241 – August 29
“It was said of old Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, that she never put dots over her ‘i’s to save ink.”—Horace Walpole
One of my dream vacations was to go on a Mediterranean cruise. I had always had an interest in archaeology, having read about Howard Carter’s discovery of King Tut’s tomb and Henreich Schliemann’s excavation of Troy. (I even thought seriously about pursuing it as a career until I realized that these men spent a lot of years digging in the dirt without finding anything before their major discoveries. I really just wanted to show up on the day they hit pay dirt and see all the golden treasure.) But I yearned to walk through the ruins of the Roman city of Pompeii, buried by volcanic ash in 79 A.D. I wanted to tour the Vatican, climb the hill to the Acropolis in Athens, and roam the sandy beaches of the Greek Islands. I had been doing my friend Paris’ affirmation—“I now receive free first class travel and accommodations all around the world”—when I received an inheritance that completely paid for the trip.
The trip was everything I had hoped for and more. The ship was terrific, the company delightful, I won a jackpot in a slot machine in Monte Carlo (if this surprises you, you haven’t been paying attention to all I’ve been saying in this book), our room was beautiful, the food was delicious and the sea was so flat no one got seasick.
At each port, we were in a different country with different currency, and we had to visit the currency exchange dealers when we disembarked in order to have cash to spend that day. It made me laugh to see several of the passengers run from exchange dealer to exchange dealer, looking for the best exchange rate for their money. I’m sure they thought they were being careful with their money, but to me they were wasting the only time they had to be visiting this exotic locale in trying to pinch pennies! The trip cost $3,000—what’s another dollar or two in exchange rate savings? When we visited the palace at Monaco, the tour guide told us we needed to give a franc (about twenty-five cents) to the restroom attendant when we visited the facilities. I saw a woman who only had a dollar bill trying desperately to find someone to give her change so she didn’t have to give the whole dollar to the attendant.
Lighten up. Share the wealth. We’re not talking big money here. You’re on vacation—the goal isn’t to come back with money saved, it’s to have a great time experiencing new places. Keep in mind the relative values at all times. Give up spending ten dollars on gas and an hour of your time driving from supermarket to supermarket to save ten cents on a box of cereal.
Don’t blow dollars saving pennies.
“I am an expert at spending money wisely.”
I have a great online group of dolphins in my Facebook Dolphin Club. It’s a great way for my clients to keep in touch with each other.
A question from a psychotherapist addresses a universal problem for business owners:
“My goal when taking Chellie’s course was to ditch all insurance companies and go entirely private pay. Over the last few months I have achieved my goal — in fact, for about three months I was almost doubling my income without taking insurance clients.
“So far so good, right? Well, over the past few weeks I had a bunch of private pay clients leave counseling for one reason or another (mostly moving out of town), and all of a sudden business had plummeted and I’m having a bit of a freak out. I don’t want to go back to taking insurance, but I’m fearful of not being able to pay my bills. I know it’s possible because it was HAPPENING — any advice about what to do? (Besides freaking out, of course!). Thanks in advance for your encouraging words 🙂
P.S. Yes, I’m still saying my affirmations every day!”
My response is this:
Freaking out is a natural response to change when it appears negative. Actually, the up and down swings in business are just a manifestation of the standard deviation in probability theory. Meaning that if you flip a coin 100 times it will land heads 50% of the time and tails the other 50%.
But you can flip 20 times in a row and always land heads – it doesn’t mean anything because it’s too small a sample size, see? It isn’t because you did an affirmation before flipping, or you used a different thumb action, or Mercury is in Retrograde. It’s just the standard deviation.
The important thing in managing the standard deviation in business is to always be sending out your ships – even in good times, when you have all the business you need. What usually happens is that when we have a full practice, we stop sending ships because we’re filled up and we don’t need them now.
But stuff always happens, there’s a natural attrition, some clients always leave. We have to remember the old sales adage “A-B-C” “Always Be Closing. You always need to be working to fill the pipeline with new prospects. If you built your practice up with private pay once, you can do it again. Your skill hasn’t changed and the marketplace hasn’t changed either. Being in business for yourself means consistently sending out ships so that one day your ships will come in. Going back to insurance pays might be easier, but then the pay is less, eh? Just like getting a job. The lesser pay you earn represents the fee you pay to the entity that does the marketing and selling so you don’t have to. The upside is greater if you own your own business, but the price you pay is that you have to do the marketing and selling.
Both scenarios have their upside and downside – you get to choose which downside you will tolerate in order to have the biggest upside. What’s your dream? To accomplish that goal, you will have to find a way to navigate around the downside that goes with that territory. Good luck with everything, and remember to have fun along the way!