Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Do You ACT Like You Believe In Your Worth?

A few weeks ago I broke one of my own rules. 

I set up an appointment with an existing client through a new billing system, which required the client submit their payment information before the first session. 

I don't do collections, and so I always require payment up front. 

Except when I don't. 

Guess what? I didn't make the client get the payment submitted through the system, we had the session, and as of today the bill has not been settled. Especially near the holidays when it feels like I'm bleeding money, it's extremely stressful not to have that bill taken care of. 

Have you ever done this?

Bent your rules for a client, or a referral source, or a colleague? Said something was okay when it wasn't?

Why did you do so, and what was the result?

I seem to bend the rules for one of a few reasons:

  1. I feel attached to the person asking. We all want to make allowances for people we have a connection to. It feels mean not to do so. 
  2. I don't want to be a "suit." Who wants to be the soulless corporate stooge? 
  3. I forget that no one else will be as invested in my business success as I am.  It just makes sense that people have other things on their mind and they can't be prioritizing MY needs. But somehow (egocentrically) I never remember that. 
Do any of these sound familiar to you? I'd bet they do. That's because these hangups just seem to go along with the profession of private counseling. 

We all seem to go through a stage where we believe that helping people for money is mean, even though we spent $60,000 or more on our education in order to be able to help people more effectively. But grasping that what we do is valuable...that isn't even the hard part. 

It's maintaining it. 

I believe in the value of what I do. But many times I don't act like it. Such as when I bend the rules for clients I feel connected to, or allow myself to accept garbage like requiring payment up front defines me "all about the money." 

Here's the reality:

  1. It's not personal, it's business. We are not meeting a friend for coffee, we are conducting a specialized service transaction. How can we challenge ourselves to act like it? 
  2. Moneymaking is business. We cannot stay in business and continue to help people unless we run a business. How can you focus more on the income in your business?
  3. The buck stops here. No one else is accountable for your business success but you. How can you prioritize your business success without feeling guilty about it?

Part of maturing from a beginning counselor to a fully-grown-up counselor (a part I'm still working on) is respecting yourself and what you have to offer...AND ACTING LIKE IT.

Did anything here today make you reconsider your commitment to behaving in a way that backs up your belief in the value of what you do? Please share below so we can encourage one another!