At the beginning of March, things weren’t going as planned.
3 projects we’d agreed to take on got put on hold all at once (this had never happened before).
Our projected schedule was now way out of whack. As current projects wrapped, there was a gap in incoming work…and we’ve never had a ‘slow’ period in 8 years of business.
WHAT WAS HAPPENING?!
During those first few days of the month, I had no idea what was in store. As I now look back exactly one month later, we’ve had our best month of all time with TRIPLE our usual numbers and are booked solid through the Summer. I couldn’t see it at the time…but those closed doors were the universe’s way of making space for what was next.
Now that I’m through the whirlwind of last month, I want to share what worked to cause the shift. Some were quick, easy and free while others were a longer-term investment but my hope is that some of these insights can help you, too (and I’ll talk about some of these things in much more depth during Branching Out, my course for designers launching later this year).
My ‘What Worked’ List
1. I STARTED BELIEVING MORE WAS POSSIBLE.
‘More’ means something slightly different to everyone but to me, more = more ideal clients, more income and more ease. What I now know is that limiting beliefs will keep you in a perpetual spot of achieving less than you’re capable of, plain and simple. I had to decide I wanted to achieve more (and fully believe it) before I actually could. Once I stepped into the right mindset, achieving more began to feel easier and like it wasn’t a big, monumental deal — things would just naturally flow. And then…they did. There was an ease I hadn’t previously felt.
2. I SHOWED UP MORE CONSISTENTLY AND INTENTIONALLY.
At the beginning of 2021, I set an intention of posting more regularly on Instagram since that’s our second biggest client driver behind word of mouth. I didn’t beat myself up if I had a day (or more) off but instead focused on always getting back into the swing of things after a break and not losing momentum. After posting regularly during January, our audience growth increased by more than 500% over the previous month (that’s not a typo!) and has steadily grown since. I do believe in posting intentionally and there are days where I just don’t feel it. If you need a day off, take it! That is ALWAYS better than just phoning it in. When you come back, you’ll feel inspired, refreshed and ready to go and that is the BEST feeling.
3. I VISUALIZED MY IDEAL FUTURE.
This is a bit abstract but knowing who I wanted to be going forward and what ‘she’ was like helped me achieve my goals MUCH faster. I did the visualization of my ideal future self as part of The Future Perfect and the weird thing was, I didn’t look, sound or act that different. I was even wearing a dress I already owned! In an unexpected way, this was the wake-up call I really needed — I realized that I had been building things up in my mind (it’s so funny how our thoughts can take on a life of their own) and that I wasn’t actually that far off from who I wanted to be…and I needed to start showing up as her fully NOW. No more excuses.
4. I HIRED A COACH.
In a day and age where it seems like EVERYONE has a coach, this felt like the most radical step of all to me. I’ve always been a self-starter and highly motivated…but I still felt some limiting beliefs that I hadn’t been able to fully overcome. I knew they would keep holding me back if I didn’t make some changes ASAP.
In January, I took the leap and booked in a 3 month package with Sarah. I felt like 3 months wasn’t a massive risk and I also wanted to move quickly so I had the rest of the year to implement what I’d learned. Now, I get it. Coaching helped me work through my mental blocks quickly and make immense progress in a really short period of time. This is the piece I wish I’d had the confidence to invest in much sooner.
Coaching can be an interesting process to dive into. There wasn’t much of an external shift at first because all the changes were happening on the inside. The internal work happening beneath the surface wasn’t easy — as I was working though deeply held limiting beliefs with Sarah, it felt like I was climbing up a really steep hill. I’d get off our Zoom calls at night and crawl straight into bed, completely exhausted. It wasn’t until my second-to-last session that I finally felt a sense of ease taking over because I could see the path forward more clearly (and actually believe it was possible) with the mental blocks gone. This is where everything really clicked and I built the most momentum which led to direct implementation (see below).
5. I REVAMPED OUR SERVICES.
This is where all the work above translated into clear action. There were blind spots in the packages we’d been offering and it was because I’d absorbed the past advice that services needed to be as few and as simple as possible to avoid any client confusion. Because of this, everything was off. I wasn’t breaking out and packaging the things we should have been charging for all along while also making a more affordable entry-point for our newer clients. Sarah and I worked through this and having another person’s eyes on the structure, helping me rework the pricing and packages in real time was super valuable since this is another area I’d been feeling stuck on for quite some time.
I literally put the advice into action the next day (when you are investing in coaching, it’s important to actually use the advice!) and this was HUGE. As soon as I implemented the new structure and price-points into our services guide during that fateful first week of March, I felt better about our offerings, they were easier to show in a simple chart and finally, MUCH easier to explain on potential client calls. After that, nearly every single call resulted in a proposal request followed by a booking and we went from being nearly caught up to the most booked out we’ve ever been.
I want to remind you that if you are in the midst of a tough patch, if things feel hard, if you feel like you’re working all the time and the results aren’t reflecting your effort quite yet, give it time.
What’s meant to happen will happen. I felt like I was climbing up a steep hill for a long time and didn’t understand why the shift wasn’t happening sooner. It was incredibly frustrating at times. What I now realize is that I needed to have processes and experience in place…but most importantly, to feel internally ready. Each of our creative journeys is different and it’s a waste of time comparing yours to someone else’s — but I hope that by sharing more openly with you, it can reinforce that what you want IS possible.