08 July 2009

Is Your Fear of Risk Slowly Killing Your Practice?

These two terms -- solopreneur and risk-taker -- are operationally synonymous, when looking back from the vantage point of success. Businesses that succeed engage in continuous investment in marketing foundations and growth structures.

This is especially true of one-person practices in the helping and healing arts.

Yet, when looking forward from the mindset of a novice self-employed business owner, taking risks seems to be an anathema. I see a lot of this anxiety in those who are used to working for others and getting a steady pay-check.

Therapists, NDs, and coaches who aren't experienced with or temperamentally suited for wise risk-taking get emotionally, financially, and operationally paralyzed. When they can't overcome their fear, they soon find themselves out of business altogether.

It doesn't have to be that way. Fear of investing in your practice can and must be tamed.

One way to do that is to relate to your business as if it were your own child. It needs care and feeding, and new clothes on a continual basis. You can't feed it once in July and expect it to thrive on its own until October.

If your fear of risk is slowly killing your private practice, here are the action steps to turn that around.
  1. Set a monthly budget -- think of it as an allowance for your child
  2. Use all the do-it-yourself resources you can
  3. Get expert help in outlining a marketing plan so you know the right things to do and when to do them
  4. Discipline yourself to tend to marketing your business every day
  5. Increase your budget as your practice grows
  6. Develop and market multiple streams of income
  7. Track the results of your efforts, discard what isn't paying off, increase what is
Above all, don't focus on the fear. Focus on the steps you are taking to nourish your child.


Buck Black said...

I appreciate the post! So many therapists do not want to spend a penny on their practice. I am always trying to find the balance of spending enough money to help the cause, but not throwing my money away. I really like the idea of increasing your ad budget as your income increases!


ReSet Coach said...

an amazing blog, THANK YOU, I came to your blog through a link in ICA and I found it is one of the most useful blogs I have ever read, I cant wait to forward it to my friends, Wish you ALL the best ALWAYS

Coach Deah said...

Hi Buck, thanks for your comment. I hope to educate colleagues on how important it is to have a marketing mindset. (Although I'm not sure I would advocate advertising per se, as it's not the most cost effective form of marketing).

Coach Deah said...

Hi Ruba,
thanks for your input on this blog, and for circulating it to your friends. All the best to you in your coaching practice.