Are you flexible about how your expertise is expressed?
Or are you gripping tightly to a business model that may not be the best fit for you?
An essential skill set in the wellness field is to be flexible in HOW your work shows up in the world.
When you keep an open mind, you’ll be able to see hidden opportunities in perhaps serving a specific tribe of people or under a different message that appeals to a more engaged audience.
Another way to think about this is to imagine what it’s like to get a book published. The publishing people know a lot about what sells and what doesn’t. And let’s say they want to put a different book cover design and title than you do. A great book cover will grab people’s attention and sell your book for you. A poorly designed book cover will get ignored. What’s inside the book is what you know, and that doesn’t change. Would you be willing to change your book cover if it got into more people’s hands? Or would you fight to make sure it fit your idea of what your book cover looked like?
One version of your book cover moves you and your work forward. Another doesn’t. And it’s the same with your practice: Holding on to one idea of your work may be making you blind to what’s right under your nose.
I have a client who is a great example of staying flexible about how her gifts are expressed.
When she came to me, she had a lot of marketable skills and talents to leverage.
She arrived as a talented health and wellness coach with a unique background of leadership experience in a variety environments- from her formative school years, to college, to her cross-cultural family life and even in the competitive corporate world.
After getting to know her, we realized she could go in a few different directions.
She could become a fantastic relationship coach. She knows A LOT about making marriage, love and family life work.
She also could have refined her wellness message and decide to serve a specific audience who could relate to her. She knows A LOT about food, nutrition and making healthy choices.
We considered these options and what possible target markets would match up with her preferences, personality and which ones would easily see her as an expert.
The one thing she knew for sure is that she wanted to work with leaders.
So we ran through a variety of different tribes of leaders that she could serve as a wellness coach or relationship coach.
None of them were floating her boat and I felt something was still off. She has a signature, hip, youthful look that an older target audience might find intimidating or as a reason to dismiss her.
After some careful consideration of what the marketplace is asking for and what she could see herself doing long term, we decided to take off in a completely new direction.
Something that would allow to her express ALL of her passion and know-how, and for a specific tribe of people that would easily see her as a mentor, expert and go-to person.
Something that would allow her to shine, be herself and not have to “fit in” in order to succeed.
In order to do this, she would have to be flexible in how her expertise would be expressed.
So what did she do?
We redesigned her business to focus on youth motivational speaking to teens.
As a speaker, she’ll be able to speak to teen leadership groups that will relate to her hip, fun, down-to-earth presentation style. (No stuffy corporate types here!)
As a speaker, she’ll be able to present on a variety of topics she’s passionate about under ONE message of “inspiring teens to become leaders of their lives.” (We packaged all that she knows into one amazing “Bridge to Success System”).
As a speaker, she’ll be able to leverage her performance art training that she acquired over the years. Speakers need to engage an audience and she has charisma coming out her pores.
As a speaker, she’ll attract a small number of private clients, satisfying her desire to work closely with a select number of clients each year.
It helped immensely that she was willing to “try on new ideas” for her business.
And it also helped outlining a year’s worth of financial projections based on what she’ll launch first and in what order that will, in time, make her vision a reality.
And consider asking yourself this question: Could your vision for your private practice come to fruition in a way different way?
It may look differently than what you imagined (it did for me and her, and many other clients).
Your willingness to be flexible in how your work gets expressed in the world is one of the keys to success.