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Today we return to two perennial seanwes topics: client work and sabbaticals!
How do you deal with “decision fatigue” when working with clients? You’re called upon to make a lot of decisions when doing client work; not just in the execution of the work itself, but in all the client communication that’s involved. One way to reduce the impact of the fatigue that sets in is to share your burden: even if you’re not *working* with other people, find a group of peers that also do client work and help each other with your struggles.
The other thing you can do to reduce decision fatigue is make fewer decisions by *productizing* your services! Do the same work for multiple clients, instead of entirely new, custom work for each one.
Productizing brings us to the next question: how *do* you productize things other than teaching? Turning teaching into a product is straightforward: teach a class to lots of people, instead of one-on-one, or package it all up and sell it as a course. But lots of other services can be turned into products, if you look at the work you do that’s both valuable, and follows the same process no matter the client.
The first step to turning your service into a product is to have a *written process*, so if you’re facing decision fatigue, start there: write down every step of how you do your work. That might be enough to help reduce the fatigue all by itself!
If you don’t even *like* doing client work, should you push yourself to do it anyway, because it’s the easiest way to make money (compared to building a business selling products or teaching)? When you need to make money, *scarcity mindset* can set in fast, and that’s a sure-fire way to hate what you’re doing. It doesn’t feel good to be in scarcity, to never be sure that you can cover your bills this month.
This is why Sean wrote Overlap (https://seanwes.com/book/)—the reason you need a day job that covers 100% of your bills is to give yourself the freedom to *enjoy* client work—or any other means of building your own business. Yes, enjoying client work is possible! But only when you remove scarcity from the equation. When you don’t have to worry about making money, you can choose only those clients that are just right for you. That’s the key to turning client work into an activity you can actually sustain.
Do you have trouble focusing during your seventh-week sabbatical? I sure do, but focusing isn’t the priority on a sabbatical: *rest* is the priority. You might be expecting yourself to get done during a sabbatical week all the projects you’ve left sitting around in the past six weeks of focused work… but you’re probably underestimating your need to **just rest**. Give yourself a break, and take the pressure off: reduce your expectations of what you’ll get done during your sabbatical. If all you do is rest up for the next sprint, that sabbatical was a success!
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