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Staying up when your business is down

Anyone in the mental health field who runs their own practice can attest to an ebb and flow of clientele or times when "dips" in business occur, and we are not the only profession where this is the norm.

While it is easy to view these times from a negative standpoint, ultimately I am an optimist and would like to offer a slightly different view. A colleague recently asked how I handle the “dip periods.” If you have been following some of my articles, you are picking up on how important our “mindset” toward life is in our success and general well-being. I wholeheartedly practice these principles in my business as well as in the rest of my life.

I place great stock in the concept of how mindset plays a substantial role in the creation of our “reality.” I also recognize that where I am now is a direct result of keeping these principles in the forefront of my mind at all times.

First: Accept Your Present Conditions

The answer to my colleague’s question lies in a fundamental choice. Life is varied and full of ups and downs. In order to continually be successful and avoid focusing on the negative, you must first accept your present conditions. This does not mean being resigned to the way that things are. You still have the power to exude influence and make change. To put it simply, acceptance means that instead of focusing attention on the current "lack" of business, which brings up feelings of fear, panic, insecurity, and anxiety, choose instead to come from a place where you accept that business is slow, then decide to create change by focusing on how busy you would like it to become.

Second: Create Change by Setting Your Goals

When you have redetermined your goals, get in tune with how seeing your ideal number of clients and regularity would make you feel. The mind is a very powerful tool, and you will be surprised at the authenticity of the feelings your imagination will elicit. Soon you will be feeling excited, inspired, and creative—a much better mindset from which to drum up more business.  See how it works?  It all begins with one choice. Tips:Check your thoughts. What thoughts do you spend most of your time, attention, and conversations around?  Are they positive or doom and gloom?  See my article, Your health care biz’s economy: gloom or boom?

Maintain a positive mindset. Play “Fake it until you Make it.” This is a fun game. Start living as if the things you want in your life are already happening. What are some of the goals that you want to have happen in your business (number of sales, revenue, referrals, etc.)? Step into what it feels like to already have that happening. Yes, you may get some funny looks, but it is so worth it!

Cultivate an "attitude of gratitude." Gratitude keeps you continually focused on the positive aspects of your life. Remember that according to the law of attraction, what you focus on expands. If you are continually thankful, you will not only feel better, but you also will be given even more to feel thankful about. Always keep in mind that setbacks and other events that seem to reek of misfortune may actually be blessings in disguise.

Stay open to the possibility that everything does indeed happen for your highest good, even if you are unable to see it in the moment. Create a routine for yourself that keeps you focused on the positive outcomes that you want to have. Do whatever works best for you. I have tried several different tools/practices and am always adding to them as I learn new and better tools/practices.

I’ll give you an example of what I do. My morning routine:

Review my goals (in my mind map)

Ask this question: “What contribution can I make and receive today?”

Do some energy work … which is not always understood by others.

Do brain gym exercises for alignment of both hemispheres of the brain.

My evening routine:

Complete my MindMap (identify goals for next day)

Write in my gratitude journal (a journal in which I write what I am grateful for, both big and small)


Do more energy work. Keep in mind that mental shifts may take time, so go easy on yourself if you find that your ego keeps redirecting your attention back toward the negative. Remember that your ego tends to thrive on drama and would prefer that you do not feel at peace.

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Teri Karjala

Teri Karjala is owner of the Creative Counseling Center, LLC, as well as Talking With Teri, LLC. Teri’s passion for the business aspects of owning and maintaining a business has made her a sought out coach by others in the helping fields. She is a regular columnist for ColoradoBiz Magazine and speaks to therapists across the nation in building their thriving practice. Recently she has released her “How to Live Deliciously” Creative Journal Series to help inspire and empower adults, teens, and children. These are available in print at www.talkingwithteri.com.

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