The biggest problem hands-on practitioners have is not knowing what it takes to build, maintain and grow a practice, when you have to do everything yourself.
A study conducted several years ago among Feldenkrais® Practitioners in the United States found that the most accurate predictor of future success in a Feldenkrais practice was prior success in another business.
If that’s the case, then obviously success as a somatic practitioner has little nothing whatsoever to do with practice skills!
When I first read those results, I remember thinking to myself, “Well, that doesn’t bode well for Feldenkrais, because so many people begin a training with no thought of having a practice, and most graduates who do want a practice don’t want a business.”
I’ve spoken with quite a lot of practitioners of other modalities who tell me that they took their own training without knowing whether they would practice, so I think that it’s fairly common in our “industry.”
Luckily, there’s more to this story!
Indications are that more than 55% of newly-self-employed people will give up by the 4-year mark. This is sobering, considering that a lot of self-employed lawyers, doctors and accountants are included in “newly-self-employed people.” I doubt that they’re failing at the same rate as others, so that means the numbers may look worse for people like you and me.
Generally speaking, there are a lot of reasons for self-employment failure — including not having enough passion, offering something people don’t want or need, and not learning from your mistakes — but these are not problems most practitioners have. Instead, practitioners are likely to be confused about what it takes and overwhelmed with making it happen.
I’ve discovered — and proven with the practitioners I’ve worked with — that aside from the skills of helping people, it takes two things to have success as a self-employed somatic practitioner:
- a set of practice-building skills that can be learned and
- a mindset that’s aligned with having success as a self-employed somatic practitioner!
Mindset is crucial
To be honest, learning the skills is easy! They’re straightforward, and people who learn them can build a busines without feeling like somebody else.
Aligning your mindset with success is the stumbling block for many practitioners: limiting beliefs are deeply embedded and our habits of thinking are generally so well-ingrained that they are invisible to us.
The ‘double-whammy’ of limiting beliefs and unexplored thinking habits leads to a situation in which many practitioners berate themselves, lose — or don’t develop — confidence, make themselves hard to find, and eventually may stop trying altogether to bring their gifts to the people who need them the most.
Getting into the upward spiral takes intentional action
As time goes on, it’s easy to just drift down into a place where it’s very hard to see that success could even be possible. To get out of it, you have to make a decision and take intentional action — and often set at least one foot outside your comfort zone!
If you’re like other practitioners I’ve worked with, this could mean that you might:
- Allow yourself to dream about what you really want. You help your clients reach their dreams — yours are just as important!
- Get rid of the belief that you’ll never “be good enough” or that it will be easier when you know more. There will always be more to learn. The people who need YOU now, don’t need what you haven’t learned yet!
- Act before everything is perfect. There will never be a perfect time when there are no concerns! Successful people act anyway, and use what they learn to make changes as they go along.
- Believe in your power to get what you want. It’s what you instill in every one of your clients. Your own power is just as great as theirs, and when you tap into it, you will be unstoppable!
- Stop believing you have to reinvent the wheel or are supposed to know what you haven’t yet learned. Your clients don’t know everything about feeling better — that’s why they need you. The same thing applies to building your practice — it’s easier when you follow a proven path with someone who’s walked it already.
- Find people who support your dream. Don’t hang out with people who drag you down. People who believe in you push you upward.
To make your dreams real, get your whole self on board!
Align Your Mindset is a self-study program that can help you get past the most common roadblocks you’re likely to encounter in getting your practice off the ground. Click here to find out more.
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