Friday, August 19, 2011

Working on the side: Pt.3

Last time I wrote about my side work, I had just bought my 'first pair of professional shoes' and was busily calling all my previous clients to drum up business.

It was at this point I was getting nowhere, fast.

I combed through my phone lists, categorizing people by the last time I had served them, and how much I charged. I attempted to recall if they seemed to like me or not. In my mind, it seemed like everyone liked me, as I was pleasant and helpful, and I gave them a good deal.

Yet, every person turned me down, and shied away from my services, even when I offered them for nearly free.

What was my problem? I couldn't believe that people wouldn't want to have my do work for them for free. I looked good, I brushed my teeth, and even brought magnets for their fridges, so they would always have my name and number.

I talked with my grandpa. He's basically about the nicest guy on the outside, but he dishes out the cold hard truth if you ask.

"You're trying too hard. People don't want you right now, and by pushing, you're pushing them away. Don't bother people when they don't need you. They'll bother you when they need you."

So, I was trying too hard, and pushing too hard. I was coming off like an overbearing salesman, trying to make a quick buck. I worried that I had ruined the few client contacts I'd had, crushing the tenuous lines of communication under my giant boot of irritating salesmanship.

But if I was offering my services for free, then why did they turn me down?

I wasn't going to make any money on the deal. In-fact I was going to lose money in gas and travel to go to these people's houses.

And if I didn't call people, how would they know I existed to request my services?

It was a catch-22.
I couldn't get work if I didn't contact them, and if I did contact them, I wouldn't get work. I was understandably distraught.

But most of all, I felt like a complete failure.

Where could I go from here?
I'll let you know tommorrow :).

Have you ever felt like a failure in your business?
How do you cope with the tough times?
Let me know :).

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