Two money posts in a row, I know. Kathleen here and I’m positive the majority of you creatives and aspiring entrepreneurs and freelancers are craving a conversation about cold hard cash. I know this because every time I get some face time with you all we end up talking about money. How to find it, make it, sustain it, and grow it. Last week I shared four bits of money advice on the blog and this week I have one more important tidbit to share with you and it is this:
Be a farmer. (Not a hunter.)
Yup, you heard me: be a farmer. This is actually a money mantra Tara and I used a lot when we first started Braid Creative together. We adopted it from Blair Enns, a new-business coach whose specialty is helping creative agencies sell themselves. Meanwhile, we were leaving the agency world and starting over on our own. We were three months in, and had been tirelessly building our business from scratch – from the branding, to the website, to the endless administrative stuff like setting up our LLC and accounting systems. Once the flurry of setting up shop settled we were discouraged to hear crickets chirping as we waited for clients. Even though the silence was discouraging, an even more demoralizing prospect was going out and selling ourselves “cold” (i.e. knocking on doors, making calls, or sending unsolicited emails). So we started farming.
BE A FARMER
Farmers wake up early and do the work. They get their hands dirty and plant seeds. They protect and nurture their land for months until they’re able to harvest their crops. They look at the big picture and they cultivate patience. Obviously, I’m not telling you to literally go out and become a farmer (that’s another fantasy for another day), but do start treating your business like a farm. Wake up early, do the work, build your brand, read blogs and books, write a post, hit publish, launch, build relationships, build your list, have conversations, and share your gifts of knowledge… that’s farming. In other words, if you want to grow your business, your brand, and your bottom line, first you have to plant it.
DON’T BE A HUNTER
Hunting for the quick kill sounds appealing until you come home empty-handed, hungry, and desperate. Hunting in business is what will make you feel like a used car salesman rather than the creative expert you are. Hunting is exhausting.
HOW THE MANTRA WORKS
The mantra “be a farmer, not a hunter” works by getting you in the headspace to plant seeds that may not produce fruit (that would be cash money) for months… years even. Our commitment to being “farmers” kept us productive even when we didn’t have clients. So if you’re feeling discouraged start farming.