Lesson #7 – An Empty Checkbook…

… is a great motivator.

Do you receive a paycheck each week? I don’t – I receive a deposit at the beginning of a job, and then the balance when the job is finished. That sounds easy doesn’t it? HA! The hardest part is before the job starts, finding the client! Sometimes it takes a dwindling checking account to remind me I have to continue to be the sales force for my business.

When I first started my business, finding clients was a new experience in nerves every day! I’m basically a shy, quiet girl – well I was twenty years ago. My first attempts at finding new clients was to cold call on the small businesses in the area and leave my brochure and business card. I remember driving up to a store front with HUGE glass windows about two feet from my parking space. All I could think was “On no they can see me”, not remembering every customer parks there every day and I didn’t have a sign on my car that said “LOOKING FOR BUSINESS!”. I was in panic mode! Many days my dear husband would have to gently prod me to go out and seek new business, he was sympathetic, as he had been in sales once too. I really appreciate his positive support and continued encouragement over the years, I couldn’t have done it without him!

I’ve had to reexamine my nerves when we moved to Nashville and the economy dipped. I had to once again go out and network in brand new groups of people and sell my abilities. I try to make the most out of every network opportunity, because the time I spend outside the office means I’m not getting projects done in the office – which is how I make money! What I’ve realized over the years is that building a business is about building relationships – people want to know you first before they’re willing to give you their business. It’s about establishing trust and that takes time.

So when my checkbook is dwindling I review my activities – and I usually realize I’ve been spending too much time in the office! It’s time to get out and start building trust!

About Becky Bayne

Becky is an independent graphic designer with over 20 years of experience. She and her husband live outside of Nashville, TN where she enjoys creative photography, gardening, and baking for her family.

2 Comments

  • Amber Clark says:

    Your story is really interesting, because I find that overcoming fear about selling one’s services is such a big problem for solopreneurs who are just starting out, particularly women. What would you say is the best way to develop those business relationships and trust for an introvert? Can you do it through your website/blog, or do you really need to get out and network in the community?

    Thanks for the link back to Entrepreneurial America, by the way. We’d love to have you do a guest post sometime!

    • Becky says:

      Thank you Amber! I would recommend anyone wishing to succeed needs to network on a regular basis. I’ll be discussing this more in my next post.