In a facebook group I watched the unfolding of one of variations of the “consultants aren’t helpful and are out for your money” conversation. I watch these with interest and a tinge of fear. Is it me they’re talking about? Do they think I’m one of the money-grubbers who takes advantage?
So, let me be 100% totally clear: You don’t need a consultant. You can build your practice without one just fine.
I don’t want anyone to get the impression that they’re going to crash and burn without the support of a consultant/business coach. That’s not the truth. If you encounter anyone insinuating that that’s the truth run the other way. If you ever hear me say something that sounds like that, call me on it.
Honestly, I don’t need a consultant. Nor do I need a therapist. Or a housekeeper. Or an iPhone (especially since I’ve taken all the work stuff off of it). But at any given point in recent history I’ve had most if not all of those things and have been really grateful for them.
Can I segue into a marketing story real quick? I was vision boarding with some awesome ladies at my friend Jane’s house. It was the first time in years I’d gone through a beauty magazine. There was literally an ad warning against inevitable neck sag induced by looking down at your phone. Let’s look at the evil genius in an ad like this: they know we aren’t giving up our phones. They know their ad is surrounded by photographs of 19 year olds who won’t have anything sagging for a while. They know that the primary readership is comprised of women who have endured the indignity of slightly aging in our youth-centric society. Women of means who aren’t “too far gone” yet and look! this one little injectible can make us look a bit more like the hot airbrushed model on the next page.
So much marketing relies on your insecurities. Spend a week paying attention to the ways you’re marketed to. It’s disgusting how much of it comes from a place of “You aren’t good enough as you are. But you can be if you use this product/service.”
The truth: You are smart enough to learn what you need to without a consultant. And the information is out there, for free. You are resourceful enough to use and apply what you learn. You are tough enough to bear the hard times. You don’t need paid services.
So if I believe that, why do I consult?
Just because you can do it on your own doesn’t mean you have to or want to.
A good consultant will save you time. We’ve already done a ton of research, had our own experiences building, and have helped others. We’re like the Cliff’s Notes of practice-building. We give you actual feedback about your actual practice. We buoy you when you feel like giving up and strategize next moves. We celebrate with you as you meet your goals. And as is common in my consultations, we tell you when you need to slow down, stop hustling, and take a beat so you don’t burn out.
I’ve valued the direction I’ve gotten from my consultants over the years and am clear that my business has landed where I wanted it much sooner as a result. I would have gotten there eventually, but I’m not really the patient type.
Most of you won’t ever pay a dime for consulting and I’m genuinely happy to offer free direction through the blog, the checklist, and the facebook group. My goal is not for everyone to work with me. I’d have a serious supply & demand problem. My goal is to provide strategies, resources, and support as people build. I then get to have deeper and more meaningful relationships with the people and practices that do choose to work with me.
I can’t speak for all consultants, but I feel like the consultants I hang with would nod in agreement here. Those of us who are legit want to build you (and your practice) up.
If you do want support, I’d be honored to build with you. I have a 12 month payment plan for the Abundance Practice-Building Groups (ed: the next round starts Jan. 2018) That’s $200 per month. They fill up, so hop in if you want a spot. And feel free to email any questions.
Now, since you are so incredibly good enough to do this, I’d love for you to share in the comments one reason you know you’ll be successful.
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.