Those are the fundamentals of being back in demand which I figured out in the past 34 months.
I am not alone in having been in the dark hole of near-has-been. A client who had been a high-flying journalist and book author also recognized that his "best writing days" might be behind him. Unfortunately, unlike me, he is still chasing the past. No, he's no longer a client since he hasn't been able to afford my services in the past 22 months.
So, how did I parachute back into demand? Here are the sharable lessons. Others are trade sectors.
Third Party Opinion is often necessary. It took the combination of an executive coach and a master psychic to tell me that I was in glut territory. I didn't have a shot at navigating back into marketable territory until I exited journalism and social media. Not only were they way overcrowded. My age was against me in those two niches. I rebuild my brand back in executive communications, that is ghostwriting and speechwriting.
Cut fixed expenses. To make ends meet, I defaulted into selling too intensely. But in order to conduct a more relaxed sales process I had to have fewer ends to meet. Eventually the smart move was to uproot myself from the youth-dominated expensive New York Metro area. Here in the Southwest, where my monthly nut is about half what it had been in New Haven, Connecticut, my executive communications boutique took off. I now turn down more work than I accept. My new game is the art of not selling. Here are the rules of that game.
Flee intrusive people. Busybodies eat away at our sense of self. That's under the guise of concern. Part of my flight pattern away from the force field was dumping collge classmates from Seton Hill, Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Their lives seemed not to be going going so hot, at least not at the time. To distract themselves, they seemed to make me their pet.
Don't underprice but be flexible. We train clients how to treat us. However, the mistake I made in the past was to insist on "what I was worth." Now I allow wiggle room. Once clients recognize that they begin referring their colleagues. This is an especially effective tactic with global clients. Yesterday was not a holiday in Canada. I downsized my own merriment to do two emergency assignments. They paid me immediately the affordable fee I set. No extra charge for working a holiday.
Purge regret. There are no mistakes. I picked up that concept at Tamara Spiritual Center in Tucson, Arizona. There are only learning experiences. So many times I could have beat myself up for this or that. Now I frame the disasters as what was necessary to get me where I am now.
Get up from laptop. Wellness folks tell us that putting in hours at the computer without moving around is killing us. It also is the oxygen which feeds resentments. And those resentments trigger those wrong decisions in operating a business. Every 45 minutes I rise from my very important work (I always had a touch of the grandiose) and move that body.
How is being back in demand? Not euphoric. Most of us have already been through too much turbulence to feel a little too good about anything. The payoff from being back in demand is knowing in our gut that more work is on the way. Over, at least for now, is that catastrophic thinking.