What if You Dated Like You Practice-Build?

This may be a weird analogy, come along with me anyway. You know how when we work with clients over time we see patterns in how they do life? Like maybe they study last minute and complete projects last minute and call their mom on her birthday at like 11 at night. Maybe they’re 5 minutes late to every appointment and their boss is on their case for tardiness.

Well, you know your business doesn’t exist in a vacuum, right? I’ve noticed some patterns that remind me of dating (this is what happens when you task switch between consulting clients and therapy clients throughout the day).

When it comes to practice building, I’m like the girl that shows up to the 2nd date with a UHaul. I’m all in, do or die, failure isn’t an option, let’s work through the hard parts and get to the good stuff. I’m going to leave my heart right there on the floor. I’m the OPPOSITE of the cool girl.

You may be the Options Open kinda person. Let’s not rush into this until we know it’s right, maybe there’s something better out there, I’m not ready to fully commit.

For those of you that prefer one night stands: private practice isn’t a get rich quick situation, which is the only analogy I can think of for one night stands. Lots of delayed gratification. Like accidentally hooking up with someone into Tantric Sex. It’s a stretch. We’ll leave your relational/sexual analogy to the side for now.

Neither diving in nor waiting to see is wrong. Let’s be clear. Both ways take work.

Let’s scroll through your dating history, shall we? Did/Do you tend toward one way over the other when you were interested in someone? Are some of those patterns coming up as you consider private practice?

Like dating, we may temperamentally (or fearfully or eagerly) lean one way or the other when something excites us. I want you to find a middle ground instead. Yes, my over-zealous lust for building businesses has led to success. But it has also burned me out at times. Guess who has also burned herself out on sweet now-ex-partners in the past?

I’ve also gone full throttle into business moves that were ill-advised. Sufficed to say there are a few less sweet now-ex-partners around to represent that. I’m still learning how to not leave my heart on the floor in everything I do. Luckily I have an awesome husband who will pick it up and dust it off at home, but there’s no one but me in my business life to do that. Thus, I have to be responsible for taking good care of it. Not guarding it; this heart is tough and can handle the hard stuff. It doesn’t need protection. Instead it needs balance, stewardship, intention and thoughtfulness.

For those of you that want to bide your time, that want to get to know this business a little better before you commit, I invite you to try trying. You don’t get the benefits of private practice if you treat it like a person you’re kind of into. You actually create a lot of work and a much longer road to success if you do. I’m not saying to hustle, ever. I’m saying to work through whatever concerns you have, then the concerns that replace those once the initial concerns are soothed. Figure out what sounds alluring about private practice. One fantastic thing for you to keep in mind is that you can leave private practice if you want to. You can get a job. It’s not like you have to commit for life; private practice divorce is totally legitimate if it’s not working for you!

Like most of life, moderation is key. Private practice works if you work it (to steal a 12-Step phrase). But you don’t have to obsess or make it your whole world. Find your middle and do what truly works for you, not just the thing you’re wired to do.
Any other patterns you see? Let us know in the comments!

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