Hey fabulous clinicians,
Raise your hand if you’ve recently thought to yourself, “I should probably… maybe… go speak at a conference.”
Maybe you’ve already been invited to speak as a guest – but now you’re wondering…
How do I know if this is worth my time?
Especially if the speaking opportunities are free?
And what about other opportunities to invest in yourself and grow?
How do you decide whether to spend the money on professional development, or support for your business, or coaching and mentoring?
I get that it’s really tempting (especially if you’re the sole breadwinner in your family or your private practice) to put this stuff off – and wait until you miraculously find the time and money to do it. But the thing is, you know that if you’re not saying yes to new opportunities, new learning, new systems for growth – then you’re only positioning yourself for more frustration and more of the same.
So how do you decide what’s worth investing in, when there are so many different ways you can spend money today?
The first thing is that there are two costs to any opportunity.
The first is the cost of the thing itself – the price tag you pay to participate.
But there’s a second price tag – and that one is your time. When you’re not actively working with clients and billing, well, that’s an hour you could have been making money.
So how do we weigh this up? Well, to be really boring and completely unsexy…
The best way to weigh this up is to ask yourself:
what learning, what marketing, what business development, and what self-care activities do you need to take action on in order to help you achieve your goals?
What are your goals for the next year? What is your plan for achieving those goals, and what is your budget? I know, you might be thinking, “thank you captain obvious,” but it is as plain as day that consistency of effort brings the biggest result.
I know you all want the silver bullet to automatic success, but it’s a lie. What I do know, and what experience has me and my clients time and time again, is that the daily grind of doing the things that need to be done is what’s going to bring you success. We explore this in depth inside Accelerate Your Practice.
So here’s an example of weighing up the costs and benefits of investing in yourself and taking time out of your business: If you attend a full day of training, not only will you improve your skills and get the CPD points you need… but if you choose your training wisely, you’ll be in a situation to marketing yourself as a professional and an expert. And that means you’re in a better position to grow your business – which is kinda the whole point, right?
Here’s an example where giving over your time might not make sense: you’ve been asked to present for the third time to a local organisation – for free, again. If it’s clear from your experience that saying YES to these opportunities in the past hasn’t resulted in growth – then don’t keep doing the same thing and expecting something different. Because that’s just charity.
But the caveat is…
Something you need to remember is that investments like scenario #1 may not bring automatic, immediate results and I know a lot of people expect to go to a training course or a seminar or a conference on a Friday and that there will be new referrals in their inbox as a result of that training or conference on the Saturday. I’m really sorry… but it rarely works like this.
You need to implement what you’ve learned to be able to take a hold of the successes. Not only do you need the time and the money + resources to go and train and develop yourself, you also need the time and money + resources to implement what you have learned into your practice to help you achieve your goals.
So if you’re planing on investing in some new, shiny thing, hoping that it will be THE THING that changes everything for you – I’m sorry, but it doesn’t work that way. You have to do the work, you have to implement those new learnings if you want to see any results.
Otherwise, what happens is that you keep spending money, or attending cool new events, signing up for cool new courses, and getting really excited and inspired – with nothing to show for it. Suddenly, it’s a week later, and you’re back in your office feeling underwhelmed and disillusioned because nothing has changed.
Do NOT invest if you are not willing to implement.
Now, for me, I have done this in a couple of ways.
In 2016, I invested heavily in my team for us to become proficient coaches. I paid for a expert in coaching, in neuro-leadership style of coaching, to actually deliver training to my team members so that I could reposition Purple Co with a different skill set to our competitors. I’ve also done this for myself in terms of my own marketing and business development learning. Sometimes I get lucky and see immediate results, but normally, it takes time – and most importantly, I don’t see any results if I don’t implement and follow up like I know I need to.
And how about self-care? It’s a long-term game, too. Many of you will have noticed from my Facebook posts, I actually don’t start work until midday on a Monday and dedicate Monday morning to my self-care, which is me going to a 90 minute yoga class plus travel. My business hasn’t suffered and in fact, my health has improved and I know with improvements to my health I am going to have a much more successful practice and generally feel better about myself.
Growing a private practice doesn’t happen by wishing it into being, so if you need to way up the pros and cons of going to training and the pros and cons of doing business development and the pros and cons of self-care, then it’s time to take stock.
It’s December, 2016, people! I can’t believe I just wrote that.
How do you need to plan to achieve your goals in these three areas?
What will you commit to for professional development, for business development, and for self-care into 2017? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Share with me what is going on for you in the comments below.
Here’s to your success,