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You have to make sales before you can start projects, and you have to start projects before you can recognize income from them. But you won't make any sales unless you have a supply of qualified leads in your pipeline - prospects you can engage in order to close a sale and start a job.
I don't consider a sales lead "qualified" unless it meets three conditions: The prospects must be ready, willing, and able to purchase whatever it is they are interested in getting from you. You should get into the habit of ranking every sales lead A, B, C, or D based on those three criteria.