Have you had those moments with your practice that left you functioning out of desperation? I think we all have.
Cash flow is a little bit tight, your waiting room is emptier than you’d like, and you have some bills coming due that leave you feeling nervous. Sound familiar? It happens to all of us at some point during the growth of the practice.
Some months back, I was in a similar situation. I was plenty busy with some clients I was helping but hadn’t really had the time to focus on acquiring new business until the well started to dry up. In those moments, I could feel that sense of desperation creeping up on me. I started to consider clients that I normally wouldn’t normally work with because they were not part of my target market. And then one day “it” happened.
I was approached by a gentleman who wanted some help with his practice and he was willing to pay me top dollar to get it. I noticed that he was rather arrogant and a bit rude, but didn’t think anything about it and just kept moving forward. I was excited to be getting paid such a handsome sum and thought I would be able to brush off his behavior and ignore it.
Boy was I wrong! This man was so arrogant he thought he had all of the answers, and that I and everyone else in the world was wrong and simply didn’t see his vision and appreciate his “genius”. In an email to a colleague he had copied me on, he actually referred to me as his “little helper”! No wonder his practice was failing, right?
It was in that moment, I realized I had made a colossal mistake, and that when I got out of this transaction I vowed I would never let anyone treat me like that again.
What I learned from that experience is what happens to our practice when we operate out of a position of fear and desperation.
We begin to make decisions for our business that are not wise for the growth of the practice or true to ourselves. I learned that, it is especially in those times that we need to check in with, and trust that inner voice that tells us when something isn’t right.
When I made the decision to work with that man, I filled up my schedule and filled the place that other clients who were a much better fit for me could have filled. In doing so, I also filled up the time that could have been spent using to find my ideal client. A search for the perfect fit.
Desperation also impacts how we perform with people who are our ideal client. It makes sense when you think about it. If you’re working with someone who makes you miserable, you begin to behave in ways you normally wouldn’t. There is a spill-over effect that, as much as we try to control it, impacts other people around us. Now, it’s not just a matter of being miserable about one person. We are miserable and impacting other people around us that further debilitates the growth of your practice.
Since that fateful experience with that awful client, I go out of my way to find and work with people who leave me inspired. I make a concentrated effort to find people that I connect with and those I enjoy being around. I want to work with people who value what I have to offer, like me as a person and appreciate how I support them.
What I can tell you for sure, is that when those three things are in place you will be inspired to do your very best work and you’ll be happy and your clients will become raving fans each and every time. Because, just as making decisions out of desperation can impact the growth of your business, so too can making decisions out of inspiration.
When you are inspired to do, be and deliver your best work, there is a ripple effect that creates a momentum of growth. You start receiving more referrals, you get word of mouth business, you’re recognized more for your outstanding work and you’re living your best possible life.
While I realize it’s easier said than done when you’re in those moments of fear and panic, those are also the most important times to make decisions that leave you feeling positive. Those are the moment when you must trust that inner voice the most. If it’s telling you something is wrong, you need to listen.
During those times, you can join together with other practice owners who understand what you’re going through to keep you from acting out of fear and desperation. After all, they can perhaps understand your struggle better than anyone else.
How do you keep from making business decisions out of desperation? I’d love to hear in the comments below.