Like many of you, I attended part of the MYOB webinar series. For me, there was a moment that really stuck out for me. It was when Deb Legge said “Business problems are really just personal problems in disguise”. This was probably not meant to be some big moment in the series, but for me it was and this single sentence was the most valuable thing I got out of the whole thing.
When I heard Deb say this, it was like a light bulb went on in my head. It was one of those things that should be “obvious” or “common sense” and yet was also very profound. Of course, they are really just personal problems. Most of us therapists are soloprenuers. We’re the only ones responsible for our business, so naturally if there’s a problem, it comes down to us. And yet, we have such a hard time accepting this. We blame our business problems on the economy, on the terrible reputation of the profession, on Google adwords, but in the end, it really is just us.
After I heard Deb say this, I paused the webinar. I thought about every business problem I was currently having and tried to see how they were really just personal problems in disguise. It was certainly easier to see how past problems, as opposed to current problems, were really just personal problems. At the beginning of my private practice I lacked the assertiveness and confidence just to ask people to pay their copay! I could also see how during periods where I had been going through personal stuff how that was correlated with low-periods in my business.
Now, some people may not like this way of thinking. In some ways, it’s a lot easier to keep blaming it on the economy than to face reality. On the other hand, I like seeing it this way because now it means that I can actually do something about it. Understanding how your business problems are really just personal problems means that you can actually do something to improve your situation. Now you can work on the problem. For me, that’s very liberating. Suddenly, I have possible solutions to business problems that have been dogging me for years.
I want you to take a moment to list out all of your current business problems. Now try to see how each one of them is really a personal problem in disguise. What are some things you can do to try to improve this personal problem? I’ve found that when we work on these things that they often have a ripple effect, helping not just our business, but us as people also.