The reading level for this article is All Levels

If you’ve been on an airplane, you’ve probably heard the airline stewardess give you the little safety spiel. How you buckle your seatbelt. What to do in case of a water landing. And what happens if those little oxygen masks drop down.


What you’re supposed to do is put your mask on first then put the masks on your children. That order. You, then your kids.


Why? Because if you pass out while trying to help your kids, you’ll help no one, least of all yourself and your kids.


Which is the point of my article today. Are you putting your clients’ needs above your own?


Now good customer care does require us to go above and beyond the call of duty. And sometimes we do have to work late or on weekends to help a good client out. That’s not what this is about. What this is about is if you’re consistently doing everything for your clients and nothing for yourself.


Let me give you some examples —


1. You’re never not available. Clients or prospects can call you anytime of the day or night and you’ll answer.


2. You don’t take a vacation (a real vacation) again because you want your clients to be able to get in touch with whenever they want.


3. You don’t spend anytime growing your business — the only time you do any sort of marketing is when your business is down. Otherwise you put your client work first. (Note — this can extend to other business tasks as well, such as getting your invoices out or doing your filing.)


This last one probably doesn’t seem so bad. “But I’m working on my clients’ projects, I can’t possibly spend time on my business when they’re paying me to work on stuff for them.” While on one hand that sounds good, it really isn’t.


Think about it. If your business is a mess because you never spend anytime on it — you’re late collecting on your invoices because you don’t send out billing, you’re stressed about cash flow and where your next client is coming from, etc. how can you possibly be taking care of your clients at the highest level possible? Only when you have your own house in order can you fully take care of your clients’ needs. (In other words, you have your oxygen mask on instead of being on the brink of passing out.)


And it’s the same with the first two as well. You need to take care of yourself first, and the only way to take care of yourself it to give yourself a breather every now and then. You need some time off to take care of you — else what good will you be? Do you think your clients really want to be working with an exhausted, stressed out version of yourself or do they want to work with someone who is excited and passionate about what they’re doing, even if it means they can’t reach them 24/7 and have to give them some unplugged time every now and again?


Look if this is you, don’t feel bad. I made all these mistakes myself when I was first starting out as a freelance copywriter. But over the years I realized the better I took care of myself and my business, the better I took care of my clients. That sounds counterintuitive but it’s true. Because I take time off, I’m healthier and have more energy. Because I treat my business like I would my one of my clients, I feel like I’m in integrity with the marketing principles I teach, plus I can share with my students and my clients what is working RIGHT NOW. I teach real-world tactics because I’m right there in the trenches with them.


I invite all of you to take a look at your relationship with your clients. Is there something you’re doing for them you’re not doing for yourself? Do you think it may be time to change that?



This Business article was written by Michele Pariza wacek on 8/13/2010

Michele PW (Michele Pariza Wacek) is your Ka-Ching! Marketing strategist and owns Creative Concepts and Copywriting LLC, a copywriting and marketing agency. She helps entrepreneurs become more successful at attracting more clients, selling more products and services and boosting their business. To find out how she can help you take your business to the next level, visit her site at Copyright 2009 Michele Pariza Wacek.