach through networking, speaking and publishing, will make certain your pipeline is filled, and that new opportunities arrive in a steady stream.