Today I’ll walk you through another way to set yourself up for success: getting help.
Most first-time business owners have Superhero Syndrome, which is where you feel like you have to do absolutely everything by yourself. When you get started, you do everything you can to save money because you may even have a load of student debt looming over your head. Consequently, you’re probably frazzled all of the time; there are so many things to keep straight and manage all on your own. On top of that, it seems like a crime to spend money on other services when you’re hardly taking anything home yourself. You’re terrified of over-spending when there is no certainty of more income later.
But there are lots of options for getting help, and if you do it right it will be an investment in your business that will pay for itself and get you further ahead at the same time. There should be a financial return, but don’t underestimate the value of more free time (or more time seeing clients) and reduced stress. With a little bit of help you’ll be able to focus on your high priority tasks and produce better quality work at the same time.
More and more books are coming out these days on the topic of focus and not doing everything yourself. Essentialism (Greg McKeown), Overwhelmed (Brigid Schulte), and Virtual Freedom (Chris Ducker) are three that I’ve read recently, and The One Thing (Gary Keller and Jay Papasan) is next on my list. There are lots of studies now showing that this type of focus is the key to success (and sanity).
But what are we really talking about here? People often say they’re “drowning”, so let’s elaborate on that. Imagine all of your goals and your vision, and on top of that you have bills to pay, client notes to write, calls to make, marketing, family responsibilities… and so on. That feeling is similar to swimming in the ocean with all of your clothes on, plus shoes, a jacket, and a backpack. It’s extremely heavy and tiresome, and almost impossible to stay afloat. You can only last a short time swimming like that until you’re spent and completely burnt out. But if you were to get help, it’s like shedding those layers one by one until eventually you’re just in your swimsuit and a pair of flippers with the beautiful sun warming you. You feel like you could cross the ocean. This is the best way I can describe the feeling of getting help. It is such a relief that you actually sit up straighter and think clearer. That is my wish for you.
Now let’s get into some actionable strategies for you to get started.
Paid Help VS. Free
The saying “you get what you pay for” is becoming less and less true every year because experts are more liberal than ever about sharing their best advice. We have unprecedented access to amazing minds and thought leaders, and we definitely need to take advantage of it. Think about TED Talks, free webinars, or even this blog. On the surface, the content I share here is not really any different from what I share with my private clients. The key, though, is that one-on-one help from me or other services is personalized. No blog or video knows your specific circumstances or your personality, so it can’t definitively say if it is right for you. And sometimes that is perfectly fine. I spend a lot of time learning this way.
As a practitioner, though, it might not be the best way to learn how to run a business. It’s extremely time consuming to learn this way, and it often requires a lot of trial and error. It’s also pretty easy to get overwhelmed and confused. As your client, I would much rather that you spend your time and brainpower learning more about health and healing, which means that paying for help with your business is a worthwhile shortcut.
When you pay for something you associate it with higher value, as you may have noticed with your free VS. paying clients. People are more likely to comply with the advice they get if they pay for it. They want to get their money’s worth. At the very least, something free takes a lower priority than something you pay for.
My best advice to get started is to think of one thing that repeatedly frustrates you and see if there is a way to get some help. For example, maybe social media drives you bananas. It is SUPER easy and affordable to hire someone for an hour or two a week to help you find things to post and schedule them in. Heck, a student could help with that and would love the extra income. And a great social media presence is part of marketing, which means that it could have a great return on investment if it keeps your clients engaged.
Being a practitioners often means that you’re responsible for all areas of your business, but of course it’s unrealistic to be an expert in all areas. In my case, my expertise is coaching, so designing graphics is not a strength of mine. Because of that I use a graphics designer to make everything look pretty and professional. You might like to have an assistant to help you schedule appointments, answer emails, and update your website. If you’re not a great writer, maybe you hire someone to write your blog. The sky is the limit! The bottom line is that you should not take time away from your core genius to learn to do things that other people can do better. Focus on what you do best that generates income, and then hire others to do the things you’re not skilled at.
Now I know some of you are thinking that you can’t afford to hire anyone to help. Remember, any time you take away from doing what you’re good at that generates income is money lost. If you can pay someone less than what you make doing your core genius work, AND it frees up your mind and creativity, then it’s worth it. You can start slow at first; try getting someone to help with a small, specific task and see how it goes.
Get a Coach
It doesn’t matter who you are or what your business is, everyone can benefit from a coach. And I’m not just saying that because I am one! Truly, having a coach is what will take you to that next level. Actually, it can accelerate your progress faster than any other method that I know of because often you will do things for someone else that you would never do just for yourself. This magic phenomenon is called accountability. Having a coach lets you talk out your ideas and come up with actionable solutions, which they can then hold you accountable for doing. Part of this is because you are paying them so it would be silly to not follow through, but part of it is also because actually stating your goals and clearing the path to make them happen is far more actionable than just thinking about what you would like to happen.
It’s important to find a coach that is right for you and your situation, and one you feel comfortable and safe with. If you find that perfect balance then you will be unstoppable. Especially as a practitioner you need to find someone who understands the industry and all of your compliance restrictions. Yes coaching costs money, but the financial gain from having a coach pays for itself many times over. A great coach will be able to see things in you that you might not see. Often they can see where you’re wasting your time and energy, and they can help you focus on using your strengths. But the best part is they are there 100% for you specifically. The most common objection I hear from people is “I know what to do, I don’t need someone to tell me what to do.” My response to that is “Great, then why aren’t you doing it?” The fact is that even when you know what you should be doing, often you don’t know the steps to take to get there, it seems too overwhelming, or you just need a solid kick in the butt. So get a coach. I promise it will be the best decision that you make both personally and professionally.
- Think about 3 things you are doing now (read: wasting your time on) that you could outsource. Set a goal around hiring someone to help you with those things. Ideally one would start immediately.
- Consider the tougher obstacles you’re facing now in practice that you can’t outsource (not enough clients, low repeat visits, clients sticking to a schedule, etc.) What is it worth to you to fix those things? What revenue are you currently missing out on? Consider contacting a coach to see if they can help you fix those problems.
That concludes my 4-part series on creating an actionable and strategic plan for your practice. If you work on these topics one step at a time you will make meaningful progress in your practice and get closer and closer to your ideal practice and life.
I truly believe that the way to make wellness care mainstream is to provide a remarkable client experience so that people WANT to come and see you instead of feeling that they have to because they’re at their wits end and in pain. That starts with you turning your passion into a viable income, so I’m here to help you every step of the way.
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