I’ve come to the realization that skill and motivation rarely exist naturally in the same person. I’ll take a motivated person over a skilled person any day. Skills can be taught, but motivation’s not so easy.
If you are the highly motivated type, you probably don’t need my advice. Because, even if you lack certain skills, you are usually motivated enough to acquire those skills through study, training, or apprenticeship.
But if you are the person who is just naturally skilled at something (let’s say… massage), you are at risk of taking your skill-set for granted, never having enough motivation to build a practice in a way that allows your skills to be used successfully.
Sure, there are those unique folks who have both skill and motivation. They are the practitioners you never see, who aren’t even accepting new clients anymore, because their schedule is full. Unless your schedule is already full, you probably do need a bit of motivation.
So let’s assume you are the highly skilled, under-motivated type. Things are harder for you. You may wonder why people aren’t simply coming to you because of your exceptional skills. Believe me, some people will… but unfortunately it won’t be enough people to sustain a successful practice.
Learn to motivate yourself.
You have to market your business, and you have to keep in regular touch with your clients. And, you’re going to need clever ways to get over the excuses you will inevitably use to avoid difficult practice-building tasks. Notice when you are making excuses and don’t let yourself off the hook!
Resolve to make the world a better place.
Look, if you are as good as people tell you that you are, you can’t keep that stuff to yourself. It’s your duty to share your gifts with the world. If you were a selfish person, you wouldn’t have gotten into the wellness business in the first place, so I suspect you do want to help make the world a better place. You have to get people into your treatment room to do that, so your skills don’t go to waste.
Give it away.
Let people know about what you do, and ask your biggest fans to let people know too. (That’s called marketing, by the way.) Figure out how to find the people who could really use your help, and then offer to help.
Actually, you are the perfect practitioner to give away free treatments. Why? Because your skills are your best selling point! Schedule a free treatment at your office, provide fantastic service, be charismatic, and then re-book them for another (paying) treatment before they leave your office.
Also, don’t assume that everyone you have treated remembers how great you are. You have to keep in touch with your clients and remind them. Send them a postcard. Call them. “Hey Carol, how’d you sleep last week after your treatment? … Oh, that’s great! … How about we get you on the schedule for another one soon? … I’ve got an opening next Tuesday.” They love you; they just need reminding.
Get your simple, business tasks done early in the week (making appointment reminder calls, paying bills, filing, sending out your newsletter), so you can check those things off your list. Completing tasks builds confidence. And confidence breeds motivation. If you get your simpler tasks done, you will be more motivated to do scary things like handing out business cards to strangers, calling healthcare providers to talk about referrals, or dare I say it… giving wellness presentations.
Hire a coach.
If motivation is hard to create yourself, hire someone to do it for you. That’s what coaches are for. Even the most highly skilled athletes in the world have coaches… not necessarily to provide more skills training, but to provide motivation!