The Girl’s Got Guts (Guest Blog by Mary)
Evan and I began working together in early 2013 (my gosh, Evan; has it really been over two years?). We designed and launched a new (at the time) website for her counseling business in what is probably still the record turn-around time for any client I’ve ever worked with. Evan didn’t begin her design process until she was clear on who she is, what she offers and to whom. And so, from there, the process of design and execution could move forward smoothly and quickly. Around this same time, she was also making other major investments in smart systems that would keep her from being bogged down in everyday minutiae that 1) wasn’t her area of expertise, nor 2) something that was generating income for her, nor 3) something that she even enjoyed.
I was a little blown away by the way Evan worked. The girl’s got guts.
She uses a process I’ve seen many times now (and, honestly, needed to see many times before I picked up on it; blink, and you’ll miss it…):
- She gets clear on what she wants or needs (and why she wants or needs it).
- She networks with her ever-growing community to gather insight into her options to make it happen (talk to people who’ve been in your shoes!).
- She then makes quick decisions, and goes for it full throttle, once she puts her mind to the fact that failure just won’t be an option.
- She delegates like her business depends on it; because she has figured out it does.
- She finds or creates support systems (whether they are processes she’s developed, new software she invests in, or the members of her team) and she lets them support her.
She is an entrepreneur in the truest sense of the word, meaning: she knows how to take a risk. More specifically, she is a successful entrepreneur, meaning she knows how to manage risk: by investing in her support systems.
And the thing is, she hasn’t become complacent. She is constantly evolving and innovating, partly because those goals I mentioned before, are pretty darn big, and partly because I know she is–by nature–a scientist; she wants to learn what works best so she can share it with other therapists.
Head on over to today’s blog post, guest written by yours truly, about one of the systems that Evan and I have built for her business that may be helpful for yours too.
As you begin to grow your practice, you may reach a point where you aren’t interested in doing it all yourself. One of the things Evan often talks about is focusing her time on income generating activities…. and some things are important, but simply not income generating (eg bookkeeping, updating the website or uploading podcasts, submitting quarterly tax forms, etc). And so Evan has built a team around her (I am part of that). But for those of you who are at this point in your practice, you know that managing contractors or employees can be a job in and of itself. Over here at Center Institute, we use Teamwork.com to keep tasks organized and use Evan’s time most efficiently. Teamwork is a free tool that allows us to create tasks (and subtasks), assign them to one or more team member(s), and schedule start dates, due dates, and reminders (that can come to email or SMS: our choice). We can respond to one another’s comments on a task, even through email, and the system keeps it all together in one place for us. We can also make tasks dependent upon others, so that we know who’s waiting on whom to get what done.
This has saved our hide on many occasion… and has made it easier to bring on new team members and quickly plug them into what’s going on. When everything exists in our own head, the idea of delegating any part of it can become overwhelming: it may seem easier in the short term to just keep doing it all by ourself. Even the task of delegating a task can feel insurmountable, when there isn’t a system in place for doing so. Teamwork.com is one part of the network of systems we use to support Evan’s vision for Center Institute.
Whether it’s delegating to her team, connecting with her referral sources, or bringing on a facilitator for our strategic visioning, Evan is hyper-aware of the benefits of reaching out, bouncing an idea off of others, and setting herself up for success by creating both technological and human support systems. The foresight to assemble a supportive infrastructure is one of the many qualities that make Evan a successful entrepreneur and thus causes her businesses to thrive.
What can you try today (or even right now) to start to build a support system for yourself? Whether it’s trying out a task management tool, connecting with a referral source, or otherwise reaching out to someone to talk about an idea, I encourage you to take a step on a path to being better supported in building the private practice you want.
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