by Lynn Grodzki, LCSW, MCC
Published in the Private Practice Success Newsletter, April 2011
Marketing may be the most reviled word in private practice.
The ever-present need for a business owner to speak to others, become a public figure, and have a strong Internet presence often feels tiring at best, or frightening at worst.
Over the past dozen years of being a business coach, I have helped many therapists with their marketing mindset, helping them shift their feelings, beliefs and actions to market within their comfort zone.
But some therapists tell me that they need even more help: they struggle with a deep-seated resistance to marketing that is very hard to change.
That’s because marketing requires a specific type of energy, that many therapists find in short supply.
During the past year, I have been working with therapists and other small business owners who hate marketing, showing them how to shift their marketing energy and, as a result, change their felt experience of marketing.
In this newsletter article, I want to show you a link between your marketing ability and the energetic center that affects your ability to speak out.
Welcome to 5th Chakra Marketing!
The 5th Chakra
Chakras are a Hindu concept of bodily energetic centers.
In Indian medicine, your 5th Chakra is located near your throat and governs your ability to express yourself and have a full, strong voice – both literally and symbolically.
Energetically, having a balanced 5th Chakra helps you:
• speak your truth, personally and professionally
• hear and be heard on a deep level
• express yourself clearly and eloquently
If you are having trouble finding your voice on behalf of your practice — giving talks, meeting professionals, writing, finishing your website, sending out letters — freeing up this energy may be a good solution.
Finding Your Business Voice
Mona Lisa Schultz, MD, PhD, neurological psychiatrist and medical intuitive, is the author of The Intuitive Advisor (2009.)
She explains that an energetic block at the 5th Chakra can result in physical symptoms of throat-related illness (bronchitis, losing your voice, TMJ, thyroid problems.) But the symtpoms can also be psychological and make you feel stuck when you try to speak out.
A successful marketer needs to be expressive and balance assertiveness (speaking out) with compliance (listening.)
In 5th Chakra terms, Schultz offers a framework for this balance that points the way to several good solutions. You can learn to match your energy with the tasks required to be a good marketer.
Intrigued? See how to identify your communication style and find an energetic balance, so that marketing becomes easier and more successful.
Your Communication Doorway
Dr. Schultz identifies several communication “doorways” or categories:
Locked Door: You shut out the public and feel shy, or fearful or very private. You worry about being overexposed. You may have a lot to say and, in your mind, can find yourself talking to a higher power or to yourself, but in you say very little out loud to others. In meetings you get tongue-tied and the thought of networking is very stressful.
Screen Door: You do meet with others but the conversations are often one-sided. You listen more than you talk and appear receptive, but withhold your thoughts and feelings. Like the wind blowing through a screen door, your point of view gets blown away by the strength of someone else’s opinions.
Swinging Door: This ideal position signifies that you have a natural, flexible, assert point of view but also can listen and accede to others. You can move in and out of professional marketing conversations that make them feel like a dance, not a duty.
Here are some strategies to help you shift or enhance your 5th Chakra energy when it is blocked.
When I became a business coach, the one skill that I most wanted to teach therapists was how to speak about their work with passion and clarity.
I spent months trying to formulate the best way to help my colleagues do this seemingly simple task–talk about themselves in a lucid, positive and energetic manner. I finally found a formula that helps a lot of therapists do this well. I call this strategy articulating your basic message.
When you find the words you love to say, your basic message comes through loud and clear: “I am passionate about what I get to do each day. I love my work. I help others in an important way.”
Finding Your Right Balance
Finding your voice is key. But asserting your message is not enough. For energetic balance, you need to get into a dialogue, not hold a monologue.
You do this by making sure that in your marketing — whether you are networking, at meetings, speaking, writing articles, creating a website, blog, or workshops – you speak and listen, in equal measure. You create give and take.
Its easy to make sure that your marketing becomes a dialogue when you are talking with a professional or a referral source. But even if you are the only one speaking – when you are in the front of the room, you can still listen deeply to the non-verbals of the audience.
The best writing causes a reader to self-reflect. The best websites help a reader “find his or herself” in the text. Express yourself as you give and take.
Your 5th Chakra will thank you and, by the way, this is the easiest path to good marketing!
Schultz, Mona Lisa. The Intuitive Advisor. (Hay House, Carlsbad, 2009.)