What Does “Booked Out” Really Mean?

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In this short-and-sweet episode, we’re going to talk about what “booked out” means to you and if it’s something you even want to work toward (it might not be!). I want to stress that being booked out is not bad or wrong. And for anyone new here, when one of us succeeds, we all succeed!

In this episode, I’ll touch on the following:

  • 03:20 – What does being “booked out” mean?
  • 04:05 – Why it doesn’t help to play the comparison game
  • 09:32 – How one of my coaching clients realized being booked out wasn’t even a goal for her

Being booked out may not be all it’s cracked up to be

If being booked out means filling up your schedule to the max, perhaps this isn’t even a goal you want to pursue. If you do, now you have a clear understanding of what you need to work toward. Also, “booked out” does not equal millions of dollars or ideal clients. It simply means that an editor’s schedule—whatever that looks like—is full. That could be one client; that could be twenty-five clients.

Next time those pangs of jealousy pop up…

Remember that being booked out means something totally different for everyone. We’re all at different stages in our business. We all have different goals and priorities and values. So booked out or not, you’re still an amazing editor.

Until next time, keep learning, keep growing, and know that you’ve got this!

To listen to the full episode, tune in and subscribe on your favorite podcast player. Be sure to leave a review and share with other editors who could benefit from joining our community!

Episode Transcript

Download Episode 27 Transcript

The Modern Editor Podcast – Episode 27:

What Does “Booked Out” Really Mean?

Tara Whitaker: [0:03] Welcome to The Modern Editor Podcast, where we talk about all things editing and what it’s like to run an editorial business in today’s world. I’m your host, Tara Whitaker. Let’s get to it.

Tara Whitaker: [0:18] Hi, there, welcome back to the podcast. Today’s episode is going to be short and sweet. And even shorter than normal; maybe a little sweeter, too. We’ll see. But for those of you who might be in the same boat as me, it’s back-to-school time here in the US. So, a lot of us are busy. And I wanted to just keep it nice and short, but still very important.

Tara Whitaker: [0:41] So, we’re going to talk about what it means to be “booked out.” And this has been on my list of topics to talk about, honestly, maybe since I started the podcast, but it just kept getting pushed down because I thought it was too short of an episode, you know? Not enough to talk about. And then I realized that that was silly, and who cares if it’s short. It’s still important, right? So here we are. And I do want to mention, before we get into this, this is not a drag or anything about people that say they’re “booked out.” That is the exact opposite. This is episode 27. If this is the first time you’re listening, you might not know this, but for those of you who’ve been around for a while, you know that’s not how we roll here. One of us succeeds, we all succeed kind of a thing. So, this is just taking what “booked out” means to each of us. And sometimes recognizing that there could be a little jealousy that pops up, but we’re going to talk about how to work through that. And then we’re actually going to dig into an even bigger question is, Do you actually want to be booked out? That one might be a good one. We’ll get into that. 

Tara Whitaker: [1:52] Okay, so like I mentioned, this concept of being booked out comes up a lot with editors, comes up a lot on my coaching calls and inside the club. And it usually happens after someone sees a social media post or newsletter or something from another editor saying that that editor’s booked out through a certain point. Or perhaps they’ve created a waitlist for people to get on because they are booked out. Again, great for that editor. Like, what a good feeling to hit that goal! Nothing wrong with saying you’re booked out or being booked out. This is for the editors who are not booked out. 

Tara Whitaker: [2:28] And depending on where you’re at in your business, you know, if you’re just starting or if you’ve been at it a while, the type of day you’re having… Anything. Seeing that booked-out post or newsletter can be a little triggering. It might make you jealous, it might make you think people are making more money than you, it might make you think people have more clients than you, etc, etc. But that is not necessarily the case. And to go back, feeling those feelings is human nature. There’s nothing wrong with them. But at the end of the day, they’re not going to serve us in the long run. So that’s the, the main point here. “Booked out” means something different to each and every one of us. Right? “Booked out” simply means that an editor has enough work to fill their particular schedule. Period. 

Tara Whitaker: [3:24] And what the big—the little piece in there is, is their schedule. Because their schedule is different from everyone else’s schedule, right? Think about all of the variables between all of us editors. Are we full time or part time? How much— How many hours can we dedicate to our business every week? How much time can we dedicate to editing every week? Because we all know that business things and editing things are very different. Do we have other responsibilities? Yes, we all do. But do we have kids? Are we caregivers? Do we have multiple jobs we’re juggling? Do we have health things to manage? Do we have hobbies? Do we volunteer? The list goes on. Right?

Tara Whitaker: [4:05] So one editor, for example, could be a stay-at-home parent, and they can take one client a month. So, they can be “booked out” much faster than an editor who takes on smaller jobs, like blog posts or podcast transcripts or social media posts and can work 40 hours a week. That would take much longer to be “booked up.” There are so many variables at play here. 

Tara Whitaker: [4:31] And “booked out” does not equal millions of dollars or ideal clients or perfect clients. It simply means that that editor’s schedule—whatever that looks like—is full. That could be one client; that could be twenty-five clients. So, it’s kind of that apples to oranges thing, right? And we will never know unless you’re BFFs with someone what an editor’s schedule or life looks like. So, it’s really not helpful or beneficial in any way to play that comparison game with other editors who say they’re booked out. Because it just doesn’t—I don’t want to say doesn’t mean that much. It just means something different for everyone. And that’s great for the editor that has that booked-out schedule, but that does not mean eww! for the editors that don’t. Does that make sense? I hope that makes sense. 

Tara Whitaker: [5:23] Now, the second part of this, and the big question is, Do you even want to be booked out? And I’m gonna give an example from a coaching client that I have, who will remain nameless, because, you know, we run an ethical business here. We don’t break confidentiality. She might know who I’m talking about when she hears this, but nobody else will. 

Tara Whitaker: [5:41] So, during a coaching call, we started digging into this concept of being “booked out.” And through our discussion in our coaching, she realized she didn’t even want to be booked out. One of the core values of her business is to have flexibility in her schedule. And if she was booked out months in advance, there would be no room, no wiggle room to take a spontaneous trip or to do something that wasn’t in her schedule two months ago, but now that she’s booked out, she can’t do. That doesn’t fit with her, with her business, with her core values. That was a huge mindset shift, right? It went from I wish I was booked out, to No, no, I don’t even want to be booked out

Tara Whitaker: [6:27] So instead of I wish I were booked out, or, you know, maybe those feelings of jealousy, if they pop up, try and flip it on its head and say, okay, well, good on that editor. Great. But what does “booked out” look like for me? And do I even want to be booked out? And if you do—great! Now you have a clear understanding of what you need to work towards. And that could be, you know, a certain number of clients a month or a certain dollar amount, whatever the case may be. But it will help you decide for your own business instead of comparing your business, which is going to be totally different to someone else’s business. Tada. That’s it.

Tara Whitaker: [7:09] I told you that was short and sweet. So, to leave you, the next time you see someone say they’re booked out, number one: congratulate them because that’s a big accomplishment. And number two: remember that it probably means something totally different than what “booked out” means to you. And that is totally okay. We are all at different stages in our business. We all have different goals and priorities and values and that is okay. And that’s what makes us all amazing. And creates a great industry because we can all learn from each other and all do different things, and yet still support and be there for each other. So booked out or not, you’re still an amazing editor. Alright, until next time, keep learning, keep growing and know that you’ve got this. 

Tara Whitaker: [07:54] Thank you so much for tuning into today’s episode. If you enjoy The Modern Editor Podcast, I would be so grateful if you left us a review over on iTunes. And as always, you can head to tarawhitaker.com to connect with me and stay in touch. We’ll chat again soon.

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