When you’re building your
own business it’s best to diversify.  

Work with multiple clients,
maintain positive relationships with potential clients, and continually add new
contacts to the mix. 

I knew that! 

But, after working as an
employee for many years, I became accustomed to giving a company 100% of my

When I first started consulting,
I unwittingly continued that pattern.  

While I worked on a
contract I devoted all of my time to it and failed to keep aggressively developing
my business. 

Each time a contract ended
I had to start building my pipeline all over again.

Here’s what I do
differently now. 

I set aside time to make
calls, meet colleagues for lunch or drinks, and follow up on potential business
leads every week. I build this time into
my calendar and do it – no matter what. 

I also set a minimum level
of activity I consider acceptable for those times when I’m exceptionally busy
with paying work. My minimum is meeting
one colleague or potential client for lunch and making ten introductory or
follow-up contacts every week. 

To keep my brain (and my
contacts) fresh, I also attend at least one professional function every

Finally, I’ve put a
follow-up system in place. It’s not
fancy. I use Outlook to remind me when I
should be contacting someone. 

What are your strategies
for balancing your workload with business development? 

After talking to some of
you, I’ve realized I’m not the only one that has fallen prey to this trap. 

But I’m probably one of
the few that have done it twice in one year. 

Shame on me! Never again!