I had an experience the other day that reminded me how much my time was worth and how far I have come as a Professional. This is an important lesson particularly for those assessing the state of their career, but particularly those of you wanting to start your own shop.
I know many of you reading this blog work with clients in the clinical or gym setting and no doubt have had that client who comes 1x/month or less and expects your full attention and effort and of THE SAME results as the guys/gals coming multiple times per week.
For the first 5 years of my career I would give this person 100% each time they came in, as I do all of my clients, but would without exception be frustrated by their lack of progress and commitment. They of course didn’t do much of anything since I saw them and were frustrated that they weren’t improving…Unfortunately, it usually ended with the person not achieving the unrealistic magical results they expected from working 1 hour per month and my reputation would take a hit.
Thoughts in my head would range from a variety of sarcastic comments that I wanted to say such as some of the following: wait what?! I can’t believe that? You didn’t do anything and you’re no better than you were last month? Crazy…never would have seen that coming!”
I’m smarter now…Now I actually say these thoughts to the client as it sometimes is the ONLY way for them to hear how ridiculous their expectations are. Then if they still don’t get it, I FIRE THEM!
If I am going to be giving my 100% effort, I would expect the person who has the goal and is paying me to help them reach it, to be more committed to achieving that goal than I am. When the converse is true we have a problem.
The sometimes difficult reality for young clinicians or start up businesses is that as a clinician or coach you need to weed out those who you work with for their sake, your reputation and your own mental health. Nothing good EVER comes from keeping them around.
At this point in my career I can count the number of clients I have fired who actually left on 1 hand. Conversely, I can’t count the number who I have told they were fired and actually turned 180 degrees on a dime to become the most motivated clients I have had.
Don’t be afraid to protect your time, reputation and sanity, they are the most valuable things you have professionally and you owe it to yourself to protect them with your life.
Coddling people along when you know they are wasting their money and your time is about as bad as it gets. Fire their assess and there are two possible outcomes:
You relish in the joy of not having to see them anymore and do something you actually enjoy
You get to experience the reason you started in this line of work; you wanted to enjoy the amazing journey of helping people ACTUALLY reach their goal!
How many clients have you fired? Did it turn out for the better or worse? How many of your athletes actually turned into animals in the gym after you tried to fire them? I want to know!