You’ve learned to have a nurturing hook – as a nurse – but it can hurt your business. Your nurturing hook tells you, “You are meant to help people.” Even at your expense. Turn it off when you need to: it may not be easy, but it’s worthwhile. If you have your own business, it’s mandatory.
Nurses want others to like them, and they learn that being agreeable and saying “Yes” tends to make them liked. That’s enough to carry into your legal nurse consulting business and become a habit.
And it isn’t always a good habit. Here are some of the problems with always saying, “Yes.”
- You become passive. Agreeing with someone’s demands saves arguments. You do what’s easy.
- You will end up doing a lot of things you don’t want to do.
- You can easily become burned-out.
- You become resentful.
- You will come to lose sight of what you really want.
All of these characteristics will have impact on your personal life. That’s bad enough, but they can ruin your efforts to build a legal nurse consulting business.
Passivity Means Getting Your Nurturing Hook Caught
A fast-talking attorney tells you why the defendant was negligent. You’re not sure about that. You think that you should investigate some other angles of the case, but s/he keeps on talking. You decide it’s easier to say yes, and to please the attorney. It will save you the trouble of making a decision.
Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do
An attorney calls you at noon on Friday and says he really needs a record review and report by Monday. Surely you can get it done over the weekend, right?
I’m not suggesting that in running your business, you will never do things you don’t want to do. For example, you may have to fire people, as I did. That, however, reflects the ability to say “No,” as in “No, I won’t keep on people who are doing substandard work.”
Continuing to say “Yes, you can keep on messing up, and I’ll pretend I don’t see” is something you can’t do if you want your business to succeed. Your subpar employee Is occupying a seat that could be better filled by a competent person.
You will experience countless opportunities for burnout in your business by
1. Doing the work that substandard employees neglect
2. Working beyond your capacity
3. Taking on more work than you can possibly do
4. Doing work you can delegate
You have to learn to say “No” to doing too much and “Yes” to turning off your nurturing hook.
Losing Sight of What You Really Want
You will have many opportunities to get lost. You can get lost in details that other people assure you are important. You can lose sight of your one-month, three-month, or six-month goals. You can lose your vision.
As an expert witness, you can analyze a case for a lawyer and decide it doesn’t have merit. He, however, persuades you that it does. You still have misgivings, but you take it on. You regret it, in part because it violates the integrity that’s part of your business vision.
You take on a client who isn’t great about paying bills on time. You keep on giving him a chance to pay, sending out polite notes that barely allude to the necessity of timely payments. You don’t want to confront him. Meanwhile, your business suffers.
Forgetting Why You Are In Business
If you continue to say yes to what you don’t want, your business will become a burden. You will forget that you had a dream of becoming an entrepreneur. You will lose your vision of yourself as an independent person running a successful business. You will forget who you are—or who you could have been. You will get very tired.
My husband is very fond of saying, “There’s only one reason to be in business: to make money.”
Helping attorneys who can’t and won’t pay for your services wastes your resources, hurts you personally and professionally. When you spot trouble, get right on top of collections. Don’t let your nurturing hook allow you to let the problem slide.
Turn It Around
The first step is to realize that, difficult as it can be to break a habit that seems to make life easy, it’s making your life difficult. Tell yourself, “When I say no, that’s when my life gets easier.”
Of course, that means saying authentic “No’s.” It means knowing that this is the right answer for you.
You probably won’t immediately develop the gift of knowing when to say “No.” Neither may you automatically develop the courage. It will take some practice. It could involve the repetition of this phrase:
I have the right to choose for myself.
That has power in it. Think of it as an affirmation. When you hear inner objections to it—and you probably will—write them down.
You’ve gotten your legal nurse consulting business started, you’ve gotten clients, and you want to sustain your success. Business development and client management are intertwined. Both are necessary for a stable business.
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Take that careless employee. Do you really want that person to ship medical records to the wrong person?
- But if I fire her, she won’t have a job. She has children.
- How will I replace her?
- What if I choose another subpar employee?
A good way to chase away these objections is to recognize is that they’re really saying to you, “Stay safe.”
Remember that safety is an illusion. When the bill collectors start calling because you didn’t say “No” to the attorney who won’t pay his bills, your safety will vanish.
The best security you can give yourself comes from making decisions based on your values and goals. Your business will thrive, and so will you.
Pat Iyer is president of The Pat Iyer Group, which develops resources to assist LNCs obtain more clients, make more money and achieve their business goals and dreams.
Pat had to learn the hard way how to avoid saying “yes” when ‘no” was the right answer.
Pat’s related websites include the LNC business coaching services she offers through LNCAcademy.com, the continuing education provided on LNCEU.com, the podcasts broadcast at podcast.legalnursebusiness.com, and writing tips supplied at patiyer.com.
Get all of Pat’s content in one place by downloading the mobile app, Biz Edu at www.legalnursebusiness.com/bizedu. Watch videos, listen to podcasts, read blogs, watch online courses and training and more.