Check out this recent email I got from a subscriber:
“I don’t know why it is so hard to find fellow therapists committed to success, but it definitely is. I posted a question in a fab group just today asking about wording to tell a client that I won’t hold their spot while they take a “therapy hiatus for several weeks” and the most common response I got on the post was “I just hold people’s spots.”
WHAAAT??? I’d actually like to make a living. Since discovering your website and a couple other practice building sites, I have increased my rate, started working towards getting off panels, and changed my cancellation policy, but every time I share that with a colleague, I get a tepid response at best. I need to find my successful therapists tribe!!”
I love this email for a couple of reasons.
First, this therapist is totally rad, right?! She found some practice building sites and used the free resources to make clear changes in her practice, like raising her fees, getting off panels and changing her cancellation policies. RIGHT FUCKING ON.
Secondly, she reached out to her therapist community to get some feedback when she needed some help figuring out best practices when she was struggling with a confusing clinical issue.
She is doing all the right stuff. Almost.
“Almost?! Tiffany, where am I going wrong?!”
Chill. Chill. You didn’t do anything wrong, mah de’ah. We can think about this in terms of the larger context. It’s really easy to find a tribe of Chumpions who will encourage us to play small, stay in our own lane and reinforce our tendencies to stay comfortable.
It’s really tough to find a tribe of Champions who will do the exact opposite – challenge us to play bigger, raise an eyebrow when we attempt justify our actions with “But, you don’t understand why it’s harder for me,” and encourage us to push ourselves waaaay out of our comfort zone.
It’s tough to find a tribe of Champions for a couple of reasons:
- Champions are rare! While there are plenty of them out there, there are, of course, way more Chumpions and they’re really vocal!
- Champions are discriminating. They’re thoughtful about who they surround themselves with and less willing to jump into new relationships with Randos.
- Champions are busy making a big impact, so they’re less accessible and less engaged in random social media conversations.
There’s an interesting statistic, which I’m sure you’ve heard – it is this: Most people earn within 20% of the average income of their closest friends. The truth is, if you want to increase your income, while feeling more connected, inspired and free – you have to find people who are living this way.
But, of course, as we discovered above, it’s harder to find these folks because they are actively involved in making change and finding others who are inspiring them to do the same. So, how can you break in?!
You have to go first by following these steps:
- Create value: Stop talking about what you don’t like in the world and start creating solutions in a clear consistent way. People will notice.
- Stop complaining and start doing: The most successful folks don’t spend their time talking about problems, unless they actively working on creating solutions for these problems.
- Be Inspiring: You’ve gotta bring joy. I’m not talking phoney positivity, but really finding genuine ways to embody connectedness, so people feel enlivened when they have contact with you.
- Find the places where the leaders are hanging out: (Yup! Often this involves financial investment) and go there.
When you actively work on yourself and consistently demonstrate strategic, consistent, observable results, change-makers will notice. Not only will they notice, but they’ll begin reaching out to you.
Start by choosing a single cause to rally around. You’ll notice with all of the most successful Champions (success = number of people impacting, positive and engaged attitude, earning great money), they start with one thing and put all their energy towards creating change in that area. This amplifies your voice and allows you to be seen as a change-maker.
Identify 1-3 Champions who are creating a practice that inspires you and reach out. When you have a specific practice question, reach out to them. Let them know that you’re inspired by what they do and that you’ve implemented strategies based on what you’ve learned from them. Ask them what they would do in this particular situation and, most importantly, keep it brief.
And then, follow up. This is the most essential step. If you have reached out to a Champion for specific advice, follow that advice and then let the Champ know about your results. Leaders are always looking to grow their own tribes with thoughtful, hilarious, engaged and successful others. If you’re willing to show up, do the work, and follow through, you will be welcomed with open arms.
Once you’re in, you’ll have less and less contact with the naysayers, the doubters, and the shade-throwers. If you do have contact with them, their words won’t really bum you out because you’ll see a clear difference in how they’re living their lives and how you and your tribe of Champions are living yours.