Thanks to this lovely post by my friend, Philippa Kenneally of the EntrepreneurialMD, I’m going to wax eloquent (semi-coherently) about how our emotions guide our business success. This comes at a time when we are all talking about specialty practices and the fear, anxiety and trepidation that arise when we think that we must specialize. (And you still do, I’m not letting you off the hook here!)
If you don’t know by now, you should be aware I work from a cognitive-behavioral model when I engage in therapeutic work with clients. Overall, I’m a rather cognitive person by nature, meaning my thoughts guide my actions more than my feelings. (Please don’t judge. 🙂 ) But I know many therapists are more emotional than I. They are experts at understaning, sitting with and immersing themselves in the world feelings, theirs and others. That is part of what makes them wonderful therapists.
Only, what works as a therapist, might not work so well as a business person. Building a business is a risk-taking, anxiety provoking experience. It’s all new ideas and tools and terminology. Money is invested, leaps of faith are made. Oh yeah, building a business is not for the faint of heart.
How you feel about risk, trying new things, and exposing yourself to criticism all play a role in how successful you will be. If you feel anxious and fearful, how do you manage these feelings? Do you find a way to cope? Or do you retreat from your dreams because it all feels too uncomfortable?
Feelings will affect how you think about starting your business, too. If you feel confused about starting your practice, what do you think? Do you think, “I need a way to sort this out,” and get to work? Or do you think, “This is horrible, difficult, too much work for me. Forget it. I’ll just work for someone else”?
While there is always the age-old debate of what comes first: thoughts or feelings, the truth is they are intertwined and influence each other.
My opinion is that, for therapists, feelings are very influential in how successful we are as business people. Sometimes we just give them too much power in our business building which leads to giving up (or never getting started).
Being a person with strong feelings is neither good nor bad. However, we need to assess how our feelings influence our decisions when it comes to the business-side of our careers.
Just as we guide our clients to manage their emotions in healthy ways, so too must we learn to manage ours as we look to add “business person” to our resumes.