I dedicate time each week to both. And like others have said, I don’t believe them to be exclusive of the other. Sometimes a question that a client asks and I don’t readily have an answer to, prompts me to further develop my understanding in that particular area. I’m benefiting from professional development which will help me with future clients, but I’m also helping my current client, letting them know that I’m interested in their particular needs and helping them reach their individual goal (ie, they’re not all treated alike). As a result, 90% of any new clients I get come from referrals. That’s hard to do living in a military community with clients moving, including myself as a military spouse, every 2-3 years!
I find that clients appreciate the time I spend maintaining and enhancing my own professional knowledge. They benefit from having a trainer who’s up-to-date on the latest training techniques, modalities and exercise studies. At the same time, I wouldn’t be a successful business owner if I let the business side of things go. So I put aside time each week to deal with the day to day business stuff which sometimes includes updating marketing practices, new software, etc.
Its all a balancing act, with the clients always feeling like they come first!