How to Deal With Business FOMO
Speaking as a sole proprietor, my business is me. If I don’t work, if I’m losing steam and affecting my productivity levels, or if I have other engagements that are taking away from my time with clients, it has a direct impact on my business. Handling all of your own operations can be a lot to deal with on its own but if there’s one thing that stresses me out above it all, it is business FOMO (fear of missing out).
If you are a business owner, you know exactly what I mean. There is a constant need for freelancers and contractors who can handle a wide variety of projects. If you manage the project properly, you’re looking at an opportunity for continued work. Knowing this fact has me constantly on edge that I am missing out on the many opportunities popping up across job boards and on social media. I want to land them all!
Do you feel like this as well? Are you constantly looking for new opportunities and finding that your anxiety levels are similar to the growing number of potential clients out there? If so, here are some tips on how to deal with business FOMO and go from an anxious business owner to a confident one.
Know That Not Every Job Can Be Yours
I’m not trying to be negative when I say this but not every job you apply to is going to result in being hired. Even if you could land every position you sent in an application for, you wouldn’t possibly be able to handle all of those clients at once. It’s just not realistic. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t apply to as many jobs as you want to. I apply to a handful each day! However, I am confident about each application that I send in and I make sure to sell myself as much as I am able to. If it doesn’t work out, I did the best I could. As long as you take each pitch seriously and know that it is out of your hands once you’ve sent it in, you lose a lot of this anxiety along the way.
Clients Take As Much Time to Respond As You Take to Send in Your Application
I used to have this misconception that I needed to send in my applications immediately if I were to land any clients. I would take time out of my schedule to constantly check my email and see if any job openings had been posted, making sure to respond immediately. If you’ve run your business for a while, however, you know that it takes most people days (if not weeks) to get back to you regarding any business opportunities. Everyone is busy and while promptness is appreciated, the process of looking for clients, going through a brief or extensive interview, and weighing available options is a lot for the person on the other end to manage. Don’t think that you’ve lost out on opportunities if you haven’t responded within hours of a posting. As long as you don’t take months to respond, you are going to be fine.
Set Aside a Specific Time for Your Outreach Efforts
Productivity relies on time-management. If I’m giving my attention to several different tasks at once, I am not going to be able to focus on the things that matter most, such as my client work. Those who can relate to the above situation and who take time throughout their day to respond to clients know that this is a time-consuming process. This loss of time then bleeds into your regular work as client projects go from something that could’ve taken an hour to something that now takes you three hours to complete. Rather than making this a daily habit, find a period of time in your day to dedicate to client outreach.
For example, I usually take an hour or so at night to look across my favorite job boards and apply to positions that I think I am suited for. The evening works best for me because I know that most of the jobs have already been posted by the end of the day and I don’t have to spend my morning or afternoon worrying that more might be posted later on. Don’t let your other business processes get in the way of your work. Set aside a time that works for you and send in applications during that window.
The fear of missing out on work is a very real problem but the truth is that we are all human and can only accomplish so much in our busy lives. If you suffer from business FOMO and you are trying to alleviate some of the anxiety that is impacting your ability to be an effective business owner, use the tips above to help you develop more realistic expectations in regards to landing clients.