There is a reason you aren’t buried with work that others are. The first rule to getting out of a hole is to stop digging. Some people I know have more work than they can handle. They really want to stop digging, but they can’t. They say “yes” to everything, and they are buried.
But more people have too little work, and they are struggling. The first rule for getting into the hole to begin with is to start digging. You have the shovel. You have the time. But the work doesn’t take care of itself.
First Things First
Famed management guru, Peter Drucker, once said: “A business exists to create a customer.” I can’t find any evidence that he ever said, “The reason a business exists is to wait around for people who don’t know you or what you to do to beat a path to your door.”
How do you create customers (or clients)? It starts with marketing. If you aren’t marketing, then how will anyone know who you are, why you exist, or how you create value? How will they know that they have the exact challenges for which you can provide the solution?
Once you have awareness, you have to spend your time selling to your prospective clients, or what I call “dream clients.” You have to actively engage with them and gain commitments that create opportunities.
But too many sales organizations, entrepreneurs, and business people believe that their job is only to offer whatever it is that they sell. So what should be their “first thing” is often their “last thing.” In some cases, sales and marketing is “no thing.”
Take Care of the Funnel and the Funnel Takes Care of You
Look, if you take care of the funnel, the funnel will take care of you. If you invest your time and energy in sales and marketing first, and by that I mean make it your priority, you will have enough opportunities to build and grow a business.
If you neglect the funnel, then the funnel has no way of taking care of you. You are always going to be desperate for business, and you are always going to struggle to get to the point that your business can sustain itself or grow (this is why I am, and always have been, a top of the funnel guy).