“Last week, I was working on a quote for a new client. It was a fairly complex project, potentially spanning six months or more, with some large figures involved. I was getting nervous. It’s a lot of money! What if he says no? Should I drop my price? I know, I’ll back it up with lots of really detailed information to justify the investment!
Agh! What should I do? I’ll ask Judith!
I emailed Judith my quote and called into one of the SBBM group calls. She carefully went through the figures, verified that I was on the right track, asked questions, suggested a couple of changes (removing services which could be optional extras). She encouraged me to think about the client, think about how he would want to receive the information (she’s right, he wouldn’t want all that extra detail). She gave me some very practical advice on how to respond without devaluing my service if he did query the price.
She also pointed out that this was a good move in the right direction for me, to take on a larger, more challenging contract and that she had no doubt that I’d do it and do it well because I’m professional and extremely good at this kind of thing!
Then she told me a story about a poor little old lady who turned out not to be so poor, we had a chat about the supermoon and laughed about something or other, I forget what, and I got on with my day.
Three things come out of this story that illustrate perfectly what I get from working with Judith in the SBBM group:
- Sanity – I’m a freelancer, working from home. I have no boss, no authority figure to hold me accountable or oversee my work. Of course, that’s one of the good things about being self-employed, but it can be lonely without someone to bounce ideas off, someone experienced with an external perspective or just someone to have a chat with. Often a chat about nothing can turn into something without realising.
- Confidence – Judith believes in me! Not in a kind of bland ‘yay, you go girl!’ kind of way. But an authentic, considered evaluation of my skills and potential. She’s taken the time to get to know me, what I like, what I’m good at, what I need to work on, and when I’m dithering she tells me exactly what I need to hear to encourage me to be the best I can.
- Value – When I started, I was charging people the absolute minimum price. Taking on a coach seemed like a lot of money. I’ve made that investment back many times over as Judith encourages me to value myself and my services, to attract the right clients, and supports me with techniques to get the right price to be able to do a good job.
I’m only in my second year of running my business and I still have much to learn, but I’m OK with that. I’ve watched others in the SBBM group grow and move on over time, and I can see it’s not an overnight thing. I’ve made good friends and business contacts in the SBBM group, they’re a lovely bunch, everyone is very supportive, it’s a safe space. I like where I am now, I’m enjoying the journey and I’m looking forward to great things!”
Alison Read, AlisonRead.co.uk