The Elephant in Your Practice
by Eve Haslam, 8.22.13
What they didn’t teach you before you went into practice?
We’ve all heard the expression, “the cobbler’s children have no shoes” –right? Welcome to the reality of being in business. You have the office, you’re all set up because maybe a service helped you get launched, maybe you got funding, and your only burning desire was to get busy seeing and treating your patients/clients. Of course, decorating the office is fun too! Here’s the thing – you’re swamped. Or maybe you’re not busy enough. Either way, it’s taking a lot of energy and ALL YOU WANT TO BE DOING IS WHAT YOU LOVE.
The first acknowledgment is that it’s NOT your fault. Being ambitious to get through all the required years and studies to acquire your BA, PhD or Masters was certainly taking all your focus. When would it of entered your mind to think, “aren’t they forgetting to teach me how to run my practice?”
The answer is YES. Not only is it barely included in most curricula, what is available out there today is a host of fractured services each typically addressing *aspects* of being in business like, HOW TO BUILD YOUR CLIENT LIST. BOOST YOUR SALES. THE SECRETS TO BRANDING & MARKETING. On and on.
Simply put, your burning desire to do what you love has become a burning state of anxiety that keeps you fatigued. What you’re suffering from is what I like to refer to as the elephant in your practice….nobody wants to say it, but here it is: You need expert help on how to run your practice!
From opening the doors, answering the phones, marketing your name, getting referrals, training and retaining employees, scripts for dealing with challenging conversations, balancing the books, managing your time, staying fit and healthy, cleaning the office, ordering supplies, traveling, dealing with emergencies, malpractice coverage, regulation adherence, forecasting goals, and SO MUCH MORE.
Maybe you’re experiencing a pattern of turn over, and you don’t know why they don’t stay or how to correct your choices. Maybe you’re having a hard time with getting the word out about what sets you apart. Maybe you’re dealing with a toxic culture where others are transferring their stories onto you. Maybe you don’t know how to reach your market of clients. Maybe you’re just plain exhausted because every time people give their word, they fall through. Maybe every time you make some headway, another setback appears.
What I’m here to tell you is the elephant in the room is your mindset. Not knowing how to make progress from where you are – stems from your MINDSET. And before the new paradigm can activate the old one has to die off. SO – the first step is always choosing to ask for help with how to operate your business, and then let the shifts begin!
New Paradigm: Mindset and Model
Rule #1: You must differentiate yourself from the business. When you incorporate as in an S Corporation, and not an LLC, you make a legal and emotional boundary between you and THE business. You’re now serving the business and have ceased making it about you, MY business, MY this and MY that. This changes the entire scape when you’re out of the way and now you have a platform from which to build.
Rule #2: You must have an expert in your corner. You’re the expert to your clients, now you need an expert for your business. When you don’t answer to anyone, who’s driving the bus? Similar to saying, you don’t know what you don’t know – that’s why you get an expert. An expert brings all the methods to strategize what you and the business needs. To paraphrase Einstein, the same mind that made you sick won’t make you well. You got yourself this far, now get help going the next 100 legs!
Rule #3: You have to have a road map – or as we say in the industry, a business model. Otherwise, how are you going to get from A to B? How will you even know where points A and B are? My model spells out the four corners of every business. In this model you’re set up on a two-year forecast, one-year goals, 90-day plans and weekly tasks: nothing gets missed.
And so if you’re with me so far, start the drum roll for my big finish: the model that catches EVERYTHING in the net is the four pillar system: how to get, how to run, how to guide and how to do your business. Getting covers all your sales, marketing, branding, culture needs. Running addresses daily operations from front to back office, hiring and firing, policy making, best practices, legal and ethical adherence, and accounting. Guiding describes the extended goals, the vision from year to year. Doing defines the actual “how to’s” in your practice: how to do what it is that you do from qualifying and screening your lead, to greeting the client, to dictation, to charting and much more.
Your take AWAY-
Business owners are my favorite people: passionate, sensitive and energetic. Doing what I love is caring about the vulnerabilities that exist in your thinking as you awkwardly do your best to live your dream. Just as you help the emotional perspective of your client, I assist in positioning your thinking (mindset), in concert with a road map to follow. You must maintain that this is the biggest feat of your life, and just as in the Olympics, you require expert help. Call out the elephant in your practice!
Guest blogger, author, performer, and results-oriented business strategist Eve Haslam speaks and teaches clients around the globe through Giving Voice Network, Inc.
To contact Eve directly, email: email@example.com or call: 828.707.0564.