Over-Delivering is Killing Your Business

Over-Delivering is Killing Your Business

Over-Delivering is Killing Your Business

Over-involved, overcommitted, and just plain overdoing it.

‘Giving value’ is the phrase that gets thrown around in business circles whenever the topic of growing your business comes up.

I see more than my fair share of business owners throwing around this idea:

How can I add more value to show my value?

It has set up good people, with really good intentions to buy into the endless cycle of giving value to prove your value. I think some of us are taking this too far and it’s killing us professionally as well as personally, in the process. 

I see business owners hustling until it hurts to offer up an unsustainable level of value giving that ultimately sets them up for burn out.

What if this isn’t about giving value, so much as it is about learning how to lead/guide people to find their own outcomes, like an expert or a wise guide, would.

I learned this lesson the hard way, I knew I had the skills and abilities to help my clients succeed, but, where I went wrong became so clear to me. It was a painful realization.  I was doing more than my fair share of the work for my clients instead of guiding them like a wise mentor and guide who has walked the path before them, would have. 

If you think you might be overgiving and over-delivering value to your clients, ask yourself what side of the giver or guide equation you are on as you read the following scenarios.

 Over- giver or Guide?

 You might be an over-giver if:

  •  You say to yourself: “If anything unexpected shows up, I’ll just work harder”

  •  Allowing a client to let agreed-upon deadlines go and you decide to start managing the timeline for the client

  •  You think you are ‘asking for too much’ or ‘incoveniencing’ your client so you don’t ask your clients ‘to do things’ that ultimately benefit the project but instead, you do them yourself

  • you feel guilty about asking your clients to do what they’ve already agreed to do when they signed on and paid you to help them.

 A GUIDE challenges the client to rise to a new standard of excellence and take action.

 A giver tries to prove their worth:

  •  Before you start over giving to prove your worth, you need to step back and notice that you already are the expert in your client's eyes, that is why they hired you, no need to convince or prove your worth. You aren’t actually proving anything to your client because they’ve already bought in - literally.

 A GUIDE stands firmly in their expertise

  • You tend to want to convince and prove your worth or value to your client and it takes the form of taking on the responsibilities your clients have already agreed to take on. If you notice yourself working harder than your client, you know you are in over giving territory.

 A GUIDE will not work harder than their clients.

 Don’t underestimate the power of acknowledging the difference of showing up as giver or guide 

When you are faced with the over-giver or guide conundrum, I recommend you peel the layers of your business back and look at the how you’ve set up your sales process, onboarding, and client work. Often, I can assess a business owners ability to guide or over-give based on the client questionnaire or intake form on their website. Setting up a giver or guide client relationship starts from the moment a potential client raises their hand and wants to work with you.

Are your systems set up to guide your potential client to show up and share the best of themselves to you or are you accepting what they offer you and overgiving or overworking as a result?

Steph Zangeneh Azam