There’s a saying that if you polish over here, it shines over there. In other words, the effort you’re making might not have the precise results you’re looking for but could bring even better ones that you’d never even dreamed of.
What matters is that you keep trying.
Some of my new clients are people I met many years ago. It may have been slightly disappointing that they didn’t sign up then, but things unfold the way they’re meant to.
And a big part of that is what I did in between:
I stayed in touch, I kept doing good work by learning and improving, and I made it easy for them to find me when they were ready.
There is a science and a method to developing business, but there is also this aspect of mystery and magic.
On the science side are things like understanding your target market, strategic planning to make the best use of your time and resources, and analyzing and evaluating the results of your efforts.
On the magic side are things like networking. Focus on the people you genuinely find interesting, even if there doesn’t seem to be any overlap or possibility for collaboration or business. As Dorie Clark writes in Dialogue, “they can become some of your most powerful and fulfilling connections, because they expose you to genuinely new ideas and perspectives you wouldn’t otherwise have come across, and your paths may end up converging in surprising ways.”
The same is true for potential clients. They can come from unexpected places, when you least expect it—even while you’re busy trying to woo someone else.
So do your work, use the science, but then step back and allow space for the magic to happen.