Excerpted from SEAK’s course, “How to Start, Build, and Run a Successful Physician Consulting Practice

Julia: Action was on client expectations. I just want to summarize client expectations. Again, you can often tell right away if someone’s expectations are unrealistic. You need to pay attention to that, listen. And if their expectations are unrealistic, walk away, save yourself time, save yourself frustration, headache, walk away. I know you guys are used to being stressed all the time. I mean, so it’s just normal to you living in this high-stress environment where things are challenging and they’re difficult. So, initially, you’re not gonna give this a thought.” Ah, the client is difficult, that’s okay, you know, I perform heart surgeries. Fine, I’ll take difficult people.” You don’t have to anymore. You don’t have to. You know, consulting work can actually be kind of easy and fun.

Man: You can use the F word. You can use the F word. It could be fun.

Julia: Yeah. It can be fun. It’s okay not to take someone because it’s not gonna be fun for you. If you don’t want to, it’s okay to do that. You don’t have the
obligations as a physician, the ethical obligations. You can say no, it’s okay. And you don’t have to prove anything to anybody, including yourself. I think starting out consulting, I wanted to prove some things to myself. I wanted to prove that I left practice and I have a business, and I can do anything as a consultant. So, I had to prove it to myself and maybe to some of my family members, maybe my brother who I left alone in practice by himself. You know, I’m gonna take these challenging cases and prove. You don’t have to prove anything to anybody. You don’t have to.

Let’s see. One more slide on this section. If you choose a niche that has a personal emotional component for your client, it can be very difficult to manage their expectations. Very difficult. I want my child to be independent. Basically, parents come to me and they want their child to be normal. I mean, if you get down to it, that’s what they want. They don’t want their child to have an extra chromosome. That’s what they want. They’re not gonna say that to me, but that’s the thing. Oh, and to manage those expectations is an art. You have to recognize it, you have to analyze their personality, and then you have to decide how you’re going to lead them to what you can accomplish. So, if a parent says, “Well, my goal is I want my child to be independent.” Me too, I want your child to be independent. But right now, let’s start with fine motor skills so they can button their shirts. Let’s start with potty training, let’s start with crawling. So, I break things down and show them that we can get really excited about the smaller milestones. And every milestone is a celebration. It’s a big deal. Rolling over, crawling, walking, feeding themselves. So, I teach them to expect success in every day. So, I change their view, you know, yes, ultimately, their expectation is independence. But I show them that we can have success every day. So you have to think about client expectations. Remember what’s your… anybody remember your mantra that I taught you? Oh, thank you. Because you haven’t put it on your bathroom mirror yet. It’s about them. It’s about them. It’s about them.

Excerpted from SEAK’s stream on-demand course, How to Start, Build, and Run a Successful Physician Consulting Practice