Several years ago I went to a dinner presentation hosted by a local health practitioner. As someone who enjoys topics on health and is always looking for natural or alternative options, I found it very interesting. His services sounded like the very type of thing I was looking for.
After the dinner, I signed up for an initial appointment, along with a couple of my friends. All of us were impressed by the testimonies of the people who had been treated with this practitioner. I had never heard of his methodology but was eager to try it.
Even his employees shared with me how they had benefited so much from his work.
I signed up as a client and every week I dutifully showed up for my appointment; which was followed up by 20 of the most relaxing minutes ever in a no gravity leather recliner, soft music, a warm blanket, and dark room. Ahhhh.
His office was always full of patients. It was bright, cheery, and fun motivational quotes were painted on the walls. He was very good at what he did and even brought on a new doctor to apprentice under him because his practice was growing quickly.
DISTRACTED BY SUCCESS
One can quickly rise to the top. But at the top it is much easier to fall – and what a hard fall it is.
Then one day I noticed a change. The new doctor was seeing all the patients and the main practitioner was off on trips to seminars about wealth building and other topics.
Soon he was starting his own classes and seminars about things that really weren’t related to what I was there for. About the only times he talked to me was when he was trying to convince me to pay extra money to join his “special groups”.
I wasn’t interested and neither were any of his other clients.
We were there to improve our health. That is what was important to US – in this particular setting. We weren’t coming to him to learn about meditation or wealth building or whatever it was he was trying to sell.
I wanted him to do what I was paying him for. Period.
What was once an appointment I eagerly looked forward to, became something I dreaded. I started hoping the other doctor would be there so I wouldn’t have to listen to his sales pitch and I could be in and out. It didn’t take long for me to finally skip the 20 minutes of relaxation altogether to avoid any interaction. It became very awkward.
One day, his “star” employee and the one with the greatest health testimonial, was gone. Then my favorite doctor, his “apprentice”, was gone. Soon, it was down to the doctor, his wife, and a receptionist trying to hold things together.
I kept coming because I had signed a contract, but I told the receptionist that I was very uncomfortable coming in any more. She shared that I wasn’t the only one.
A HARD FALL
Finally, I had enough and left as a client even though I had paid more into my contract than the services I had received up to this point. I didn’t care. I wanted out.
Within a year, this doctor had lost most of his clients, his marriage, and finally his entire practice.
He was doing so well. It was a thriving business and he really was dramatically improving people’s lives.
But he lost his focus.
It was no longer about his patients and changing lives, but became about adding these extra things to get rich. I’m not just saying that – it’s what he talked about to me (and others) in those last few weeks and months. THAT was his new focus and it blinded him so much, he lost the very thing that would have given him what he was really wanting.
His main thing was no longer the main thing.
Sometimes, the thing you’ve been looking for your whole life is right there beside you all along. (Guardians of the Galaxy 2)
The classes and seminars were not in and of themselves bad things; perhaps some of his clients would have been interested, but it came at the expense of the core of his business and vision.
His original passion wasn’t important enough to him anymore.
This is an extreme example of chasing a rabbit trail that leads to disastrous consequences.
Can we have offshoots of our business that are indirectly related to our core business? Sure! But timing is everything…and making sure we have a solid foundation and team in place for one area before we move on to another. Otherwise, we risk leaving the most important people and part of our vision out in the cold.
It’s easy to look at others and see where they are getting distracted from the main thing in their business, but what about us? Can we be honest enough with ourselves to ask if we are being pulled away from our vision and passion? Are we adding too many “extras” before we’re ready…or our clients are ready? (YOU may be “ready”, but if your clients are not, then you will confuse them and lose them.)
Share your thoughts with me. Do you have a hard time identifying your “main thing”? As entrepreneurs, we are wired to have lots of ideas, but ideas don’t make a person an entrepreneur – or successful; it’s the wise application of CERTAIN ideas (not all of them).