Victoria was despondent. A talented landscape designer living in a major city, she’s got the portfolio of a superstar. But all of her energy and creativity was drained as she shared her challenge: “All of my projects are taking me a hundred times longer than my projections. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I think Mercury Retrograde has it out for me or something.”
I asked her to tell me more about this.
“Well,” she sighed, “I think I have huge issues with time. I’m procrastinating getting started on this work for clients. I just don’t feel motivated… And I think one of my contractors has lost his mind. He has dropped the ball on me three times this week!”
…and here she inserted a seemingly innocuous statement that was the key to the whole thing.
“I don’t know. I’m probably just resentful as hell of these clients because I’m not charging enough, so I don’t even want to get started doing the work…”
I stopped her right there.
“You don’t have an issue with time.” I said.
“You don’t have an issue with mercury retrograde, or even your contractor.”
“You have a pricing issue. You’re not charging enough and you know it.”
And here, she got it. “You’re right,” she said. “That IS the cause of all of this, isn’t it?”
Best-selling author Debbie Ford coined the concept of “shadow comforts” to describe all of the distractions and addictions we use to try to comfort the broken parts of ourselves or the fact that we aren’t truly following our soul’s calling. So we try to numb ourselves with “shadow comforts,” but they never truly fill us. Nor will they. The only thing that will fill us is when we face the hard truth.
It’s the same principle at work here. Victoria is like so many heart-centered, creative entrepreneurs. She is reaching outside of herself, blaming all the wrong things for her procrastination, rather than facing the hard truth. She needs to raise her prices.
It doesn’t stop there though.
She also needs to:
…VALUE herself enough to charge what she’s worth (which is DOUBLE what she is charging).
…HONOR her business by hiring only the best contractors.
…FOCUS on the basic clarity of her message, ideal client – and clean all of this up so she can thrive in her business — rather than finding new bright shiny stuff to distract her from this kind of daunting work (that can pay a much higher return than a quick fix of a new online business.
None of this is hard work. It’s just deep work. And it requires letting the bargain-hunters go away, and firing the B-players you have bargain-hunted for yourself – and holding to your vision of what you want your business and your work to be.
If you’re procrastinating, it may be that your energy and creativity are getting drained by your own mistreatment of yourself. Maybe it’s not a procrastination problem. Maybe it’s a value problem. Maybe it’s a pricing problem.
So…what steps do you need to take to reignite your motivation, and energy?