Do people ask you to do things in your business that you don’t like doing? If you provide services, are some of your services things you’d prefer not to do? Some business coaches might tell you to stop doing them, but until you’ve got a full roster of things you’d rather be doing it might be worth taking on work you don’t love as long as you can provide excellent work that keeps customers happy. Keep in mind that I’m only suggesting this as a short-term measure while you fill your business with work and clients you love.
I often see service providers in this situation – there is a service they don’t like providing or have no passion for, but people keep requesting and are willing to pay for it. It can be hard to find a way to start saying “no” when you’ve said yes to providing the service for a long time and people expect it.
I was working with someone who is a coach herself, and we were tackling this very issue. We were revising her menu of available services, and there was just one thing she absolutely hated doing but got asked to do all the time. In her case, this was not her main work but an add-on service that she neither advertised nor announced. It was just something people asked for so she started doing it even though it drained her.
This coach had hustled hard during her first few years in business, and as a result was at the next level in her business. She had several key referral partners and kept her practice as full as she wanted it. This dilemma was a symptom of a larger adjustment that needed to be made: it was time to get out of start-up hustle mode and into the business she dreamed of.
As we talked further, what came out is that while she disliked giving this particular kind of service, her clients loved it. What I suggested was this:
Don’t say “no,” say how much.
I other words, don’t deny people that want a premium service the chance to get it, just price it in a way that honors what a stretch it is for you to provide it. Putting a premium price on a product or service you don’t like providing accomplishes two things: it decreases the number of requests for this service and it compensates you for taking on something you find difficult to deliver. My client felt strange about this shift at first, and thought nobody would pay a price that she felt good about for this service. In the end though, she decided that it was okay if just a few people or even nobody purchased at the new price.
If you have an additional service that people love but that you don’t like providing, consider offering your customers a chance to buy that special service at a premium price rather than assuming that nobody would want it at that price. The results may surprise you.
How have you handled requests for services you don’t like offering? Tell me about it in the comments.