If you’ve been on my email list for more than 2 days, you’ve seen that on the first of every month there’s an opportunity for free consulting. Usually 30-40 spots open up and are claimed within minutes (which totally makes me feel like Bono, or whoever the kids are listening to these days).
Let me tell you about the hate-mail I get about this:
Every month, without fail, at least one person sends me an email along the lines of “there’s nothing available and you should have more open for people” or “why did you send an email out with no actual slots available?” They almost always end with “unsubscribe me!”
Do I mention that they fill up in minutes in the email? Why yes, I do. Do I let folks know another opportunity will come around the next month? Uh huh.
Now, this is not to be confused with the 20-30 emails I get saying something like, “It doesn’t look like there are slots available. Can that be right?” or “Can you sign me up?” Those folks are kind and curious and didn’t read the email word for word. I read very few emails word for word so no judgment here.
Anyway, here are my knee jerk assumptions about this brand of hater:
They encounter a lot of roadblocks. That could be a chicken and an egg deal, but at this point they’re looking for evidence that people are bad or disappointing.
They anger easily and lash out. ‘Cause really, let’s all take a breath and understand that not getting a free offer is disappointing, but nothing to lose your shit over. Probably there’s other stuff going on in life, but lashing out at a stranger on the internet in any context should be an indication that you should be looking inward.
There may be a smidge of entitlement. I think that’s pretty self-explanatory.
Here’s my fear for their private practice:
To build a successful practice you need to be resilient and flexible. Not all the time, mind you, but it’s something to strive for even if, like me, you are sensitive and tend toward the rigid.
To build a successful practice you have to be hopeful. Again, not always, because we’re human. Looking for evidence that things are going well is much more likely to serve you.
To build a successful practice you need to be diplomatic. Speak your mind, yes, but think it through first. Make sure you’re taking a stand on things that matter and are consistent with who you are or want to be in the world.
To build a successful practice you need to understand that the world doesn’t owe you anything. You are not owed success or referrals or wealth or your dream practice. You have to work for that shit and most of the work is managing anxiety and resistance.
Here’s how I feel about their demand to “unsubscribe” them:
Happy to! 100% totally happy to! I want people on my list who are good fit. Just like you don’t need to say “yes” to every client who calls, I don’t want poor-fit people clogging up my lists lovely energy.
Haters gonna hate, right? (Taylor Swift! That’s who they’re listening to, right?!)
Here’s how I respond:
Depending on how nasty the email is, sometimes I open a Google Doc and write some um… frustration-clearing sentences.
Once that’s out of my system I think about what I want them to know. In the future I’ll just email them this blog post, but the last really barbed email I received was sent this reply (she accused me of not actually having any available and just enjoying wasting people’s time):
“As I wrote in the email these fill up in a matter of minutes. There’s only time for about 30-40 of them a month since they’re free, after all.
I encourage you to consider alternative explanations to why you might not be getting what you want. Jumping to the conclusion that they were not available to begin with is an unfortunate perspective that I hope you don’t carry into other areas of your life. There’s a lot of good out there in the world.
I will unsubscribe you as requested after I send this. I wish you well and hope you get the practice you want.
Because maybe she’s walking around with the workplace trauma many of us have faced. Because she was probably drawn to this field to be of service just like me. Because that behavior and those assumptions aren’t going to serve her. My friend, Jane, who I always share hater stories with laughed, “Ha, you just therapied her.” Damn straight. She didn’t get a free consultation for her business in the way she’d hoped, but she did get some free advice.
Before you assume you’re safe from your own stories
We’ve all got rules about our worlds that are keeping us from what we want in life and in business. One I struggle with is that I have to work really hard to be worthy of what I have. I could literally work 15 hours less per week and probably impact as many people and make the same amount of money. It’s entirely my own shit (and I’m working on it, I swear). Look at your most frequent complaints to find your story. Are you always tired, busy, demotivated, uninspired, unappreciated? Check in to see how your story is impacting your life and your business.
Have you identified one? Own it in the comments so we can support you in shifting it.
P.S. I told some of you that the free consulting would go out at noon. I got on autopilot and scheduled it for 6am. On a Saturday. Pretty brutal. Sorry to lead you astray.
Allison Puryear is an LCSW with a nearly diagnosable obsession with business development. She has started practices in three different states and wants you to know that building a private practice is shockingly doable when you have a plan and support. After retiring her individual consultation services, she opened the Abundance Party, where you can get practice-building help for the cost of a copay. You can download a free private practice checklist to make sure you have your ducks in a row, get weekly private practice tips, listen to the podcast, hop into the free Facebook Group. Allison is all about helping you gain the confidence and tools you need to succeed.