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Episode 128: Creating Predictable Monthly Revenue—with Laura Khalil

Deb Zahn: Hi, I want to welcome you to this week's episode of the Craft of Consulting Podcast. On this episode, we are going to talk through things that you can do to ensure that you have predictable monthly revenue. So imagine that. Imagine having a pipeline where you know that you've done all the things that you need to do so that you can actually predict the revenue that you're going to have come in and you can depend on it. And So I brought in someone who talks about this all the time, and I love what she had to say about this. Laura Khalil, who is the owner of Brave By Design. And she is going to dive into some of the ins and outs of what you have to do to be able to get to that predictive monthly revenue. So much great stuff in here, let's get started.

Hi, I want to welcome to my show today, Laura Khalil. Laura, welcome to the show.

Laura Khalil: Deb, it is so good to be back.

Deb Zahn: Exactly.

Laura Khalil: It's like talking to one of my old friends. I love being on your show. Thanks for having me.

Deb Zahn: Absolutely. And just for folks who don't know you were on another show and in the show notes, I'll put what that episode is. And it was just fantastic and all about bravery, which we are big fans of.

Laura Khalil: Yeah.

Deb Zahn: But today we're going to talk about some cool stuff around predictive monthly revenue. But let's start off, tell my listeners what you do.

Laura Khalil: So hello listeners. As Deb said, my thing is about bravery. My thing is about really helping women rebalance the skills of financial justice, in favor of women and people of color. And we do that by helping entrepreneurs develop predictable monthly revenue in their business, get out of the feast or famine cycle and into something that feels supportive, where you are paid well for your services. I particularly love serving the creative community and that's what I do.

Deb Zahn: That's fantastic. Now I'm going to ask the most leading question ever. I'm going to say it just like this, you like it. So Laura, isn't the feast or famine cycle something you should just expect is going to happen and just go with it? How's that for leading?

Laura Khalil: Well, I'm so glad you asked. Well, it can seem like the norm, right? Because that's what you hear about and you think, "Well, that's just what I should accept because that's maybe how life just is." And for sure, that's the reality for a lot of consultants, or freelancers, or contractors that they've come to accept that. But it doesn't have to be your reality. And there are ways of pricing and offering services in a consultative, recurring basis for the client, through a project fee or a retainer fee, which means that you don't have to be doing one-offs. You don't have to be worrying about where money is coming from month to month. And a lot of people...I'll answer this question before you even ask it, Deb. I'm going to be a little bit of a psychic here.

Deb Zahn: Go for it.

Laura Khalil: People will say, "Will the client like that? Maybe they just want this one thing. They wouldn't accept the suite of services that I'll offer." And I want you to reframe your thinking. If you're afraid of a bigger price, a longer contract, and afraid that the client will just outright say no to that. First of all, if you're working with clients who you have vetted, who pass what I call your red velvet rope policy. So there are people who we know can invest in your services, first and foremost. If they can't invest, it's not who we want to work with. But people like building relationships with consultants, with people that come and help them in the business on an ongoing basis. Actually, you get to know their business better and more deeply, You are no longer just a hired gun that shoots in and shoots out. That's why consulting has this bad reputation.

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

Laura Khalil: Right, Deb? Where it's like, "Oh, they just came in, and then they disappear." But it can actually be really helpful to build a relationship with the client. It often means a cost savings to the client-

Deb Zahn: That's right.

Laura Khalil: Over a period of time, if you're working with them. And you get to know their business really well. So actually what you offer is even of greater value, as you continue to work with them because you're more and more ingrained in their business and processes.

Deb Zahn: I'm delighted that you answered that question that I psychically asked you. Because I was going to ask you that. Because if you think about it from a client's perspective, and consulting has a bad rap. So anytime they're bringing in a new consulting, in many ways, it feels like a crap shoot to them.

Laura Khalil: Exactly.

Deb Zahn: Because they don't know what version of consulting they're going to actually get, or version of service, or anything along lines. So if they find someone that is a fit for them, and that does good work and delivers on time and delivers with excellence and has all of those things, they are going to want you to move into their house with them. And that's been my experience. They're not going to want to let you go.

Laura Khalil: They are going to hold you tight. I'll tell you a story. So I have a client, they brought in some consultants to do some organizational development, look at the org chart, move things around, right? And immediately, here's what happens. They're coming in to do an assessment and provide a report with recommendations. So they shoot in, they do the report, nobody really trusts them.

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

Laura Khalil: Nobody really, is quite sure of what's going to happen. Everyone's afraid their job is on the line. And then, they deliver the report, and then you know what happens? They disappear. And isn't that convenient?

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

Laura Khalil: That they don't actually get to see...Everything in life is an iterative process. Everything we do, every report, every strategy session I do with clients, we say, "Let's start here, based on what you've told me. And let's begin to work through the process consistently and see where we need to readjust." But if you don't have a consultant working with you through the process, that report you're handing over, that's just a bunch of expensive paper.

Deb Zahn: Right.

Laura Khalil: You've got to help people work through the process, iterate through what you've reported on, improve over time. And that is why we really want to focus, in my opinion obviously, my biased opinion, on doing retainers and doing ongoing contract project work. That is really going to help you make the client a raving fan of what you do. Not just someone who came and did something and ran out the door.

Deb Zahn: That's right, I love that. Now before we get too further into what this predictive, monthly revenue plan that you have for all of us, which I love. You talk about paying attention to the third quarter. Why do you do that?

Laura Khalil: Well, your biggest quarter for most businesses, and this depends. So take this as it applies to you, is it going to be your fourth quarter, right? Most businesses are going to do their most business in their fourth quarter. It's usually, we're trying to spend down our budgets.

Deb Zahn: Yup.

Laura Khalil: We're trying to make right. We're trying to make sure that we've spent what we have. So when do you need to start working on getting that money for your fourth quarter, not in your fourth quarter, my friends. You need to have those contracts signed, sealed, and delivered in your third quarter. You need to be working one to two quarters ahead, depending on the business that you're in. And depending on the sales cycle of the industry that you're in. In some cases, that will be one quarter ahead. In some cases, you may have a longer sales cycle, where you actually need to be working on Q1, on Q4. That's OK too, but you need to know your cycle. You need to have that down. So Q3, which we're coming up to now and maybe at the time of this recording, we're fully in it.

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

Laura Khalil: We're going full steam ahead. You need to get your plan in place if you don't already have it. And if you're listening to this after Q3, whatever quarter you're in, whatever 12-week sprint you're starting today, you can make the next 12 weeks very different from the last 12.

Deb Zahn: That's right, that's right. And the new years are coming. And if you haven't…

Laura Khalil: That's right.

Deb Zahn: Started thinking about that and planning for it and taking action.

Laura Khalil: Well, exactly. And this is the thing, so many...And Deb, maybe you feel this way. I certainly felt this way when I was running my marketing consulting business, is I was very reactive. So what would happen is because I was working mainly with referrals. I'd just be like, "Oh, just wait for another referral to come in. OK." And then, a referral may come in, or a referral might not come in. And I was just reacting to what was coming in, rather than getting proactive and saying, "Wait a minute, how can I prime the pump? So to speak. To create a business where I actually have a sales funnel full of really highly qualified leads that are ready to work with me." And then, we flip the script here. Then I'm not begging to work with a specific client, or like, "Oh my gosh, I hope this client comes through, or else, what am I going to do?"

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

Laura Khalil: Instead, I get to choose who I work with. And I get to say, "Does this person again, meet my red velvet rope policy? Do they get behind my red velvet rope policy?" Meaning, are they someone I love to work with as a human being? Am I happy, excited to work with them? Would they be fun to work with? Do they meet my needs as a business owner? Is this a project I'm excited about?

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

Laura Khalil: Nobody likes to do stuff just for the money, right? That's soul-crushing work. We got into entrepreneurship. Everyone listening to this, got into entrepreneurship to experience freedom. Could be freedom from the nine to five, freedom from your crappy boss, freedom to pick the projects you want to work on. So why don't we allow ourselves to fully step into that freedom by choosing the clients we want to work with, by choosing what we want to get paid and not being a slave to whatever corporate contract happens to come our way and just hope that's the best we can do. I'm not into it, Deb.

Deb Zahn: No, I'm right there with you, I'm right there with you. So if we could just take a pause because I'm hearing this and I'm thinking, mindset certainly matters here, doesn't it? So you got to be…

Laura Khalil: Yeah.

Deb Zahn: In the right mindset to do this well. So what type of mindset is helpful, or not helpful here? What gets people to actually go through this process in a deliberate and helpful fashion?

Laura Khalil: I can't remember if I said this on our last episode, but I think, one of the most important pieces of mindset is to not treat the prospective client like someone who is better than you, or someone who is your, "Overlord." It is to treat the prospective client as your equal. "I'm not better than them. I'm not worse than them. We are literally meeting to have a conversation to see if there's a meeting of the minds, to see if we can get along. And if we can, we can have a reciprocal and mutually beneficial relationship that will move forward. That mindset is very different than when people say, "Oh, I hope they hire me."

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

Laura Khalil: "Oh, I guess I have to do whatever they say. Oh, I guess I can't charge what I really want. Because I'm afraid they won't say no." Wait a minute, that's not what we're talking about here. If you stick in that mindset of still having a boss, instead of being a trusted advisor, which is what you are as a consultant, which is why you can command the fees that you're able to command. You completely flip the script. So the first thing is, you're a trusted advisor, you're not someone's yes-man. That's not why you got into this. You got into this to be a trusted advisor, start acting like one.

Deb Zahn: Yeah. And can I just say?

Laura Khalil: Yeah.

Deb Zahn: This sounds so much like dating, which I know you and I joke about-

Laura Khalil: Oh girl-

Deb Zahn: All the time.

Laura Khalil: Don't even get me started.

Deb Zahn: So if you're on a date with someone, and you're sitting there the whole time going, "Oh, I hope he thinks I'm pretty." And you're not noticing that he's super mean to the waiter, which is truth and advertising of who he is. Then you're going to be lost in, "Oh my god, hire me, hire me, hire me." And not qualifying the person on the other side, to determine whether or not this is actually a fit.

Laura Khalil: I love that you brought up dating.

Deb Zahn: Of course.

Laura Khalil: Because you know I'm dating Deb.

Deb Zahn: I know. I know.

Laura Khalil: And here's the thing. Like dating, people will go into a date, and we all do this, it's very natural. When you meet someone new in work, or personal dating, whatever, family life. You try to put your best foot forward, right? And I'm not saying don't put your best foot forward. Sure, you want to go in, but you also want to be yourself. Because if I'm not myself around people...if I'm not showing up as a fully, self-expressed, excited, enthusiastic about the work, enthusiastic to meet you, individual. And I'm wearing a veneer.

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

Laura Khalil: Over me. I'm going to call it the veneer of corporate professionalism. One, they're not really going to know who you are.

Deb Zahn: That's right.

Laura Khalil: And they're not going to trust you. This is so interesting that you mentioned this, and this is maybe a little bit of a divergent path, but if you'll allow me, I'd like to mention something to the audience.

So I talk a lot about dating on my personal Instagram account. And this just came up yesterday, so it's very funny you brought it up, Deb. So I talk a lot about the dates I go on and the type of men on these apps and I'll show the photos of the craziness and all of this stuff. And I have a lot of clients who watch my Instagram. And so yesterday I wrote a message. I've been doing this for years. Yesterday, I wrote a message. And I said, "Hey guys, I'm just trying to figure out for my clients who are watching this stuff, does this make you feel like I'm not a professional? Do you feel because I share about my dating life, that I'm not really good at my job? Are you worried that I can't do my job?"

Well, what do you think? I just wanted to hear from people, get some feedback. And I heard something very interesting. I got dozens of responses and every person who responded said this, Deb. They said, "Laura, I know that you are a real human being and you sound so authentic that I know I can trust you."

Deb Zahn: Yup.

Laura Khalil: And it shocked me because as women, especially for the women who are listening, we know and we have been trained. And certainly, when I worked in the corporate world, I couldn't be funny. I didn't feel like I could be funny. I didn't feel like I could be myself or I wouldn't be taken seriously. And so many of us grew up learning, "I have to hide who I am. I have to tamp down my big personality, or I won't be liked. I won't be enough. They won't take me seriously." And I'm going to tell everyone listening that being yourself is why you're going to get hired-

Deb Zahn: That's right.

Laura Khalil: It is what is going to set you apart. Preach. Yes, Deb.

Deb Zahn: 100% agree with that. I don't talk about dating because I haven't dated in a while. Although I could write a book, and it would be hilarious…from a distance. But yeah, people love that I share about my gardening. People love that I share about kittens. Even if they're not a cat person. The most popular post that I ever did was about candy crush. I don't know if you remember that one.

Laura Khalil: No, I don't. But I love the game. What did you post?

Deb Zahn: What happened is I had all this stuff going on. I had a bunch of stress and blah, blah, blah. And for some reason, I went down a candy crush rabbit hole and that it's designed to be addictive, very purposely designed to be addictive.

Laura Khalil: I'm on level 3000. So yeah.

Deb Zahn: Well, exactly. And then it's a race and you want to get ahead.

Laura Khalil: Yeah.

Deb Zahn: And I know enough about the addictive patterns that they're putting in. That I knew what they were doing and it was still working on me.

Laura Khalil: Mm-hmm.

Deb Zahn: And instead of doing all of the things that would actually further my life and further my career, instead of cooking the really good food that I harvested, I'm eating a bowl of cereal and playing candy crush. And I decided just to be honest about it.

Laura Khalil: Yeah.

Deb Zahn: Most popular thing, people totally related. It builds trust because you're not trying to say, "Hi, everything about my life is fabulous and I'm brilliant. And you should hire me because of that." People hire people. They want to hire actual, real people. Not consultants in suits.

Laura Khalil: Yes. Oh my God. I love that you brought this up, and this is important to remember when I talk about the red velvet rope policy. You're hiring and you're working with a client, who's a person first and foremost, and you are a person. And to your point, do you want to work with that person or not? Because that's what the work is going to involve. Whenever people say, "Hey, how did you get into big companies?" It starts with personal relationships, and you have to be human. You have to take off the corporate shield that we all learned about when we were younger and we were all told, this is how you have to be to be successful. And don't be too emotional and don't show too much and don't give away too much and just be really safe and vanilla. Now I'm not condoning people go off the rails here and start posting crazy stuff. But most of us aren't total nut jobs. Just share more about your life, your faults. I totally resonate with that story about candy crush. Lord, no. I have to take it off my phone.

Deb Zahn: I had to remove it from every device I had. That's the only way I was getting away from it.

Laura Khalil: Yeah.

Deb Zahn: And then my, my goddaughter showed up and she had it. And I'm like, "Don't let me touch your phone." It was that bad.

Laura Khalil: Yeah.

Deb Zahn: But that’s relatable, I have flaws. I'm like...and it wasn't contrived where you're like, "Oh, and I'm a flawed human being too and not that Instagram version.

Laura Khalil: Yeah, have you seen that content where people will say something like, "Oh, although, I had this really big problem, now I'm fine. Now I solved it and now everything's great." And it's like, OK. I mean, sometimes we are talking about how we've overcome challenges, I get that. But if every post about how you're an invincible...Again, I just see it as armor. That's how I see it. But it doesn't make you relatable because everyone is flawed and everyone wants to talk to people, believe it, or not, who have problems.

Deb Zahn: Yeah. And can help them. You got to show up with the basics.

Laura Khalil: Yeah.

Deb Zahn: Many of my clients are because I show up as who I am and that's who they want by their side. They don't want a boring suit. They want somebody by their side. Who's going to be enjoyable to work with over a long period of time. So I love that. So I'd love to get into also the predictable revenue because what I adore that you said, is that it's not just about hustling and getting enough packed in your pipeline, but it's also how you charge? What your payment model is. So dig into that a little bit. How do you use the payment model as a way to get the recurring revenue?

Laura Khalil: OK. So first of all, I want everyone...I am adamantly anti-hustle. Adamantly, I am totally against it. I think it is a huge part of American culture. And the American myth is we just have to work ourselves into the ground and ignore our families and ignore our children and kill ourselves. And then, you're going to be on your death bed saying, "Well, I did work 70 hours a week. Wasn't that great? No, no. OK, that's not what life is about. So what I like to talk about, is doing this in 30 minutes a day. And I'm talking about business development in about 30 minutes a day. Without posting maniacally on every single social platform and being chained to marketing because marketing doesn't get you clients. I haven't said that yet, Deb, but this is pretty critical. This is, this is where most people go wrong and listen, I'm a marketer by trade everyone. I have done content marketing for some of the biggest brands in the world. Marketing is an incredible tool for awareness, but very few people are going to come to you and say, "Hey, I saw that great photo of you on Instagram, where you were lazing on your couch with your cats and drinking hot cocoa. And so I decided to work with you based on that." Nobody's going to say that to you.

Deb Zahn: That's right.

Laura Khalil: That doesn't happen. That's the exception rather than the rule. So less marketing, more business development. And this starts with having a plan. The plan has four parts, OK? The first part of the plan very simply is your business model. So before we even start talking to clients, I want everyone listening to this to begin to think about one, let's get real. How much revenue did you make in the last 12 months?

No shame. No judgment. It's OK. What is your point A? How much revenue? Write it down. Point B, where do you want to go in the next 12 months? Just get this stuff on paper. People keep this stuff in their heads. Then we want to look at how do you get there? What are the general services? Now I understand that as consultants, some people listening to this have different ranges and different fees, but I want you to start getting a little bit more formalized around what you offer? What you could offer at a high range? At a mid-range? And at a low range? And I like people to have three different price points, only because it helps us when we're in discussion and negotiation with the client. And the client may say, "I can't afford x, or I don't know. That sounds like a lot, or it doesn't sound right for me.

We never want to, in my opinion, push back on an objection. What I like to do is a little technique from improv where we say, "Oh yes. OK. Yes, and..."

Deb Zahn: Yes, and.

Laura Khalil: "Oh yes, and...OK, that doesn't work for you? Yes, I understand. And here's something else I can offer you." Maybe if they don't want your low range, you offer mid-range maybe they don't want your high range, you offer a low range, whatever it may be, but you want to have an idea of what your offerings are.

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

Laura Khalil: Personally, for the people I work with, not a huge fan of tons of bespoke things and tons of customizations. Certainly, you will have some in the consulting world, but we want to have some general ideas of where your ranges are. So we start with that. Then a marketing plan. OK.

Now I said marketing doesn't get you clients, but you still need to build awareness. You still need to be someone who people say, "Oh yeah, I recognize Deb. I've seen her face. Oh wait, she has this event she's doing? Oh, I should definitely go check out her webinar, or her free event."

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

Laura Khalil: "Because I've been seeing her on..." That's the awareness. Now once we get awareness and they raise their, and they get into your funnel, what happens then? Well, we have really one or two chances to build trust with an individual once they're in our funnel. And if you lose the ability to build trust, you have lost them. So this is where really, the rubber hits the road. So in your plan, how do we build trust? We say what we're going to do, and we act on it. We do it consistently.

If that's a consistent monthly event, if that's a consistent newsletter, whatever that is, you consistently show up and you build trust and people buy according to the amount of trust you have earned with them.

Deb Zahn: That's right.

Laura Khalil: And that is at different speeds for different people. So I have someone who I met at a networking event. We met, talked for two minutes, signs a four-figure contract with me. Oh great. OK, let's do a day together. Small business owner. I like working with small business creation, so that's great. I have someone else on my email list. They say, "Laura, I've been following you for years. I just bought your $9 ebook." OK. I mean, whatever. Different trust built at different speeds for different people." Some people are going to be ready to invest quickly, some people it's going to take them five years, spend 50 cents on you.

So we have to just keep it going. Now here's the key and Deb you know this because you do this very well. You need systems. For any business that is trying to get past $250,000 a year. I'd say even past 150 a year, you need systems.

Deb Zahn: Yup.

Laura Khalil: To help automate yourself, so that you are not doing all the work. So your part of that plan, is what are the systems I need to create to be like my robot assistant and make things easy for me. And then, we build that out into your project with your deliverables over the next 12 weeks to actually help make this achievable, hustle-free in about 30 minutes a day. So…

Deb Zahn: I love it.

Laura Khalil: That's what I think about Deb. That's where I'm headed.

Deb Zahn: I love it. And I love it because it's almost like you are being a consultant for yourself. Because what you just described, that's what I would do, if I was working with a consultant-client, is I wouldn't just say, "Well, let's just see what happens and work it.” You have a framework you're working together. You know where your destination is, you know what you need to do on a daily basis. It doesn't mean you don't switch up when you need to switch up.

Laura Khalil: Mm-hmm.

Deb Zahn: Because that's the mark of a good consultant. That's the mark of a good entrepreneur. But you actually have a plan, and you attend to it on a regular basis. I love that.

Laura Khalil: And this stuff, I say this to people. They're like, "Well, that sounds really simple." And I said, "Well, have you done it? I mean, yeah, it's not rocket science, nothing in business is rocket science unless you're literally doing brain surgery. None of us are doing brain surgery in our business, OK?" This stuff is definitely figure-outable, as Marie Forleo likes to say. But it's giving yourself permission to take the time, to do it, to get out of reactive mode, to get out of holding the hot potato, throwing it around mode and the constant stress and anxiety that a lot of entrepreneurs and consultants face. And I want to say, for the audience, especially for people who are in constant overwhelm, who in constant, "The fires, oh my God. What am I going to do?" I don't know if we're going to share this video, Deb, but this is a very animated call for me. But anyway…

Deb Zahn: It is, indeed.

Laura Khalil: So guys, just imagine my hands flailing all over the place. I want you to consider for one second, if you may have an addiction to stress and overwhelm. If you have gotten so used to being in this constant state of adrenaline rush and constant state of moving 5,000 miles an hour, that it feels uncomfortable to you to slow down. That it feels like you're not working if you slow down. Because that also is one of the mindset things that can really stop people from being successful, is that we self-sabotage.

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

Laura Khalil: Because we're used to the craziness.

Deb Zahn: Right. And we're used to everything around us, the, the hustle culture, the dominant American culture that says-

Laura Khalil: Yeah.

Deb Zahn: You must work your fingers to the bone and who's good enough and who isn't. And so we're surrounded by it. And if we're contributing to that, then we're going to make it difficult for ourselves to do the things that we need to do to serve our purpose and our family's purpose and our-

Laura Khalil: Exactly.

Deb Zahn: Community's purpose.

Laura Khalil: And Deb, can I say one more thing about this? What I also just want to say to the audience is, remember that if the client is treating everything like a fire drill with you and the client treating everything like it's the 11th hour, we need to get it done. We're in an emergency state. That is on you as the consultant, to help remediate that behavior.

Deb Zahn: That's right.

Laura Khalil: OK? It is not like I said, this goes back to my whole thing about is the client your overlord? Or are you peers? And if you act as a peer, you are going to have healthy boundaries with clients that you're going to set out from the beginning. They may actually even be in your proposal. They may be part of your scope of work, that state the SLAs, your service level agreements. The timing for when you're going to get things done, what is reasonable?

What are the office hours? What are times when you don't respond? Because that is the mark of a professional, I will tell you just a quick story. So one of the really big contracts I worked on was for a huge technology company. And I was in charge of managing this account, OK? And I was actually a subcontractor. So I was given this account, I was managing the account. Everyone in the agency that I was subcontracting for is working 80 hours a week, killing themselves. If anyone here has ever worked in an agency, it's very much a churn and burn model, or burn and churn model. Get them in, get them out, find young talent.

And I set up some agreements with the client about how we were going to work with them? How we were going to respond? And I ran that account for five years. Without this huge global company going bananas on me and killing everyone in the office and driving everyone into the ground and grew the account because I was a trusted advisor. And they knew that if they wanted it done right, we had to do it in this timeframe. That's the authority you need to project when you work with your clients.

Deb Zahn: And it relates to your pipeline because if it's all fires, and if every type of work you're doing is unpredictable, then managing your pipeline is going to be darn near impossible.

Laura Khalil: Forget it. You're not going to do it. Deb, this is what I notice. And for different consultants, it'll be different numbers. So I'll say with creatives, people who are content marketers and people who are designers and things like that, they typically will start, the revenue will begin to plateau, as a consultant, anywhere I would say between 120 and 160. And I see this over and over. Now some of you listening to this may say, "Well, I'm already way past that." Well, your industry's different. I'm just speaking for that industry. And they'll start to plateau because what happens, is they haven't built the systems.

Deb Zahn: Yup.

Laura Khalil: They haven't built the process and the plans to scale even bigger. So wherever you are in your business, whoever's listening to this. Are you tapped out? Have you tapped out your time for hours? If you're still working on a time-for-hour model, you need to be rethinking some things, OK? Because that is absolutely what is going to tap you out. That is what's going to limit you. That is going to be your ceiling that you've created for yourself. And you will never get into the multi six or seven figures, doing time for hours. It doesn't work.

Deb Zahn: That's right. And it limits the value you can offer to the world.

Laura Khalil: Amen.

Deb Zahn: I thought you would love that.

Laura Khalil: Deb, I don't know who's interviewing who? I love this episode.

Deb Zahn: You know you and I always love to talk. What are you going to do? So where can folks find you?

Laura Khalil: OK. So for all of you who are listening, who are like, "I want to learn more about this predictable, monthly revenue thing." Head on over to That's where you will learn all about the work that I do. And you can sign up to take my quiz and learn more about how close you actually are to be building predictable, monthly revenue in your business and check out the podcast, Brave By Design.

Deb Zahn: Great podcast.

Laura Khalil: And you can hear Deb on there as well-

Deb Zahn: Being all vulnerable-

Laura Khalil: Yeah. We had an amazing discussion, Deb.

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

Laura Khalil: About personality traits and being that too much woman and being the "bitch." And it was a really great episode. I encourage everyone to listen to it. I just love hanging out with you.

Deb Zahn: I love hanging out with you too. Well, you know I have to ask you this last question. So if you build these predictive revenue streams and you're on top of your pipeline, you got your systems, then you should have time for other things that are meaningful to you in your life, which I know you do. So how do you bring that balance to your life? However it is you define that?

Laura Khalil: I'm going to get really personal right now. It's really interesting. My parents, my dad's in his 80s. For anyone who's listening, who's had aging parents and you can tell, we're in the final countdown.

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

Laura Khalil: Situation. Which is where we are. Every time I see my dad, I don't know if it's going to be the last time I see him. And every time I see him, he says one thing to me. He says, "Laura, enjoy your life."

Deb Zahn: Oh wow.

Laura Khalil: Because I didn't. And don't make the mistakes I made.

Deb Zahn: Oh.

Laura Khalil: So I hear my dad in my head all the time. Don't kill yourself working because you will live to regret it. And so how do I balance things? I always have my dad on my shoulder telling me-

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

Laura Khalil: "Calm down." My day stops at 5:00 PM and we're going to go pursue the hobbies and things that I really enjoy. So that's how.

Deb Zahn: I appreciate you sharing that story. And I have been through that, as I also have parents in their 80s. And thank you so much for sharing that because you don't want that to be the reminder, but sometimes for those of us in our age range, that's what it is. And I love that you're taking it to heart because I certainly know I take it to heart as well.

Laura Khalil: Yeah.

Deb Zahn: So Laura, thank you so much for being on the show again. I can't wait to have you on again. Because I will. But thank you so much. This has just been chalk full of fabulousness.

Laura Khalil: Thank you, Deb.

Deb Zahn: Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the Craft of Consulting Podcast. I want to ask you to do actually three things. If you enjoyed this episode or if you've enjoyed any of my other ones, hit subscribe. I got a lot of other great guests that are coming up and a lot of other great content and I don't want you to miss anything. But the other two things that I'm going to ask you to do is, one is, if you have any comments, so if you have any suggestions or any kind of feedback that will help make this podcast more helpful to more listeners, please include those.

And then the last thing is, again, if you've gotten something out of this, share it, share it with somebody you know who's a consultant or thinking about being a consultant, and make sure that they also have access to all this great content and all the other great content that's going to be coming up.

So as always, you can go and get more wonderful information and tools at Thanks so much. I will talk to you on the next episode. Bye-bye.

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