My First $20k MonthApr 28, 2022
After working for months on my business, I finally hit a massive milestone: I made $20k from my business for the first time ever. After I closed that last sale, I went straight to my bedroom and slept for 12 hours. And when I woke up, I had a frightening realization:
If I served my new clients to the best of my ability, there was no way I'd be able to keep up the hustle that enabled me to bring in $20k in one month.
And if I kept up the hustle in the same way I had been, there was no way I'd be able to serve my new clients to the best of my ability.
In this episode, I talk about how I managed to keep hitting my revenue goals while also giving my clients the high level of attention they deserved.
In today's episode, I want to talk about how I achieved my first $20,000 month in my business, and more importantly, what came after that. We always, or at least often talk as entrepreneurs about really hustling to hit our goals. And to hit that big milestone of a $20,000 month, I had to hustle; I had to work really, really hard. Every day, I was putting out content, I was talking with new prospects, I was getting on these strategy calls or discovery calls, and I was having conversations about my offer.
I was selling, and I was working really hard. I was probably working 10 to 12 hours a day, which for me, is a lot because I tend to tap out at about the eight-hour mark. There are a lot of people who will say they work 12-, 16-, 18-hour days, and that was never me, but in order to get that $20,000-a-month milestone, I was working about 10 or 12 hours a day, which was really stressful for me, and was really draining me. Hitting 20k in sales in a single month looks like, for me, making for sales at $5,000 each, which is no small change, especially for a solopreneur coach. That's a big achievement to get four new clients in one month at $5,000 each.
The reality is that with those four new clients, I had actually probably spent the prior month warming them up and building that relationship with them. It wasn't such that, “Okay, it's, say March 1, and I'm going to go get these four clients here. Here are four strangers. Let me go and start talking to them.” No, it took a little bit to really build that relationship to where I was sure I could help them, and they trusted me enough to help them. It was not this one-month-long process of hitting those results. In fact, it really took probably two or three months to get to that point with those people.
It was a very long sales lifecycle, and probably longer than is ideal. In fact, I know it's longer than ideal. But when I achieved that goal, when I made that fourth sale, it was towards the end of the month, and I thought I was going to be hitting $15,000 a month, and I would have been very happy about that. So, hitting that fourth one, hitting that $20,000 a month was even more exciting, in all honesty, because it was, in a lot of ways, totally unexpected. I did not think I would be making that extra fourth sale that month.
I remember very clearly, as soon as I closed that fourth sale, as soon as I hit that big, huge milestone, I went and I slept for 12 hours. I climbed into bed, and I slept for 12 solid hours, which is a really long time for me because I'm usually the type of person that, eight or nine hours, I'm more than good, but I was so so exhausted. The next morning, I woke up and it hit me. I had this realization that was Oh, I have these four new clients. Now I have to serve them over the next three months, which was fine. I was excited about that.
And I knew I could do it. That wasn't the problem. The problem was that I realized, Oh, I also have to keep working on my business. If I want to replicate that, if I want to hit $20,000 next month, if I want to even hit $10,000 or $15,000 next month, I can't slow down the hustle that I had been working so hard on with the marketing and sales aspect of my business. It was this really huge aha moment or, honestly, rude awakening because I realized that I could do one of two things: I could either keep going with the hustle and not serve my clients effectively, or I could serve my clients effectively and not keep up the level of productivity and hustle in terms of my business growth. I had to choose.
And that was a nonstarter for me. I knew I could not choose between those two things because both are equally important to running and growing a successful business. I started to realize that okay, yes, there is indeed a third option here. I don't have to pick between the two. I know that I do have to show up and serve my clients effectively; that's a non negotiable. But with the client attraction side of things, I have a little bit more leeway there. I know that I can't continue going as I was because that would lead me to burnout, and I was, honestly, at that point, experiencing a little bit of burnout because I was so exhausted from working so hard to get these four clients in a month.
That was when I started to put together that the answer is to take a long, hard look at this client attraction process that I've been depending on, or that is getting me these results, and I need to make some adjustment because there was no way that I could continue down the path that I was going on. At that time in my business, it looked like doing a whole lot of streamlining and leveraging what I was best at, and outsourcing things that I didn't want to spend my time on as much.
That was the point that I, for example, hired a virtual assistant, primarily first to build out some systems with me in terms of CRM and managing everything, but also to start to take over some of my social media content, wherein I could write the content, and she could go and post it. That was a huge step because that got me back at least 30 minutes of my day.
That was the point at which, in my business, I started taking a long, hard look at all the things that were on my plate, and had to decide what was going to give my personal attention to. For example, this was around the time that I started leveraging LinkedIn more seriously because I could take advantage of some automation features there. This was the point at which I hired someone to start conversations with other people, so that I could then kind of pick them up once it was clear whether or not they were, in fact, someone that I could help. This is where I had my assistant start pitching me to be interviewed on other podcasts, so that I could get some visibility there. Prior to that, I was the one doing that pitching.
Zooming out a little bit, I want to highlight one of the huge concepts here, which is that every time you solve a problem, a new problem presents itself. In this case, I had solved the problem of not getting enough clients or not bringing enough revenue into the business, but the new problem that presented itself was that I started to struggle with my capacity or ability to keep everything rolling as it needed to be. This is really important because this happens in every aspect of your business; as soon as you solve one problem, another problem shows up. That's called a dilemma. That's exactly what a dilemma is.
Another example, perhaps looking a little bit earlier in the client attraction process, is that you're, say, posting on social media, really trying to get some engagement going, get some conversations started, and for a long time, you're hustling and working, trying to get that going. But then as soon as that gets moving, as soon as you're getting engagement, as soon as you're getting conversations going, the new problem that arises is, oh my goodness, you have to actually respond to this engagement; you actually have to keep these conversations rolling. That's the new problem that presents itself.
So, whatever you're doing in your business, whether or not it has to do with client attraction, lead generation, marketing, or sales, you always want to be aware of two things. The first is what's the problem you're trying to solve? Then, the second thing is that, okay, once you solve that problem, what's the new problem that is going to appear? You can predict what this is going to be, knowing that you might not always be entirely correct about what that second problem is. But this is what really sets skilled and successful entrepreneurs apart—the ability to anticipate what's going to happen or what the new issues are going to be once you have solved the immediate issue at hand.