Awhile back I wrote a blog about Mistakes I've Made in my work career training while people out of my in-home studio.
I realize that these mistakes are gifts if you actually evaluate and make changes based on recognizing the problems.
In the midst of dealing with my professional mistakes and healing from quitting a job I LOVED but could not stay at any longer, here’s what I’ve learned that didn't work.
I wanted to:
- Give away free exercises and my time. I thought that it would help people and possibly bring new clients in the door. The reality was that it did neither.
- To work a couple of evenings and weekends and return every phone call and email that came in within 12-24 hours. That exhausted me. I was always working, never had time off and the worst part was I enabled my clients to get accustomed to having me accessible 24-7.
- Continue teaching for an organization whose theory, practical application and students I adored. But organizational changes no longer meshed with my core values, so I had to draw my personal line in the sand. As much as I wanted to stay, there would be absolutely no way to make my internal voice be at peace with a leadership culture that said one thing but did another and treated individuals differently instead of as a collective whole with consistency.
- Help everyone who contacted me wanting me to tell them that I had the solution for their problem. I would get (and still do) get emails and phone calls that required amazing amounts of my time to answer. But I can't, and refuse to lie. Not everyone is the right client for my services and skill set. Not everyone wants to be told the truth about their situation, and not everyone wants to take responsibility for their own health and healing path.
- Throw in the towel and quit. I felt discouraged, defeated, unappreciated and burnt-out.
So I took some time to reflect and re-organize before I simply threw the baby out with the bath-water so to speak. As a result I re-organized my studio policies and client practices, re-designed my website, switched to a new hosting provider, re-defined my social media presence AND job description.
In evaluating my mistakes, I decided to rest in the confidence of my Core Values and what I know to be true about my teaching abilities. And as I decided to simply stick to my professional integrity and what I want to express towards others, my confidence grew again, and best part was I made peace with myself.
Recently Seth Godin wrote an encouraging and timely blog on that very topic .
The Sound of Confidence
The sound of confidence means I’ve made peace.
"I'd really like to help you," and, "If this isn't for you, that's okay, there are others it might be a better match for."
Generosity, not arrogance. Problem-solving, not desperation. Helpfulness, not selfishness.
My confidence HAS grown. In the process of evaluating my mistakes and reorganizing my business practices I had to make peace with the facts that I can't help every person, I can't give away what doesn't come back, and I'm not always the right teacher or service provider for every single person that wants to work with me.
And I'm totally okay with that! I've decided to embrace the concept of true love.
I will love myself AND clients enough to establish and fully practice boundaries, AND be a truth teller. As Godin points out, that is generous and helpful.
I will always give you feedback and constructive comments because I have very high expectations and I know my clients can reach them. I will not soft-pedal my high standards.
I won't pretend that change is easy, and I will emphasize that healing is a process. It will take hard work and a total commitment. I will only take on clients who can embrace and act upon the belief that they have what it takes.
The best part of allowing myself to be vulnerable while making these decisions and changes over the past six months was that I received some amazing feedback, emails and short notes of encouragement from students and clients which reminded me exactly WHY I do what I do.
- "You really know what you are talking about, you know?? Thanks for the extra time you spent with me a couple Saturdays ago. I've really been concentrating on my ankles this vacation. It's no small thing to be able to carry a 5-year-old around a park several days in a row and come home pain free."
- "Thank you for the vacation menu! I'm so happy that I was able to do it every day including the supine groin stretch. This is the best I've felt on vacation in 8 years!"
- "I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy our Skype appointments. I always feel so much better and learn so much from our time together. I'm so thankful for modern technology since we live in different states. I'm looking forward to our next session, see you in a few days:)"
- "you wow'd me today! You are so good at what you do. I left smiling and I'm still smiling. I don't know one person that wouldn't benefit from your knowledge. Only regret I have is not being aware of what you do and how you could me sooner! Thanks again!"
- "First of all I want to thank you for a great session today. Other than my soreness from Ikea assembling my body feels great….you are very good at what you do. I understand the quandary that you find yourself in and will respect whatever decision you choose to make in the future regarding your business but felt I just needed to let you know how much I have appreciated your expertise in my rehabilitation and exercises. In addition I just enjoy your company. Good luck with your decision making process".
- "By the way, after reading one of your articles o wanted to tell you that I'm glad you decided to keep your business going even though you had some doubts. I'm so grateful to have you as my posture and corrective exercise specialist ☺"
I opened up Pain Free Posture MN to help empower people to take personal responsibility and change their lives.
I believe that a "one-size" fits all approach of helping them solve their unique issues is pure folly. I love that I am able to blend a variety of therapeutic and corrective exercise modalities in a uniquely designed way to help each person I have the privilege of working with achieve a pain free life and living in body, mind and spirit!
That means I can only help the singular person in front of me. One at a time.
From now on, I will simply help each person that walks through my studio doors. One person at a time, within my professional boundaries and with what I am humanly able to do.
I can't help every single person. And I am okay with that.
Do you have questions? Please let me know. And remember, we're in this together, and I am here to help!
Stock Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Head Photo Credit: Ruby and Roxy Photography
Deb Preachuk is a Chronic Pain Pain Relief, Posture Restoration and Athletic Performance Enhancement pro specializing in corrective exercise, applied biomechanics, STOTT Pilates and functional movement patterns.
Founder of Pain Free Posture MN, Deb helps real people transform real-world chronic pain challenges into achievable results. Deb infuses her teaching with an honest, open and down-to-earth mix of chronic pain relief therapeutic modalities training techniques to make the concepts of pain relief and body/mind transformation accessible and achievable!
Posted on Fri, January 31, 2014
by Deb Preachuk filed under