Allison Rapp

Who’s Responsible For Your Success?

Success and responsibility go hand in hand. Only you can make your work viable and your excuses hurt your practice.
To have a successful practice, you need to be a responsible business owner.
Our poor car… It’s taken longer than I wanted to get the bodywork done on our car, so I end up looking at it every time I drive.

Success and responsibility go hand in hand

Somebody was pulling out of the parking space next to me at our local co-op and didn’t quite make it.

Actually, I guess they didn’t quite make it repeatedly, because the entire driver’s side was damaged, from the front quarter panel to the rear bumper!

That’s not the kind of thing you could do without realizing it, so I’ve wondered a lot about it… I realized I was stereotyping when I asked myself “What kind of person shops at a food co-op and walks away from their responsibility for smacking my car?”

On the advice of my best friend, I made up several stories to make myself feel better. The funniest one was that the person had just spent his last $10 on a pound of organic, free trade coffee.

The one that won the most sympathy was that it was an elderly person whose insurance would be canceled if they reported it. Of course, that would mean the end of their driving… next thing you know, they’d be playing BINGO in some second-rate assisted living facility, until they fell and broke a hip, which would be the beginning of the end.

Very sad… I almost empathized.

Then I looked at my car.

Unfortunately, not reporting it meant they still be on the road and I wouldn’t know when to stay home. And while the other driver was enjoying their coffee, I was not enjoying my car.

Why don’t we don’t take responsibility in ways that would make a difference to our success?

Every time I see the car, it reminds me that I need to own my responsibility… in every area of my life.

When that comes to business, the problem is that most of us want to do our work with clients—period.

If you’re like most of the practitioners I know, you’re not jumping for joy about creating the business that comes with the territory of being a solo practitioner… the business that makes it possible to do the work of your modality!

Our rational brains create “reasons” that make us feel better about not wanting a business. But what they really do is make us victims, because when the responsibility lies outside ourselves, it’s untouchable.

Have you heard yourself make any of these excuses about your level of success?:

  • “Somebody” should do something to make my modality better-known.
  • I learn well on my own. I’ll figure it out eventually.
  • When I have a lot more clients, I’ll have the money to spend on my business.
  • Why didn’t they teach me how to have a business in my training?
  • I’m too tired from with the people I have to find clients who wouldn’t exhaust me.
  • I hear your 2-minute videos are great, but I don’t have time to watch them.
  • I just don’t think I can make it work… I’m too busy and nothing works for me anyway.
  • Well, I don’t like making phone calls… the person who left a message the other day will probably call back and I’ll be here then.

time-moneyLet’s face it.

Everybody needs more time.

We all wish we had more money.

It’s probably never going to be the perfect time to learn the skills we need.

We’d all love it if an entire practice full of ideal clients just called out of the blue… but it’s not going to happen, no matter how “popular” your modality is.

When people leave you a message and you don’t call back, they don’t always call you again. In fact, they are likely to make a judgment about you instead.

You don’t let your clients get away with excuses

You teach them how to be responsible for themselves because you KNOW there’s something they can do about their difficulty. Your job is to help them do it.

When we let ourselves get away with our excuses, we walk away from our responsibility – not only to ourselves, but to our clients! They need us, and we just can’t quite do what it takes to make it possible for them to find us or understand why they should work with us.

Here’s what I do, when I “don’t wanna…”

  • When I don’t feel like writing a blog post, I remind myself that you’re there, waiting to read it.
  • When I don’t want to make a phone call, I remind myself that the person who left the message needs me.
  • When I waver about signing up for a course that I know will improve my business skills, I think about how it will help me better serve my clients. Sometimes I feel like I do it more for them than for myself.

If you’re having trouble taking responsibility for your success, try asking yourself these questions:

  • Why are you doing the work you’re doing?
  • What do you hope to achieve, that’s bigger than yourself?
  • How does pushing responsibility away serve you? (This is not a trick question: we benefit from everything we do, or we wouldn’t do it. Figuring out what that is is the first step in making a shift.)

Why do I bother taking responsibility for my own success?

Because a big part of having a successful practice is providing value all the time, not just during the time my client is lying on my table.

Because it’s too painful to be mired in a sink-hole, waiting for someone to save me.

Because nobody owes me a living, or success or satisfaction in my work… I need to find those on my own terms. Nothing else would be meaningful.

And because I see the side of my car every day.


If you don’t have a solid foundation under your business, Basic Business Blueprint is the place to start!