After 15 years of helping therapists and healers build successful practices, the fear and resistance many have around investing in their success still surprises me at times. Many want to have a full and thriving practice, but are afraid or unwilling to invest time and money into the business side of their practice–or don’t think they shouldn’t have to.
This is in direct contrast to most business owners in other industries who realize when they start a business that it will take time and dollars to get their business off the ground and to keep it going in the long term.
The fact that many helping professionals are reluctant to invest in the success of their practice is one of the key reasons why so many of them fail or at least struggle for years.
How Resistance Manifests:
- neglecting to schedule time to market or marketing in fits and starts
- expecting that having a website and listing on a few online directories is going to fill your practice and keep it full forever
- reluctance to invest money in marketing, or not believing you have to
- having websites that are not working or, in some cases, are just downright awful
- failing to hire administrative help even though doing so would save time and money in the long haul
- thinking you can learn and do everything by yourself, as you drive yourself into overwhelm and exhaustion
- not investing in business education: business and marketing books, taking business-building courses and workshops, investing in private consulting or coaching, etc.
Now…if this is beginning to sound like you, your resistance might start showing up right about now with thoughts like these:
“Yes, but I don’t have much money.”
“ I don’t have time to market.”
“How do I know I will get a return on the money and time I invest?’
“I don’t want to spend money when I am not yet making any.”
Part of Being Successful is Due to Strategic Investing
If any of the above statements sound like you, I hear you. I remember funds being tight when I was first building my business. However, that didn’t stop me from investing in whatever it took to make my business grow.
I hired coaches and professionals to help me. I invested in programs and courses to teach me what I needed to know…and even with the things I did know, I invested money to help me do them better. As I got busier, I hired a bookkeeper, an assistant and other professionals as required. I invested wherever I needed to in order to reach my goals. And, somehow I found the funds to do this.
I continue to invest in my business more than ever because I know it helps me get better at what I do. It helps me streamline my systems, be more efficient with my time, improve my business strategy, expand my creativity, and increase my income.
I recently hired a marketing coach who charges double what I charge. I’m doing this because even with all my years of marketing and business experience, I want to learn more and become even better at my business. I therefore knew it was important to hire someone who knows more than I do. I have no doubt that I will get a significant return on this investment.
My story is not unique.
The most successful therapists and healing artists are the ones who have invested their time and dollars into learning what they needed to know. And, many of these folks didn’t have a lot of funds when they started. What they did do, however, was make their business a priority and choose to find the time and money to make it work.
This is surely what many of your clients do as well. They don’t all have a lot of money to spend on your services, but their desire to change and grow is strong enough that they make it a priority to invest in your services.
If you resonate with any of this, you might want to ask yourself why there is a contradiction between what you expect your clients to invest in your services, and what you are willing to invest in your own success.
I am NOT saying you should spend your time and money randomly or foolishly. Any decision you make to invest money in your business should be strategic and within the context of your goals and your financial situation.
What I am suggesting is that you ask yourself these 3 questions:
1. Do you really want to succeed in private practice and if so, what does success specifically look like to you? You can’t make a plan if you don’t know what your goals are. Likewise, it will be difficult to be committed if you don’t know what you are committing to.
2. What are you able and willing to invest in terms of time and financial resources in order to reach those goals? Remember what you believe you “can afford” will depend in part on how important this is to you.
3. What risks are you willing to take as you invest? Part of succeeding in business means taking calculated risks. Not everything works out as planned and sometimes you’ll make mistakes. However, the key is to learn from these mistakes and adjust your strategy accordingly.
In the long term, if you truly commit yourself to doing what it takes to succeed, you will be successful in spite of a slow economy, high competition, or most other factors that you believe are obstacles. It’s not always easy. Sometimes you’ll feel lost, confused and completely out of your comfort zone. But, one thing is for sure, success is possible if you stick with it.