If my schedule had looked like this 20 years ago, I would have considered myself quite accomplished and probably gone out and bought myself a fancy car.
But this week I find myself banging my head against the keyboard as I attempt — in pure futility — to find places to book regular-but-not-standing clients.
I click through the weeks and see no white space in the calendar. I’ve given up all delusions of working a four-day work week for the next six months, and I’m only booking people through October because that’s as far as my brain will let me look.
It befuddles me to see my calendar booked so solidly so far in advance.
And it just kills me to have my clients standing behind me, where they can see the computer screen, as I tell them, “No. That week is not going to work. How about the next Thursday?”
You know what they say? They say, “Oh, it doesn’t have to be a Thursday, you can just throw me in on that Monday if you want.”
HELLO?! Did we not just spend an hour-and-a-half discussing the fact that I am booked solid till sometime after Labor Day? And are you not standing right in front of the computer, looking at the same screen I am, seeing nothing but little colored blocks? Have I not explained countless times that all those colored blocks represent time that is already spoken for? We are looking for PLAIN. WHITE. SPACE.
Yeah. When I say, “How about the following Thursday?” it’s because that’s the day where I can give up a lunch date or a space I’ve blocked off for banking or going to a supply house.
And Wednesdays. Let me tell you about Wednesdays! For the last 12 years, Wednesdays have been my day off. So if I am offering you a Wednesday appointment it’s because there’s nothing else available.
So I appreciate that you think you are trying to be helpful by telling me that you are flexible. But I am not. I’m doing my best to find a place to get you into the schedule at all.
Yeah. I know. I ought to just put my foot down and call Time Out on accepting new clients. I know that’s what I’m going to have to do. No new clients and change the online booking to a password-protected access mode.
Each time I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve stopped taking new clients in the past, it’s only taken a few months till the regular ebb and flow of business has found me more relaxed — but hungry — as the white space in the book starts outnumbering the colored blocks.
I’ve been holding off on putting a moratorium on new clients this time, trying to figure out a better way to balance too busy versus too hungry.
Twenty years ago I had the energy to cope with the stress of success. Now I’m just old and tired and far too likely to freak out over this stuff.