Waiting for Godot

Waiting works sometimes in a hands-on practice, but if you don't know how to talk to clients so that they commit, waiting to learn doesn't help anyone.

Sometimes, waiting is perfect in a hands-on practice, but if you don’t know how to talk to clients so that they commit, waiting to learn doesn’t help anyone. Photo© yortw

Personally, I wouldn’t have waited.

The day I was told the spot on my nose had to come off, I rearranged my life to take the first available chance to have the spot replaced by 2 stitches and a Band-aid.

Waiting frustrates me. I like to DO more than I like to THINK about doing.

Whatever it is, I’d rather do it NOW than wait 10 minutes to think it through again, find another layer of meaning. or another way somebody will be affected by “it.”

At the same time, I know that a lot of hands-on practitioners are just fine with waiting.

And that’s a really good thing because honestly, I know that the world needs people who are more patient than I am … and if that’s you, great.

But sometimes, to avoid harm, you have to act even–if you aren’t finished waiting.

I mean, if you had a major leak in your basement with the water rising 10 inches every hour, how long would you wait to call in some qualified help?

“Basement-flooding” is what’s happening with a lot of the practitioners I talk to about their hands-on practices. They have got major leaks in the foundation of their practices, leaks in their client-flow, and they’re waiting…

1. Waiting for your clients to “show up.”

Your clients aren’t going to show up until you make yourself visible. Before that, no one will find you.

If you don’t make connections with people who can refer clients to you, you won’t get referrals. If you don’t become the “go-to” person for the problem you solve, how will anyone know to go to you?

Stop waiting. Take action. Get known. Get visible. Find good referral sources and teach them how to send you the clients you really want.

2. Waiting for your marketing to work.

Most practitioners hate advertising, marketing, anything to do with selling. If that’s you and your heart just isn’t in it, then how can it work?

In fact, most of the marketing most practitioners do doesn’t work as well as they want it to, hope it will, wish it would. If it hasn’t worked up to now, you’re waiting for a miracle.

Do you know the joke about the person who keeps praying to god to win the lottery? Year after year, it’s all god hears. And finally he responds… “Help me out here… GO BUY a lottery TICKET!”

See? Even god will tell when it’s time to take action.

The first step is to make it all feel like you. Otherwise you just can’t do it!

3. Waiting to feel ready.

This seems to come with the territory for most hands-on practitioners. There’s so much to learn, so much to internalize… it could take a lifetime, and it often does. So what do you do in the meantime?

The truth is that no one is ever as ready as they could be with several more years of study, rumination and 3 or 4 more certifications. But without the experience of putting your hands on people, you aren’t really ever going to be ready to–well… put your hands on people.

It’s a conundrum… and the answer is “Stop waiting to be ready, and start doing something that makes you feel ready enough to help yourself and other people.”

A big key is attracting clients who need the help you can give them now. When you find them, everything shifts into high gear!

4. Waiting for “the right time” or “the right conditions.”

People worry… that the holidays are coming, so it’s a bad time to schedule a class. Summer is coming and the kids are out of school, so it’s a bad time to take a class. Tax time is coming so it’s a bad time for… everything.

It will never be the right time. Things could always be better. Life will always intervene–but you don’t have to let it stop you.

Start. Put one foot in front of the other–because taking action is how you make progress. The one who waits… sometimes gets lucky, but more often gets to keep on waiting.

5. Waiting until you have enough clients to pay for the program that will help you get clients you need because you don’t have enough money.

The irony in this is palpable.

In fact, this is so “ironic” that I have to tell you a true short story about ironing that I heard repeatedly in my childhood:

In the 1940’s, my mother wanted to buy an Ironrite mangle. She always paid cash–she never wanted to buy on credit because it would cost more–so for a long time, she saved her money. When she had enough she went to the store to buy the ironing machine. She was shocked to find that the price had gone up to more than she would have paid if she’d bought it earlier, on credit.

She told the story over and over as I was growing up because of the lesson she learned from it. Not only did she lose money by waiting, but she also lost enjoyment--she really hated ironing and she missed out on having the benefit of that machine for all that time she was waiting to buy it.

Stop waiting. Start doing. The time to learn to get clients is when you need them. What does waiting cost you, cost the people who need you, cost the world?

6. Waiting for whatever comes and whoever shows up.

Actually, there’s nothing wrong with this if you don’t have to earn a living, but if you need to put food on the table, you cannot afford to take what comes. You have a business. You are a self-employed person. You need to find out how to get clients and go do it!

If you don’t want to do what successful self-employed people do, save yourself a whole lot of heartache, and just go get a job.

Are YOU Waiting for Godot?

Whether you are familiar with the play or not, you probably know that waiting for the guy was useless. Not only did he never show up, the actors who were waiting for him didn’t know him or anything about him. If he had shown up, they wouldn’t have recognized him.

Don’t let Godot be a metaphor for your practice. If you’re ready to stop waiting, the first step is to learn how to engage prospective clients instead of glazing them over.  Have a Heart to Heart Consultation helps you solve every problem I talked about in this post… and more. Get the details here.

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