It’s been awhile since I’ve written about Real True Work. My friend, Michael Langlois, reminded me of why I talked about it in the first place. This week. He’s at South by Southwest (#SXSW) talking about psychotherapy and video games and tagged me in a post stating he is enjoying pursuing his real true work. (I’m super happy for him).
I got off track with my real true work. I went down a path that closed my therapeutic practice and edged toward business coaching. The coaching thing was all wrong for me. It wasn’t that I couldn’t make money. I did. The problem was, my heart wasn’t in it. I didn’t feel that certain somthin’-somethin’ you get when the work you do resonates with who you are.
So I shifted back to the therapy and plodded my way back to a full practice, working with my good friend, Allison Andrews. We have big plans and are taking steps every day to make them real.
Faith in what is real and true
To do this work, Allison and I have had to have faith in what we know and who we are. What we bring to our work with families of children with ADHD and autism is what we call “game.” We know our shit. We know what we know because of who we are who we parent and our education ad training. No one can do the work we do the way we do it because they are not us. And we freaking rock. Clients come to see us from miles away. They give up their Friday nights, Saturday mornings. They pay on time. I have several clients who tracked me down to settle their bills, rather than the other way around.
There is a resonance between our clients and ourselves. And the only way that vibration is sustainable is when we believe in ourselves, our approach, our style and our worth.
What we do looks different from other therapy practices. We sit on the floor. We laugh a lot with our clients. We share a bit of ourselves when it makes sense to do that. We’re moving to a new office and we have plans to install a disco ball, a chalkboard wall and have our clients create the playlists of songs we play in the waiting room.
Our practice will never look like yours or the one down the hall. You business shouldn’t look like ours, either. We do what is real and true to us. You have to do the same.
The key to this is…having faith in who you are and what you do is tricky. You need to believe in yourself because there are no models to follow in being you in your unique workspace. You also need to have some solid insight into your strengths and weaknesses and, again, put your faith in your strengths. Just because treating a particular issue is in demand or lucrative, doesn’t mean you should build your work around it. Nor can you chase rainbows hoping that treating your version of a problem is going to be in demand. You need to have your feet on the ground and continue believe that what you do matters and then rock at it daily. See why this requires faith?
Which brings us to trust
Faith and the belief in who you are and what you do is one thing, trusting you can build something that makes a difference and money is another.
The first place to put your trust is in yourself. You need to trust your gut and instincts. You need to trust your intuition. And you need to trust that when you head down a wrong path (and you will) you have the smarts and strength to turn around and tweak what needs tweaking before things get out of hand.
You need to trust that you are putting something into the world that matters even when only a few people know about it.
You need to trust yourself in the face of others’ ambivalence about your work.
Ultimately, you need to trust that building the work you do is a process and the path is long with ups and downs and you will come out ahead in the end.
Lessons in Business, Faith and Trust
This is my third rendition of building my practice. And this time, the pieces are all in place for us to grow something bigger than us. We have a vision, we have a plan, we have trust in our work and each other, and faith this constellation of good stuff works out the way we think it will.
While it could be overwhelming and scary, it isn’t at all because we have faith in ourselves and the process to bring us to the right place.
It hasn’t been a straight line. We’ve had bumps and had to change course a few times. But since we have the faith and the trust, we didn’t freak out, we didn’t panic. We calmly regrouped, shifted our focus, took our time.
There’s no workbook or class on faith and trust in ourselves. That inner game is really what set apart those who make a business work and those who give up. The moving parts of a business aren’t complex or secrets. The key really is faith in who you are and trust that you have what it takes.