Forget the “musts and should.” How about doing what you want instead? And turning that passion into prospects and profits.
Instead of doing what you hate. Which sucks.
As much as these words do… “Please submit an RFP by 5 pm Friday in order to be eligible for this project.”
Worst words ever. Seriously.
For a long time running my agency, answering Requests for Proposals was how I tried to make our business work. I saw what I thought were successful agencies around me landing huge contracts replying to these complicated Requests for Proposals and thought that was what I was supposed to be doing too.
So when a company was interested in working with us and asked us to submit a proposal via an RFP (and sometimes with a step before that of a Request for Qualifications – also known as applying to see if they like you in the first place, again, paiiiiiiiiiiinful…) I would do it.
So many nights and weekends were wasted doing these long proposals. Occasionally they would result in business. Most of the time they didn’t. All of the time they resulted in sucking the life force out of me.
I found doing them exhausting and I hated every minute of it.
I did them because I thought that was “what I was supposed to do.”
Thankfully, I got over that.
After ten years of answering RFPs, chasing leads, and compromising on price (aka, finally having enough), everything changed. I leaned deep into my unique power to attract my perfect prospects and turn them into profits.
While I HATED RFPs (did I mention how much they totally sucked?), I loved writing and speaking on stage. And some of my best clients had come from an event where I spoke or from a blog post I had written.
Instead of getting better at writing RFPs, I focused on doing more of what I loved. I started blogging weekly and emailing the blog to my list. I sought guest columns in others’ newsletters and blogs and got a spot in over a dozen of them.
I eventually landed my first book deal with Entrepreneur Press, co-authoring “No B.S. Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing,” and other books would follow.
I sought speaking opportunities that would allow me to reach my target market, eventually discovering how to get paid more than just a speaking fee (more on that next week). My speaking engagements grew in size and profits, and gave me some incredible opportunities, like going across the globe to Dubai via Business Class to speak to the #1 Communications Company in the world, Etisalat.
None of this would have happened if I had stuck to answering RFPs.
How about you?
Are you focusing your time and energy on what you are best at and love doing? Or are you making yourself do what you are supposed to do?
Maybe you love to network, but you hate having to write blogs. Or maybe you hate going to networking events, but you love doing Facebook lives.
There is no one model that you “have to follow.” Your success can be based on your unique gifts alone. There is no supposed to for you.
Start by making a list of all the things you enjoy doing in your day and then make a list of the things that if you never ever ever had to do again, that would be the greatest gift on earth to you.
As you plan for 2018, make this list your priority. Plan to spend your time doing what you love, and outsource or eliminate what you hate. When you lean into doing what you love, your ROI multiplies. You attract your perfect prospects who want to work with you because it is uniquely you, and those prospects turn into profits.
Forget what you are supposed to do and instead, focus on your super power to rule in 2018. The exciting thing is, you get to decide what happens next.
I’m curious… what do you love to do? Let me know in the comments section.