It’s a fact that most of the health care providers – personal trainers, massage therapists, holistic health coaches, Osteos, Physios, Chiro’s, etc – are terrible at looking after themselves.
I’m not necessarily talking about their physical or mental wellbeing, although that’s not uncommon. I’m talking about their financial wellbeing – they’re terrible at business in the long-term.
I’ve met many very talented, bright and skilled people with more degrees and qualifications than you can shake a stick at who always seem to be just treading water in their business. They can never get to a place where their career is supporting them enough to take time off, eat the best quality organic food, or live an abundant life.
Why does this happen so often?
Here are the most common reasons:
1. Fear of asking for money.
Fear of asking for money is one of the most common challenges practitioners face. By this I mean asking for payment that honors and values your services.
A fear of asking for money usually means you haven’t fully bought into what you are selling. Are you providing a truly unique service that is going to help your clients? Or, are you just working on symptoms or superficial benefits with no or little long term gain?
Here’s an example. Most all the trainers are doing the same thing day-in-day out with their clients. It’s rare that any take the time to plan more than a few sessions or at best a few weeks ahead for their clients’ programs.
In the rehabilitation world, Osteopaths, Chiropractors and Physios, are stuck in a completely outdated and dysfunctional business model. That model forces them into quick fixes and a dependency of the patient and the therapist on regular appointments, with no clearly defined end goal.
2. Lack of training in practical business skills
The vast majority of business books and courses fall into two groups.
On the one hand, you have traditional training which often relies on outdated and impractical business concepts that haven’t changed much in the last 100 years.
On the other are the ‘how to make a million in 6-months’ training gurus that are everywhere on social media, offering the “secret sauce” to go from zero to business titan in record time.
Neither of them have much practical carry over for a real-life business scenario, especially a business focused on the complexity of coaching human beings through health challenges.
Even more problematic is the fact that most of the universities that train our Osteopaths, Physios, Chiropractors and rehabilitation specialists don’t offer much of any business training at all. Their students are set up for a rude awakening when they enter the business world for real.
3. Little understanding of what a true business is
Anyone building a business needs to understand one fact: your business is a system of systems… a holistic entity.
When we work with a client as CHEK Practitioners, we have to consider every aspect of our client’s health and life. That’s the only way to achieve the kind of results that they’re looking for. Similarly, when we’re building a business, we must also consider every system within that business. We have to take responsibility for our actions or lack of action when we neglect any part of it, as that can and will affect all other aspects of our business.
A CHEK career is an integrated, holistic business, and it must be run as such.
When you understand this and put effort into nurturing the various components of your business, that’s when it will begin to reward you with the growth and stability that lets you live a fulfilling life.
4. Inconsistent cash flow
In my last blog I talked about the difference between owning a job and owning a business.
In my experience as a business coach, the general rule is for the boss to get paid… last. Otherwise, their employees walk out, the bills mount up and the banks close in.
That means cash flow is king.
Our CHEK Academy students learn this at the start of their second year. If you are not concerned with producing predictable income based on long term results, then you will end up spending more time chasing new clients and patients than you will spend doing the job you love!
Being a CHEK Practitioner isn’t a quick fix, it’s a lasting life change that can and will bring happiness and pain relief to people who never thought it was possible. I know this as I have had the greatest pleasure in seeing this with my own clients, and it never gets old!
5. Lack of planning, preparation and vision
I’ve always thought of my clinics as akin to Dojos – places where we practice and hone our skills as Practitioners of life. My clinics are places where we guide, mentor and coach our clients into mastery of self whether that be through Integrated Exercise Coaching or through eating and lifestyle coaching.
That was my vision for my clinics. I knew how I wanted them to look and feel. I knew the level of care and service I wanted to offer. I kept all of that in front of me as I was creating them and growing them. It was a powerful motivator for me too. I know that without my vision I never would have succeeded.
As Paul says, if you don’t have a destination, any path will get you there!
The vision was necessary, but not enough to build my clinics either. I’ve planned, saved, recognized my weaknesses as an entrepreneur and looked for ways to fill in those gaps.
My clinics are my passion and I treated them that way. I honored them by having a vision, having a plan and doing all of the preparation I could before building them.
Most health and fitness professionals don’t have any of those three elements when they start out.
6. Taking training that appeals to the professional, but has little carry over to the client
The health and fitness industries are often driven by fads. It’s a big mistake to think that because a technique is hot right now that it will actually be effective for your clients.
As the saying goes, sex sells.
If it’s sexy, looks cool and has a whole lot of Instagram and Tick Tock followers, then it must work! That’s always been a part of the fitness industry, but it’s gotten much worse as social media has grown. Paul can back this up as he’s been in the industry far longer than I have.
The latest FAD, better known as Forthcoming Anatomical Dysfunction, doing the rounds is often something from a decade earlier. It’s been designed to appeal to its target market – the bored or freshly certified trainer looking for the thing that will lift their fledgling offering to new heights.
These fads are never designed for the actual client – the dysfunctional client with many health and lifestyle challenges who is one deadlift away from a blown disc!
If you want to avoid blowing your hard earned money on pointless courses, picture your target market performing this new exercise or regimen, and ask yourself exactly what they are going to gain from this in their everyday life.
Those six mistakes most commonly derail professionals in our business.
Avoid them and you’ll save yourself a lot of money, wasted time and stress. You’ll also set yourself a strong foundation for business growth.