There are all sorts of advice-givers on the subject of how to run a business. Businesses consist of people who, at the core, have complex emotions that need to be managed; in a way, running a business is a little bit like being a psychotherapist at times. Although this podcast was created for mental health group practice owners, I found the advice to be highly relevant for anyone who owns a business, especially those who are looking to expand. Here is what I learned about being okay with leaving some things in the past so that you can grow your business. Please enjoy my analysis of Episode 136 of the Group Practice Exchange podcast, “What established group practice owners wish they let go of sooner” by Maureen Werrbach, LCPC.
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#1 Don’t try coaching people who aren’t coachable
In frame 13:44, Werrbach discusses the idea of coaching people who aren’t coachable. People tend to fall under two different camps when it comes to coaching staff members.
To quote Werrbach:
You want to make sure you’re bringing on people who are hungry, humble, and smart. And not brain smarts, but people smarts. That they can read a room, they know how to engage in a relationship in the workplace among peers and among leadership, and are able to be humble, and that they’re hungry. That they’re doing their work and that they’re able to go a little bit above and beyond.
People who are constantly just below what they’re supposed to be doing or barely meeting the needs aren’t hungry, aren’t going to help the business move forward, and aren’t going to be a good team player.
I found this to be of high relevance to me as a manager. Any time I look to outsource or hire someone to work on my team, I look at what drives them as a person. What their resume says and what their credentials are do matter, but you have to look at who they are because that is really what you are getting.
#2 Don’t assume you’re not paying enough because your employee says so
Werrbach came to the realization that often when an employee came to her asking for more money, it frequently had more to do with the person’s lifestyle than her not paying enough. She analyzed how much she was paying in relation to other group practices in her area, and found that she was in fact paying more than average.
Says Werrbach, “When you truly feel good about how you’re compensating, you’re able to let go of this negative feeling that you’re not doing enough or that you’re paying poorly, which can happen when someone is asking for more and you just can’t do it.”
#3 Avoid being practitioner first, business owner second
When Maureen’s business grew to a large size, it got hard to see clients at the same time as running the business. Yet she hesitated to let go and reduce her caseload due to the feeling that she was “selling out on what I went to college for.” She found that the visionary work of growing and expanding her business was becoming more exciting to her than seeing clients.
Through reflection and speaking with others who had made the transition, she got to the place where it felt okay to reduce her caseload. She eventually accepted the idea of being a business owner first and employing other people so that her business could expand and help more people in the community.
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