We live in unprecedented times. Some practitioners have reduced their hours. Others have closed. Others are no longer permitted to open.
We need to survive the coming months but even more importantly we need to prepare for a practice ‘re-boot’.
Chances are you have some time on your hands or at least will have once you have deferred payments, re-organised the roster, looked after your staff and other practitioners and communicated with your clients.
As the dust settles and the globe settles in for various stages of lock down we are provided with opportunities. The opportunity for personal and professional evolution.
A few months back you were cruising along. You may have felt at ease with moving your practice from one week to the next, meeting all your financial obligations, not necessarily having an exit plan.
Well, now you do and that’s not a bad thing.
Every business owner should have one. Your practice ultimately serves you not the other way around. It is a means to an end! You must know what next otherwise, you’re a hamster on a wheel.
Every crisis brings opportunity, opportunity for radical change, for radical contribution, for radical growth!
The question is what are you going to do?
I talk to highly successful entrepreneurs who mentor and coach many wellness practitioners and other business owners. If I lead with my ‘whoa is me’ story, it quickly becomes apparent they aren’t buying it. My closest friend and long time mentor, Marcus Bird, told me recently, ‘let go of the parents. He said in crisis, particularly, we go into fear and survival. That’s natural, however, for some it may mean resignation and a sense of giving up much like a helpless child. We become self-critical and self-loathing. We tell ourselves we are doing something wrong. We subconsciously look for evidence, choosing particular conversations that support our premise, much like a scathing parent who never approved of us. We then start looking for other ‘adults to replace our ‘parent’ and comfort us, tell us we’re okay, we’re going to be okay!
Let go of the parent folks. It’s time to be your own parent.
Highly successful wellness practitioners and coaches are their own parents. They just don’t buy any other way of thinking.
These individuals are always looking for the angle, the opportunity, preparing for a reboot.
For many, they have built successful business enterprises in the midst of crises, e.g. GFC, SARS, various stock market crashes etc.
When everyone is scuttling, these guys are accelerating!
Right now most your clients are at home irrespective of whether you are permitted or chosen to practice.
So, what are you going to do?
Prepare for the reboot now.
1. Ask yourself…
- If my practice was to close down tomorrow what would I do?
- If I suddenly had to choose who to work with who would that be?
- If I had the time what amazing project would I love to start?
- If I had the time, what initiatives could I set up in my practice when it re-opens.
- If I could change my patient hours what would that look like?
- If I had to take a close look at my budget right now what would I get rid of?
- What would it look like if I stopped all non-essential purchases?
- What off-site services could I develop right now?
- How could I improve my client communications and automation?
- How would I improve / develop my office procedure manual?
Right now, you have the time. Right now, the Government are doing their best to help support you whilst you have the time.
2. Have a Personal Wellness Practice
Ok, so the gym, pool, squash and tennis centre are all closed. Time to adapt and re-focus. Before rebooting you need to ensure your personal wellness is intact. Let’s face it. All of us relapse particularly right now. We stop exercising completely, spend too much time on the PC, eat the wrong food and before we know it we in a mental and physical slump. This is not going to help you when reboot time comes along! It’s a bit like training for a marathon. You can’t just expect to turn up at the start line.
In the Million Dollar Wellness Intern program, one of its founding principles is mindset. Get your head right and the rest will follow.
If your mindset is not great right now, find a mentor, sign up for online training. Now, more than ever you need to mentally and physically strong to tackle the months ahead.
3. Review your avatar and niche.
It’s time to review your ideal avatar for you and the practice. Is your client base reflective of your ideal avatar and, if not, why not! Now, this is the time to redesign your ideal client profile and your ideal practice profile. I refer to this in my program as the ‘Avatar avalanche‘ and the ‘Bridge’ exercises.
Once you have reviewed who this person is, and what your revised practice looks like you can set about developing the mindset to attract them to your clinic. Remember, this is a pre-reboot step, you are setting the foundations for what’s ahead.
You have an opportunity to literally re-design your practice from the ground up.
4. Come up with a Compelling Signature Offer
As a wellness coach, you are a trusted figure. People will come to you because they know, or they believe you can help them solve their problems. But if you’re wishy-washy about helping them, they won’t feel confident either that you can solve their wellness issues. This puts to mind the importance of having a signature offer.
To do that, you can come up with a program that will help them navigate through the process of transforming their lives. Use practices or principles that work for you and identify which can also apply to your clients. If you understand your niche, do a brainstorming on what your clients struggle most with. From there, you can then create a step-by-step program that can help them identify what to do. Ensuring flexibility in the program as every person or situation requires unique approaches.
Take note. Your offer’s stability will help show your value to your clients right away, which then leads to growing them alongside your business.
5. Be a little more bold.
Most health professionals keep a low profile. With such strict advertising regulations that are sometimes unclear, practitioners are fearful of expressing their true potential.
Now is the time to let go of the parent and step a little further into the spotlight. Your clients want to see you and hear your message.
Be careful, strategic and compliant. Ensure you are fully briefed with your regulatory / association advertising guidelines. Subscribing to board approved / association endorsed social media content. Follow wellness leaders who are experts in wellness communications. Ask your association about mentorships to help you step up in a professional and compliant way. Subscribe to practitioner training programs.
Your profession, your clients and your team need to hear your voice. Now, is the time to find that voice.
4. Established good habits
Every successful businessman or woman has regular habits. They get up at 6am every morning, read and respond to emails, check their calendar, etc. At 7am they have breakfast with their family, walk the dog at 7.30am, then head to the office. The rest of the day is much the same. They have daily habits, most of which are non-negotiable.
Right now your daily routine is probably upside down. This is about adaptation and flexibility. It is about re-training your mind to think about a new routine. For years it has been the same and suddenly it is not. The first thing to do is breathe and meditate. It will take a little time to adapt to the new world order.
If you’re still at the practice start by working around the new roster, assuming you have reduced hours. Avoid sleeping in, set the alarm the same time each day. Dress as if you are heading to the clinic even if you are not. Decide the first thing you do each day. For me I check my emails, calendar and my TODO list for the day. I then extract this onto a notepad and work off that for the rest of the day.
The point here, you just need to decide. Sure, it will feel weird at first but that’s just your ego piping up with that voice telling you something not right.
Humans have an incredible ability to adapt to changing environments. That voice in your head may disagree, but neurologically, this is the reality. Know you can adapt and that you will be okay.
PS: Whenever you’re ready… here are 7 ways I can help you build your wellness practice.
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About the author:
Andrew believes for health practices thriving, practitioners and practice owners need to, what he refers to as ‘step up into their power’. Leadership is about leading. Sounds simple right? So why are so many practitioners are struggling to make a living, eventually burning out and giving up?
Andrew has successfully built 2 multi-disciplinary, health practices to nearing a million pa. He has mentored many leading practice owners helping, them reach this target and beyond.
Andrew is married to Dr. Linda Wilson and has two children, Isaac and Bella. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.