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How to Successfully Juggle Clients and Business Development
Posted: 2/1/2011 | Guest Bloggers Comments
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Tomorrow, I have the pleasure of interviewing Peggy McColl on my radio show "A Concious Life" on the topic "Write Your Book in Record Time." Make sure to tune in - click here.

How to Successfully Juggle Clients and Business Development
By Peggy McColl

As an entrepreneur you may find yourself in a situation common to many business owners. How do I continue to serve my clients well while also making my own business development a priority? Because I have been a solo-preneur for many years I have established a routine for myself that has become a habit.
I recommend that you think of serving your clients and building your business as one in the same. The more products and services you develop the better you can serve the growing (and changing) needs of your clients. Schedule product development and learning time into your calendar just as you would a client coaching session.

For me, if there is a period of time when I am in a creation or product development mode, I don’t take on any new clients. I will also put a notice on my website that I will not be available for a period of time. Sometimes I even remove the one-on-one coaching services as an offering on my site when I get to a point where I know what is ahead as far as product launches and events. This may not work for everyone, but what you could find is that when you announce that you are back to taking on new clients, they will seek you out. It happens with me and some of my colleagues.
In the meantime, start to block off hours for yourself as if you were a client. Turn off your email notification pop up that appears on your screen and plug in a set of ear buds or headphones into your computer (and don’t wear them) so that you don’t hear the audio cue each time you get a new email. The less distractions pulling you away from the task at hand, the better.
If you don’t think you can insert “your” time into your work schedule, commit to waking up or staying later by one or two hours a few days as a week or every day until you get a majority of your product development work finished. It is important that you don’t see this time as punishment because of less sleep or ‘down time’, look at it as special time you are giving yourself.

Experiment with different times of the day that work for you. Mornings may be your best creative time to work on client projects which means you may find that right after lunch or dinner can be your time. Whichever works for you, the more consistent you are the easier it is to make a habit and the harder it is to break.
Special Note: I was doing some research about this topic online when I found a software program that acts as your own parental control, if you will. If you find that you have a hard time staying focused and on task during business development hours you can install a Firefox add-on called LeechBlock. It allows you to blog individual websites for certain times of the day and it also keeps track of the amount of time you spend on those sites. So if you think you simply take a quick look on social networking, shopping or forum sites, this will be a real eye opener. There is no denying how much time you spend (or waste) when you have real data being calculated for you.   I have not tried it out myself but if you have, I would love to hear how you like it and if it works for you.

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