Lots of people have written books about healthy living. In our field, the main audience for healing books is the clients in need, but consider that the same advice that applies to life and love ALSO applies to your business. To grow your healing business, you can learn a lot from the wisdom offered to clients.
For the analogy to work, you have to accept (or bear with) the notion that as a business owner, you are in a relationship with your business. And, your business is in a relationship with your clients and the tools they use to find your help.
When you mismanage those pieces, it’s easy to see how the relationship doesn’t work. In the same way that you accept the concept of “Love Languages” or “Daring Greatly” or “Getting The Love You Want”, the relationship between you and your business needs the same loving attention to thrive.
So let me walk you through some very important BUSINESS lessons you can apply that come straight from the authors you so love and adore for your clients. Doing this will not only help you find more clients and make you more money, it also lines up your highest values about relationships to your business. When that happens, marketing and growing your healing business becomes a whole lot easier.
Here are 6 authors you know and love with a new twist to help grow your healing business:
The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
This well-known book makes one simple principal clear: people FEEL love differently. We are not all the same. And, that doesn’t make us bad or unreasonable or unkind. It simply states that we are different. To have someone you love actually feel your intention, you need to speak to them in THEIR language, not necessarily your own.
This is really the platinum rule in action.
The golden rule is “do unto others as you would have done unto you.” The platinum rule is to “do unto others as they would have done unto themselves”.
In other words, love people in their own language.
How does this apply to business? It’s the same thing as human relationships, only in business your communication is carried out on places like your website, articles, videos, social media marketing, etc. Much of which occurs long before you ever meet in person.
That is why knowing the actual language that mirrors what your clients need is the easiest way forward. Unfortunately, what often happens is that your marketing language mirrors who you are with little connection to where your clients are.
How do you find your clients language?
What do they tell you in their intake calls?
What crisis brought them to your office?
What tipping point caused them to say, “Enough is enough, I’m getting help today.”
Those words, those insights are the beginning of a smart marketing strategy because they speak about the client’s needs, not the help you want to provide.
Dr. Chapman’s book is incredibly insightful about human communication. His work tells us that it’s important to hear and truly “get” the language your clients use as they explore the journey to greater health and harmony.
If you trust the concept of Love Languages, it’s very easy to see how it can help you grow your healing business.
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
I think most of us know and love this book. If you’re one of the few people who are unfamiliar, this video will give you a short look at how amazing her work is for the human race.
At the heart of her message are two concepts: vulnerability and imperfection. As clinicians and healers, these ideas have transformed our world. Finding acceptance and self-love are two of the most common topics clients ask us to investigate for them.
But this is about you, and your business.
So I ask, what if you were to accept at face value that you are not perfect when it comes to knowing your clients, their needs, or what it takes to connect with them in our modern world?
Many of you would immediately say, “You’re right, I don’t.”
But maybe that acknowledgment also inspires a twinge of guilt. How is it that after all this time working in the field, you’re still perplexed about how to market your business and reach people in need?
Maybe you feel angry or frustrated about it. You say to yourself, “Technology changes too often, I can’t keep up so why bother.” (This is not an untrue statement by the way- it’s painful how much it all changes.)
So if you can accept that you’re imperfect, the logical next step is vulnerability – being vulnerable and asking for help.
Clients do this all the time.
In every human relationship, the benefits of being vulnerable, letting down your walls and finding the courage to do the next brave thing is your work.
So if you know this to be true, ask yourself what is required for you to be vulnerable? Are you getting the support you need to run your practice? Have you shared your struggles with trusted colleagues or your loved ones?
Once you’re clear about where you’re stuck, you can explore the help that will get you unstuck. Just remember, perfection does not exist. Living with those internal voices that beat you up all day long is darkening your light.
Take the risk to be perfectly imperfect like the rest of the world and embody that you’re a beautiful work in progress. Being vulnerable with the right people can go a long way towards growing your healing business and attracting clients who appreciate the authentic way you serve the world.
Mating In Captivity by Esther Perel
The concept in this book that can bring a needed lift to your business is novelty. Novelty is the key to something old feeling new again. And while you don’t have to reinvent yourself, anyone who is stuck doing the same thing day in and day out will eventually get bored, and sometimes soft and less effective.
Push yourself to try something new.
When you renew your CEs take a different kind of class. When you’re perusing the bookstore, buy a book that’s different from self-help or healthy living. Try a novel and lose yourself in a story. And while you’re at it, get off the computer and go to the actual bookstore! Even changing venues can help.
Novelty also sparks discussion around words like balance and harmony. When something new enters our life, it’s often accompanied by excitement. That feeling arouses us and we may need less sleep, feel less dreary or dragged down by our work and worries. That’s the wonderful benefit of novelty. But, too much can also lead to distraction, lack of focus and inattentiveness. Focused novelty helps businesses to innovate, and sometimes even looking at your peers and their growth is enough to inspire creativity.
Perhaps, spend your business development time doing something that offers a more holistic approach like taking a hike, learning yoga or getting your physical body in action. Meditation, prayer, singing, and laughter are healing and energizing too.
Whatever novel thing you add to your work hours, remember the purpose is to inspire you and bring you out of whatever ruts you feel you have fallen into. Perfection isn’t on the agenda here, just exploring and trying something new.
And whenever you can, have some fun while you’re at it.
Wired For Love by Stan Tatkin
Dr. Tatkin’s book on understanding your partner’s attachment style is a great primer for couples and can do wonders for a practice with multiple clinicians. Everyone has their primary attachment style, understanding your partner’s style can go a long way towards avoiding conflict and increasing community at work.
Consider that your business partner(s) may not look at life through the same lens as you do. Their attachment style may cause them to feel more anxious or cause them to detach and pull away during times of stress. It’s important to remember that attachment styles are not personal; no one is directing them at another, it’s just part a person’s core makeup and therefore is always better understood than judged.
Dr. Tatkin also speaks at length about secure functioning relationships. Those are the ones where you can be your true self and feel safe. Whatever happens within that bubble is ok so long as your agreed-upon rules are in place. You set this kind of healthy communication in place by talking about decision making, conflict management, and sensitivities BEFORE they become an issue.
Imagine having that kind of relationship with the other therapist, coaches or healers in your practice?
In business, when you have to make critical decisions about things like spending money, expenditure of resources, time management, sales and pricing, technology and more, it’s helpful to know the attachment styles of your colleagues so you’re prepared for whatever lies ahead. Then, you can take your colleague’s responses in a more holistic light and respond accordingly.
You can also avoid foreseeable challenges and preemptively address predictable conflict.
Attachment style also applies to all of your business contractors and vendors. Often you won’t have all of the information to truly “know” someone’s attachment style, but you do know your own. Set plans in motion to get your needs met ahead of time so when challenges arise, you have that agreement to fall back on.
Just remember that human relations are imperfect and like all things, it’s a work in progress.
Hold Me Tight by Dr. Sue Johnson
The premise in this book that applies so elegantly to your business is twofold: cut to the chase and admit your dependency on others for help. The context of her book is advice for couples, but it applies nicely to your business.
You need your business to deliver certain things or else you will be OUT of business. If you’re too busy focusing on things like “I don’t like social media” or “I’m not a good writer” you will continually be distracted from what is required to make a healing business successful today.
In this case, facts are facts, whether you choose to agree with them or not.
The world is online.
Your clients use social media.
They search for help of all kinds online.
The Yellow Pages is gone and buried.
The primary vehicle clients across the globe use to find help IS the Internet. There is no other way.
Avoiding these basic facts makes it harder for your clients to find you and makes you deeply dependent on other sources to send you clients, and often at a lesser rate than you’re worth.
Dr. Johnson’s approach to couples in her 7 conversation model allows couples to cut to the chase and get to work. It does require letting go of some of the traditional notions of looking at the past and finding the root source for a particular behavior, but it’s so freeing!
Instead of being distracted by stories that are at best one person’s version of the truth, couples are able to move into the areas that are the most vulnerable to hurt and harm.
Taking the same forensic approach with your business will allow you to discover things like: where your clients interact online (because it’s not everywhere), what social sites they are on (because it’s not every one), what kind of marketing you need to do so you connect with potential clients (again, you don’t need to do everything), and what you can delegate to others (because you don’t have to do it all, you just need to make sure it’s all done).
That approach will allow you to manage your business with precision and efficiency and not waste time on things that don’t contribute to your bottom line.
You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay
Louise Hay’s main message in this book is that if you’re willing to do the mental work, almost anything can be healed. What you think about yourself (or your business) becomes the truth for you.
Think it’s too hard to write articles? It will be.
Believe social media is a waste of your time? It is.
Afraid that you won’t be able to get enough clients? You won’t.
When you focus on your fears in addition to negative thoughts and beliefs about your business, you’ll have a sick business that is in desperate need of healing. Once you change your thoughts from the roadblocks and on to the possibilities with a willingness and curiosity, you’ll discover that your business will begin getting back on track.
Clearly, the modern therapist and self-empowerment writer knows a LOT more about life than just how to help couples in relationships. Using the advice from these 6 amazingly successful healers, it’s easy to see how you can apply their wisdom to your practice.
If your goal is to reduce the stress around running your business, please contact us for a free professional consultation. The time spent together can help you focus on the tasks ahead and a plan that will allow you to do the things you must to thrive in this year and for many more in the future.