I’d been in my finance career for a few years, when after yet another disillusioned day, I finally made a pledge to work out exactly where the hell I going with my career? I had never aspired to be a banker, or hangout in the corporate finance world of suits and power dressing. I had a high flying management position, I loved my team and seeing them develop and grow, but I hated my job. I had wanted to be a vet and get muddy, stick my hand up cows bums and do my bit for animal suffering around the world. But my A-level years had ended up being a bit of a roller coaster ride. Losing my dad to cancer and the man I saw as my step dad to a brain hemorrhage within 3 months of each other sent me a little off the rails and I lost focus. It was a case of survival.. My dad had also not dealt with his diagnosis well and it had at times elevated his alcohol dependency and violent outbursts.
Realising I would now not be joining vet school, I decided to leave school and get a ‘good steady job in the bank’. There was no point going to uni just for the sake of it, getting myself in debt for a degree I had no long term interest in.
Now I was desperate to leave the corporate world and to find my place, find my new calling!
Enrolling onto my chiropractic degree was exciting but overwhelming. I knew I had found my ‘thing’, but I was terrified of how the hell I was going to afford it and how would i get all the work done. I knew I couldn’t stay in my corporate job for another 5 years so I handed in my notice and enrolled on an intensive massage course so that I could get myself working in the world of therapy whilst I completed the big degree!
For 3 months I waited for the phone to ring. I had made beautiful little massage leaflets and business cards which I had delivered and posted EVERYWHERE. I had put an ad in the local paper. Surely someone, somewhere wanted a massage from me? Why the hell wasn’t the phone ringing?? How was I going to pay the mortage, my degree and support myself? I went to a temping agency and signed up to be a carer. This hadn’t been part of the plan but what the hell was I supposed to do! Ring phone ring!!
Fast forward to today and 20 years have passed and as I write this I will shortly be back off to my clinic room for an afternoon/evening of chiropractic patients.
I look back on those times and wish so badly that someone could of pulled me aside and explained to me what I know so clearly now……when you try and talk to everybody, you actually talk to nobody.
But the reality is that even now I meet therapists who have amazing skills, passions and abilities, still struggling to build successful therapy businesses, because although they have their shiny certificates, they still receive little or no training in how to run a therapy business and how to be their own boss. Some may join a company, work their arses off and get paid a pittance percentage, others try their best to build their own businesses but have no solid foundation in place for it to succeed. It breaks my heart that 20 years later this lack of training, support and knowledge still exists.
When, many years ago, my own business coach asked me…’who is your ideal client?’ I had absolutely NO IDEA what the hell she was talking about! Why was this important? Surely I would just treat everybody and then keep my fingers crossed that they would like me and come back? When they came in I just adapted my way of working and my persona to try and match my patients and their expectations. Wasn’t that what everyone did?
If someone came to see me and didn't come back i would take it deeply personally that i must of failed them, done something wrong or they didn't like me. I couldn't work what or why they hadn't come back but it must of been my fault. It would knock my confidence so much.
I hadn't realised the significance of finding MY ideal clients, my people, my tribe!
I hadn't realised that they perhaps just weren't my ideal clients. I hadn't acknowledged the lack of connection. Hell I had no idea back then about the importance of connection. That perhaps these people were simply not my people, but they were somebody else's people, and that was ok!
Once I realised and accepted that I wasn't for everybody and that it was ok....it felt so bloody good!
Removing the exhausting pressure to be a million different people to please each and every patients expectations was liberating! It was time to just be ME!
Knowing I could and SHOULD just be myself, and that in being myself I would attract the clients that would connect with me.....the real me! The ones that I would 'get' and who would 'get' me!
A weight finally lifted! This was now where true connection could begin and when my practice began to thrive! It was liberating!
Once I realised who my people were, I could adapt all my marketing to just talk to them. I stopped talking to everybody, I only talked to them! They were the only people I wanted to talk to and who ultimately I wanted to work with and help.
Finally I could be just me. The phone began to ring and it never stopped ringing.
Are you making sure your gifts find the people who need them?
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