050: How To Stop Playing Small in Your Business





Ronda Nelson: Well, hello, friends, and welcome back to The Clinical Entrepreneur Podcast. I’m really happy that you’ve joined me again today. We are going to talk about how to not play small in your business and really in your life. We often get so hung up on the little things and I don’t know if you’re like me but I sometimes will find some little thing and I just kind of major on it. And then I get all spun out about it and then my head is going in circles and I’m trying to figure it out, and I get kind of crazy about one little thing that’s not such a big deal. But then I get all hung up and crazy about that thing and then it begins to affect the way I’m feeling and it begins to affect the way that I’m thinking about myself and the way that I’m showing up in my business or I’m showing up in life with my family or my husband. And that’s what I want to talk to you about today is we’re going to kind of do a little bit of a woo-woo. We’re going to go in and talk more about managing your mindset. 




Ronda Nelson: So, I’m going to take a few steps back, and let’s start from the beginning. So, each of us has if you are a single practitioner whether you’re in a practice with multiple practitioners, you still have a business. Now, whether you have an LLC and you actually have a brick-and-mortar, which many of my listeners do, but for some of you, you may just work inside of another clinic. But even if you are an independent contractor, you still have responsibility for you as the clinician and how you operate and how you deliver care to your patients. So, I would say it’s a fair bet to say every single one of you, everyone who’s listening, really does want to grow their business. I don’t think anybody wakes up in the morning, goes, “Yeah. I think I’m going to open a wellness practice and, nah, I don’t think I want to grow it.” I don’t think that happens. Everybody wants to grow their business and we all have to put in that time and hard work. And you do everything that you have to do as you’re kind of going along but at some point, that hard work doesn’t work anymore because you’ve either maxed out your time, you don’t have the skills, you don’t have the help, you’re in over your head, you’re trying to learn the clinical stuff and you’re trying to run a business, “And I got patients who need me and I’m not sure what else I need to do over here on the business side, and I can’t afford to hire it out because I…” and then we start spinning. 


And then the head game starts to come in where we start having lack of belief. You know, we think, “Well, maybe I’m not cut out to be a business owner or maybe I’m not cut out to do this. I should just go work for someone else or I don’t know enough. I need to go to more seminars. I need to know it all before I ever start working with patients or making nutritional recommendations or supplement recommendations, whatever it is.” But yet at the same time, which doesn’t really make it any better, we see practitioners that seem to kind of effortlessly just sort of glide their way to success. And they have these great practices and they’re making money and they’re serving people and people are getting better and the reviews are off the hook and everyone loves them and they love life and everything’s going well. And then all that does is really reinforce our belief that, yeah, I’m never going to be good enough or I’m never going to be smart enough or I’m never going to know enough. But yet you and that other practitioner, you both have the same schooling, you both have the same opportunity that you both have 24 hours a day, 365 days in a year. What’s the big difference? Why does one person have a super successful practice and you might be on the other side of the coin going, “Yeah. I kind of suck at this like it’s not working for me very well.” 


And I believe that the reason that that distinction is there, the biggest difference is because of the way they show up in their businesses. It’s the way they believe. It’s what they believe. They don’t hold themselves back. They are all in. They have their foot on the gas. They’re like, “Well, I don’t know how to do that. I’m going to figure it out,” and they just go. Whereas on the flip side, some of us and I have to put myself in this category early on. I had my foot on the gas and the brake, and sometimes at the same time. That’s not good for a vehicle, right? So, sometimes I was trying to give it gas but I was scared and I would put the brake on. And then I try to move forward and do something new and then I would get scared, I would put the brake on. Or I would start the compare game and I would start comparing myself to somebody else who has this wild practice, not taking into consideration that maybe that person’s been in practice for 40 years. Oh, no, no, no. I’m brand new and that person’s been in business for 40 years and they’re successful and I’m not, and then I make that my problem. You see how like out of balance that is? It’s all screwed up. But the biggest difference I absolutely believe is what happens between the ears. What happens in their head is that when you’re successful in business, you’ve got a different mindset. 


And that’s what I want to talk to you about today is how to show up in your business and stop playing small. Show up with that right mindset so then you can start moving the train forward and not get stuck in the comparison game or the I’m not good enough game or I don’t know enough game, all of that. Because we feel great one day, lots of success, and then not so good the next day, hopeless, no shows, noncompliant patients, and we’re like, “Oh, forget it. I’m going to give up.” Well, that’s sort of spineless. I’ve been there and we don’t want to do that. Your success as a practitioner is not based on your circumstances. Let me say that again. Your success as a practitioner is not based on your circumstances. It’s not about what happens on a day-to-day basis. It’s not even about what you believe should be the case. It’s about the thoughts you think between your ears because we know it’s all about yourself talk because your thoughts are what create your feelings and then your feelings create beliefs, and then those beliefs have an opportunity to become actions. I know you’ve heard this before but I honestly don’t think I ever get tired of this conversation because I need a reminder that my self-talk dictates how I feel. Isn’t that just so true? Don’t you find the same thing? 


Your self-talk dictates how you feel and when you feel “bahh man” because you had three patients no show or your marketing is not working or your bank account isn’t where you want it to be. And then we start getting these feelings or sad and then we believe, “Well, I’m never going to be good enough or I’m never going to make it or I’ll never know enough as the next person,” and those beliefs then translate into actions. So, for instance, if you’re feeling unsure clinically about making recommendations or advising patients about the type of care they need or how many times they need to come back or what supplements they need to take, you’re worried about it in your head thinking, “Oh, my gosh, maybe it’s going to cost too much money and I don’t want to be, I don’t want to do…” and then what happens is you don’t speak up and you don’t make the recommendation that the patient needs. It’s because of that self-talk that creates the feeling of inadequacy or I’m not good enough or whatever. The patient doesn’t get the results. You continue to believe that you don’t know enough because it’s true, of course, in your story that you don’t know enough because the patient didn’t get results and it just becomes this vicious cycle. It’s just a train wreck waiting to happen. If you think that you’re not going to show up good on Facebook and you all should be doing Facebook lives, in my opinion. I am not a fan of Facebook, I’m telling you, and I actually have started a free Facebook group. Don’t kick me. But I’m telling you it’s because we can use the tool for what it needs to be used for but we don’t have to get sucked into the drama and all of that other thing but that’s for another day. 


But back to Facebook. If you think that you’re going to not show up well on Facebook, let’s say, “I don’t really look good and I don’t really know what I’m saying and maybe it’s not right, and maybe…” then you’ll avoid it. Then you avoid it. It then confirms your belief that you’re not good at it and there you go. You put your foot on the brake before you ever had a chance to put it on the gas. We all have done this. If you think your writing skills are bad, you’re never going to create those patient emails. You’re never going to write that nurture series. You’re never going to write that welcome email series if you think your skills are bad, and then you don’t take action. We just put our foot on the brake all the time because of what we’re thinking. So, when a belief is missing, it’s always going to be a train wreck. So, how do we get the beliefs? How do we get the beliefs? Well, first of all, I would say we need, and I’m going to give you, we’re going to do a little exercise in a minute. But first of all, if you’re having trouble here, the first thing I would say, just start making a decision. Doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong. 


So, let’s use supplements for an example. So, if you have a wellness clinic, which my listeners do, you have a wellness practice and you’re recommending supplements for your patients. If you’re not sure if something’s going to work but you think it might, try it. It’s not going to hurt anything. Try it with the patient. See how they feel. If they come back and say, “Hey, doc, that didn’t really work out so well. I don’t really feel any different.” You go, “Okay. Good to know.” And then you move on, you try something different. That’s the part of learning. So, there’s nothing to be afraid of but what I would say is take your foot off the dang break and start being decisive and take action. Be a problem solver. When a challenge comes and you aren’t sure, get into a support group like I’ve got Clinical Academy that’s clinical support for practitioners who largely use standard process and métier, but that doesn’t mean it’s not translatable. It’s still good clinical information. Get into a support group. Find a Facebook group. Find a small group in your area where you can connect with other practitioners that believe the same as you and think the same as you, and you can bounce ideas off of each other, but have a figure-it-out kind of attitude. 


And then secondly, be willing to make mistakes. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, because guess what, you’re going to make them. If you’re a parent, you already learned that lesson. Like we mess our kids up all the time unintentionally but we do it. It’s because there’s no guidebook and it’s the same in business. There are some principles that are the same but there’s no real guidebook for us to know exactly how we need to show up and do this business thing because every person is so different. But if you show up with this mentality every day, you’re going to go all-in, you give it 100%, you’re decisive, you’re taking action, you’re going to be a problem solver, you’re like, “Bring on the challenge. Let’s get it figured out. I’m game. Let’s do it. Let’s go Facebook live. I don’t care if I look bad. I don’t care if I sound bad. Ronda’s telling me to do it. Let’s just do it. I’m going to do it,” how do you think your business will change? What do you think will happen? Will the way you behave inside your business change? Will your back get a little straighter, your shoulders go back, you start feeling a little bit more confident? Do you see what’s happening? It’s when you stop the thoughts, begin to take action that’s the opposite of what you’re thinking, that now you start changing those beliefs. 


Will the way that you lead your team, your staff, will that change your ability to lead as a leader, as a CEO of your business? How about the way you interact with your patients? Do you think that will change when you start being decisive, get in, make the decision, and let’s go? Some of you listening may already feel 100% confident on the clinical side and some of you may feel, “Ooh,” like biting your nails, “I don’t know. I don’t know enough. I don’t know enough.” Both sides of the fence, both camps we all have places in our lives, in our businesses where we have our foot on the brake. And I’m saying take your foot off the dang brake. Put duct tape over it or even take the whole brake pedal out. You don’t need it. And you’re going to grow a business, put your foot on the gas and just go, my friend. Just go. I see this often in the practitioners that I coach. Some of them are so afraid of making mistakes and sometimes they’re just afraid of giving up the control and they need to micromanage everything because they can’t let go. And practitioners, we don’t realize it. Like, I am sure that there are areas in my own life where I have got some control things happening and you don’t even see it because it just feels like normal to you. So, we want to make sure we get the foot off the brake so that we can put the gas forward. 


So, if we need to hire new staff, I’ll feel confident to do it. Because you’re not then saying, “Well, no one’s going to do it as well as I can. I’m the one that has to just do it all.” And then you start giving up nights and weekends because you’re working from dawn to dusk or beyond trying to get it all done because you have that lack of belief in what’s possible. So, we’re going to take our foot off the brake and put it on the gas, and start making different decisions. So, when you let go, you will absolutely automatically 100% you’ll be able to step into something bigger. It might be scary. I’m with you there. We’ve all done scary things but it’s time to be that CEO of your business. You are the CEO. If you own your practice, whether you have a virtual practice or a brick-and-mortar practice, you are the CEO of your business. So, wear your hat. Put that bad boy on and show up like the boss. You wear it like proudly. Shoulders back, spine up. I’m the CEO and this is what we’re going to do. You can’t lead a business on the beliefs that are faulty because you’ve got poor self-thoughts going on between your ears. We want you to be the clinician that you’re meant to be so that you run your business that allows you to be that clinician. 


So, if you were going to show up every single day with a belief in yourself that you are 100% capable and able to grow a thrivingly, crazy, successful practice, what would happen? If you showed up every single day with a belief in yourself that you are 100% capable of growing a thriving, successful practice, what would happen? If you showed up with that belief every day, one year from now, what would your practice look like? If you believe that every single day if that’s the only thing you said to yourself every morning when you get up, “I am 100% capable of growing a thriving, successful practice, and that’s what I intend to do today,” and you said that every single day, how would your decisions change inside your business? How would your decisions change if you phrased that and you said you’re going to show up as a 100% capable parent or a spouse or whatever the role is, how would that change? It would make a massive change. And a year from now, your practice is going to look different. Your personal life will look different. Your bank account is going to look different. But on the flip side, if nothing changed in your life or your business for the next one year or three years or five years or whatever, however long, if you could fly through time and get to your future self like let’s say a year from now, if you could go fly through time and talk to your future self a year from now, what would your future self say to you today? 


And this is kind of a big question, and this is where our little exercise we’re going to do comes into play here in a minute. But if you were going to ask your future self, what would your future self say to you today? Would your future self say, “Oh, don’t worry about exercise. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.” No. Your future self would say, “Please, get more exercise or please stop eating that bowl of ice cream every night or please believe in yourself. Believe in yourself. You have more good in you than you realize. Believe in yourself.” Your future self might say, “You just need to find someone to come alongside you and partner with you to help guide you through this business thing. You may need a business coach.” Your future self might say, “Don’t work so hard. Life is too short. Just spend time with your kids and your family and your grandkids and your friends. Quit playing small.” I think that’s what our future self would say. So, how do we make sure that our future looks like how we want it? I know we’ve covered like a lot of ground. This is a bit woo-woo today but it starts with a simple step, right? Every journey begins with a simple step, one single step. So, we want to take that simple single step to start moving forward and that’s what we’re going to talk about today. 


So, we want to think what are the things, I want you to get kind of clear about this, like whatever you’re doing like just clear your mind. If you need to pause or stop for a minute to kind of get in a space where you can kind of think about this but I might ask you a few questions. Number one, what is a thought that you have about yourself every single day? Usually, their thought is like, “Ugh, I’m so fat,” or, “Oh, I wish that I was smarter,” or, “Ugh, I hate this business,” or, “Oh, I wish that I had more money in the bank or a better car or…” whether it’s material things or something about yourself. What is that one thought you have about yourself and your world every day? What’s a thought, usually negative, but that’s what I kind of want you to dig for about your business, that you don’t have the skill or you don’t know enough? What about your clinical skills? You don’t have the skill, you don’t know enough. What are those thoughts that are lurking around in your brain that are creating the feelings that are then limiting the beliefs? We’re going to reverse that. Do you maybe have a little imposter syndrome rolling around like you don’t feel worthy? “Somebody else knows more than me. It’s not me. I don’t deserve this. I don’t know enough. What if they find out that I’m not really who I say I am? What if?” That thing will keep you in prison. That’s a brick on the break right there. 


So, we’re going to get really honest, and here’s how we’re going to do this, and then we’ll wrap it up. We’re going to do a little two-part exercise but I’ve got a question for you first. Before we do the exercise, I know I’ve had lots of questions for you today, but this is so important to get this. It’s so, so important. Think about where you were in life ten years ago. Just for a minute. Where did you live? How old were your kids? Were you in school? You know, what kind of car did you drive? Where did you go out to dinner a lot? What kind of coffee did you drink? Whatever. Think about your life ten years ago. Now, if you, you know how we were just talking about your future self? I’m going to say from your perspective right here, right now, today, if you looked back at yourself ten years ago or even five years ago or one year ago, what would you say to yourself back then? What would you say to your past self that would have impacted your life and made it different today? What would you do differently? Would you have saved more money? Would you invest it in real estate? Maybe spend more time with your kids. Would you have been more bold and courageous? What would you tell your past self to say, “Listen, stop eating those cookies and get on the treadmill,” or, “Save more money. Put $100 a week or $10 a week in a savings account.” Save, save, save. We all can look like hindsight is 20/20, right? We can look back and say this is what you should do. 


So, what I’m asking you to do is take the should-dos and we’re going to make them now-dos. We’re going to make the should-dos now-dos. We’re going to do that now. What you would have told yourself a year, five years, ten years ago, we’re going to start doing that now. You probably would have told your old self, “Hey, don’t worry. It all works out fine. That thing you were so worried about, nah, didn’t really happen so don’t waste your time.” We get caught up on all these little things like it was started out in the beginning where we get all spun up in our heads about stuff and we don’t need to because it always works out fine. At the end of the day, it always works out fine. So, I know that all of this thought and thinking process here we’ve done today, I’ve done a lot. So, sorry, not sorry, but here’s what I want you to do. Here, we’re going to bring it all home. This right here, what you’re going to do is an act, what I think of as an act of love for not only yourself but also for your future to start making your future, your future business life, your personal life, your relational life, parenting life, whatever it is, it starts to turn the ship. We’re going to turn the rudder and we’re going to start creating something that looks a little bit different. This is how we’re going to do it. 


What I want you to do, two parts. I want you to write a letter. Now, I know you’ve probably heard this before but I want you to write a letter to your future self and you can choose how far in the future. It could be a one-year future, a five-year future, a ten-year future. I do mine at a one-year. I can wrap my brain around that. I want you to write a letter to your future self, and I want you to write down what your life is like. You’re going to write it as if you are one year from now, so you’re going to write it in present tense as if you are there. What is your life like? And you want to use all the details because we know in the brain the more details we can get, the more we activate those places of the brain that are starting to look for solutions to make it happen. So, what are you seeing in a year from now? Where are you? What are you smelling? What was the meal? What meal are you eating? Are you smelling coffee? Are you on a beach somewhere or are you sitting outside on a patio with your spouse? Whatever it looks like. But as many feelings as you can get. What kind of clothes are you wearing? Where are you living? How much is in your bank account? I think that’s a huge one. So many of us are or have been really just almost handcuffed by this conversation about finances and income. So, how much money is in your bank account? Do you own any real estate? Is your practice booming? Have you hired people? Get very, very descriptive. 


And as you write it, I really want you to like pour yourself into the description. Feel it, sense it, taste it. Don’t just write it because otherwise, anybody could just write a story. I don’t want you to write a story. I want you to be in this story because it’s about you. So, write and feel every little part of it. And when you do that and you finish your letter, I want you to seal it and then put it away. Now, you can look at it a year from now if you want to. I like to look at mine every quarter. I look at mine every three months because what that does is it keeps my brain on task and I read it out loud. I read it out loud. “It’s January 1, 2022, and I’m sitting on the beach and I have this and I’m doing this. And this is what I’ve done. And here’s what’s happening in my financial life and here’s what’s happening in my practice and here’s my business,” and you just write it as if it’s literally happened because your brain will do everything it can to try and make that a reality. That’s its job. Because what you think about is what you bring about. It creates those beliefs and those beliefs create that reality. So, I want you to believe it. That’s why I get mine out every three months and I read it again. I read it out loud. And I mean, I read it with as much passion and belief as I can muster and I always get so excited when it’s time to read my letter. I just keep it in my planner. 


So, now once you’ve written your letter, this is a second part, I want you to write down on a different piece of paper what you need to do today to get that to make that happen. So, let’s say you want to see five more new patients every week. What choices or actions do you need to make today in order to help make that happen? Maybe you need to get really serious about your marketing. This is not like we’re going to write a letter and just let the universe show it up. Look, friend, you got to put some feet to this. You’ve got to put your foot on the gas. It does require some action on your part but your brain will start to navigate your world in a way that will bring all of that into fruition if it’s in you. It lives in you. It’s like living and breathing. What would you need to do today? So, would you still eat the ice cream every night for dinner, or does that need to change in order for you to be in your future? What would your future self say that you need to do with your – what do you need to stop thinking? Do you need to lose weight? Do you need exercise? I always pick on those because they’re common for lots of people, but what do you need to do? What would your future self say to you and what do you want to have happen one year now or whatever, however long your timeline is? 


So, two parts. You’re going to write your letter, put it away, decide when you’re going to read it again. You’re going to read it every month if you want to. Number two, you’re going to write down what you need to do today to start to make that happen. Because, my friend, if you need to lose weight, then eating cookies and ice cream isn’t going to work. If you want your vision to become a reality, well, you think like cookies and ice cream are just going to like magically stay out of your mouth? No. You got to do take some action here for that to happen. So, you want to be super-specific, “Here’s what I need to do and this is how I’m going to do it.” If you need to find a coach, if you need a business coach, I’m happy to help you. If you need a physical coach at the gym, you need to get in shape, then go find a coach or go start watching YouTube videos or share with someone and let them hold you accountable. Because all of this, my friend, always goes back to what you believe, what we believe, and that starts with the thoughts that we think. So, if your thoughts are stinky, you have stinky thinking, that is going to manifest. That stinky thinking is going to manifest in your life. If you want to change your life, you have to change the way you think. And the thoughts in here begin to form the feelings and then those feelings turn into beliefs and those beliefs end up resulting in action. 


So, what you can believe and see and feel and taste like it’s in you. You know, you know, you know this is what you have to do. It will become a reality. But you have to take your foot off the brake, you’ve got to put your foot on the gas, and you have to be courageous and decisive and start taking forward action, because without that, your reality, you may be a year from now in the same stinking thinking place that you are right now. And I don’t want that for you and I know I don’t want that for me. So, my friend, that is enough woo-woo for today. Whew. Until next time. I believe in you. You’ve got this. I know you do. 




Ronda Nelson: Whew. Are we still friends? Can we still be friends? I really do want to be friends. I know that was a lot. It was intense. After I recorded it, I actually had to go rewrite my letter because I got myself all inspired and I realized that I have some other things that I wanted to kind of add to my letter that I just kind of post-dated for a year from now. But I love this conversation because it has the power to be so transformational. So, just a couple of quick things. Number one, remember to get real quiet when you write your letter. Be very thoughtful and intentional. I don’t want you to do this on like a 20-minute lunch where you think, “Oh, man, Ronda said I need to write that letter. I better go do it.” I don’t want you to do that. I want you to give it the attention and the focus and really the purpose. I want purpose behind what you’re doing. So, get in a quiet place. Don’t forget to review your letter every so often and even better, share your letter with someone that you trust and someone that will encourage you to keep believing and keep reaching for your goals. But I have a word of caution for you here. Not everyone believes it like you do, even well-meaning people. It might be your spouse or your best friend might be a bit of a Negative Nelly because they know you and they’ve seen you fail before. And they say, “Well, she never, ever finishes what she starts.” Then don’t share your letter with that person. 


Find someone who’s known you like a childhood friend or a college friend or someone that just really knows you and can be your cheerleader and say, “I believe in you. I believe you can do this,” and then give them progress, updates as things start to shift and your reality that what’s happening in your business starts to change. You share that with them and let them be a source of encouragement to you. I promise you, even if this just whole thing sounds so weird, it will absolutely be completely transformational. So, if you’re stuck and you need a little bit of help, you want someone to like walk you through this a bit more, I am more than happy to chat with you. All you have to do is go to, schedule a free call with me and I’ll be happy to get on the phone with you, and we can just work this out. And there would be nothing that would make me happier than to know that you wrote your letter and now you’re going to be intentional about taking your foot off of the brake, putting your foot on the gas, and showing up with intention about where you want your business to go. So, thank you so, so much for being part of my world, my community, my tribe, and listening to The Clinical Entrepreneur Podcast. I’ll see you next week.


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