You’re a therapist in private practice, so you’re an entrepreneur, even if you didn’t mean to be. Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. I wouldn’t choose anything else, but it’s not easy. When you’re in charge of creating your own livelihood, you deal with challenging emotions at times.
Getting in touch with my emotions about my business helps me grow and helps my business grow. Just like my relationship with my partner, my relationship with my business keeps me working on myself.
One of the feelings that comes up for almost every entrepreneur is envy.
I’ve found that I can make use of envy to make my business stronger.
When I ask a therapist what they want their business to be like, they tell me about how many more clients they need, or perhaps how much more money they need to make. OK. Important stuff. But I’m interested in helping therapists grow unique, satisfying and profitable businesses. So I ask more questions to uncover their ideal business.
Let’s think about you and your business for a moment.
Do you sometimes feel envy when you look at someone else's business?
If you’re not envious of anyone in particular, think about who’s business you would love to run. Go ahead and close your eyes and breathe as you think about this question. The answer will be helpful. I’ll wait.
Now get curious about your envy. There's a major clue there about the business you should be running.
What is it about their business that seems better than yours? You may not know what’s actually going on in their business, but that’s not important right now. Let’s look at what you BELIEVE about their business.
- Do you wish you had a waitlist like they do?
- Do you wish you had their niche?
- Do they seem to have their marketing all together?
- Do they seem to do networking so well that they have tons of great referral partnerships?
- Do you wish you had their schedule?
You’re gathering clues about what’s not working for you and clues about what would feel better. Your envy will help you answer questions like:
- Who would I like to be working with more?
- What hours would I like to stop working?
- What training should I purchase?
Envy is useful, but it doesn’t feel great, and you don’t need to stay stuck in it. The key to using envy as an ally is to remember that those things you want are possible for you too. You can shift that envy to a more joyful feeling, such as hope or possibility.
I recently did the exercise I describe above. My answer is always changing because at different times I need to focus on different possibilities for my businesses. While out on a walk, I asked myself what business (besides mine) I’d most want to run. I closed my eyes and stopped walking so I wouldn’t walk into a tree.
I easily identified someone who’s business I envy, and asked myself what I like about her business. She’s got a huge audience, and everything she puts out is valuable to her readers and clients. That’s important to me. As my business keeps growing, I want EVERYTHING I create to be of value to you. You know how sometimes a webinar you were excited to attend turns out to be one long sales pitch? I don’t ever want to do that.
Tap into your envy and find out what it has to tell you. And don't bump into a tree.
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