I’ve said before that I’ve yet to meet the VA who couldn’t stand to hike up her business standards.
This isn’t because everyone has lousy standards, but because as soon as standards are created, and person starts living and working within them, she changes for the better. And when she changes, her standards naturally can be higher. It’s a never-ending process, but a really fun-and-exciting one, because as a person goes through the cycle of setting standards, living them, raising them, living the new ones, etc.,, she sees everything about herself, her life, and her work improving in real time.
The challenge is that, as with many things, most people think that, once created, they don’t ever have to revisit their standards, yet nothing could be further from the truth. Standards are part of your foundation, and the path to solid growth. Without standards that fit where a person is today, her business (and life) aren’t as solid as it could be, and that puts everything in some form of jeopardy. And reviewing them regularly shows you what needs to be changed about them.
So, if your practice isn’t exactly where you want it (be super-honest with yourself as you think about that!), I guarantee it’s a standards issue; either you never set good standards, or you haven’t raised them. Do the standards work to build the practice you most want.
To do that, begin by getting yourself to a place where you believe, at your core, that you have the right to have standards in the first place. All humans do. All business owners do, too. You are no exception. ❤
A few of the business standards you have the right to create for yourself (whether you currently believe it or not) are:
- The right to set your fee so that you can be profitable in your business
- The right to not be hassled about your fees, once set
- The right to raise your fees when you decide to
- The right to say how things are in your practice without being made to feel as though you have anything to justify
- The right to say with whom you’ll work
- The right to set your work hours
- The right to take time off, without being made to feel like you shouldn’t or it’s inconvenient for you to do it when you want to do it
- The right to have an interview/intake process that you take clients through in order to assess fit
- The right to say no to work you don’t want to do, or to clients you don’t want to work with
- The right to be treated as a professional in your own right, and an equal in the relationship
Tell me, how does your practice stack up with regard to those? Do you call the shots in your business, or do you let others impose their wishes on you when they don’t align with what you want for yourself? Have you bought into the lie that says the customer is always right and you have to do what the customer says, when the customer says, in order to get/keep his business? The truth is that the customer is always the customer, but he’s not always right.
Moreover, if a customer feels the need to tell you how you “should” be running your business, he’s flat out wrong, and behaving inappropriately.
The bottom line is that in your business (and life) you have the right to say how things go. The bottom line for your clients is that they have the right to not work with you if they don’t like your standards. Get ok with that, too.
Who cares, really, if they don’t like your standards and won’t work with you? Who would you want to work with a bully, anyway? You only need a few great clients and there are those who will admire and respect your standards and who will want to work with you because of them, not in spite of them. Some of them will also be smart enough to realize that if you’ve put strong standards in place for your business, you can help them put similar standards in place that will be right for their businesses.
Look for your complements, not those who would beat you up for being ahead of the curve with fantastic, high standards. Your complements will be ideal clients for you. The others? They have no business even being around you.