Productivity

3 Secrets To Being World-Class

 August 4, 2021

By  Uriah Guilford, MFT

minute read

Uriah:   Hello and welcome to the Productive Therapist podcast! So happy that you’re listening with us today. Hi, Tracel!

Tracel:  Hi, how are you?

Uriah:   I’m doing good today. How are you?

Tracel:  I’m doing excellent. Thank you.

Uriah:   Excellent. Today’s podcast is actually inspired by a Facebook post that I saw that prompted a question that I want to put across to you.

Tracel:  Hmm okay.

Uriah:   Ready for that?

Tracel:  I am.

Uriah:   All right, coz we’re talking about how to be world class, OK?

Tracel:  OK.

Uriah:   And as we’re recording this podcast episode, the Olympics are happening. So it’s kind of tied into that.

Tracel:  Yes.

Uriah:   OK, so here’s the question: If normal things were an Olympic event, what would you win the gold in?

Tracel:  Oh, man, that is an excellent question.

Uriah:   You can think about that one for a minute and I can share an answer.

Tracel:  OK, yeah.

Uriah:   Sometimes when I respond to posts online, my immediate thought is to try to make a joke. And I don’t know if that’s because I’m a dad or just because I’m a goofball! But my first my first thought in my actual response to that question was, for sure, organizing my garage – like, I am amazing at organizing my garage.

Tracel:  When are you available? We need some help! So my husband will hire you!

Uriah:   That is actually a professional service that people do, right?

Tracel:  I know! It is! Organizing people, organizing everything.

Uriah:   Yeah. So that’s one thing. And then also purchasing and evaluating software seems to be something that I excel at, for better or for worse!

Tracel:  For me, I would say just kind of organizing in general. I like to have…to function well, I need to have…I, like, if you use something, put it back where you found it, all of that kind of thing.

Uriah:   Yeah. Yeah. It’s tough for me right now because I have teenage daughters and that is not exactly their skill and not in their wheelhouse. Maybe making messes and leaving messes.

Tracel:  Right! Yeah, right.

Uriah:   Yeah. We’re in that phase. That’s cool – I didn’t realize we shared the same…I mean, but that makes sense. It really does.

Tracel:  Right. Yeah.

Uriah:   Nice. So, I mean, those were my joking answers. But I think, you know, one of the reasons why I like Productive Therapist so much and I love running this business is because it lines up with some of the things that I identify as skills. Natural things that I’m drawn to. Obviously, you have the same thing in the roles that you hold to. Which I think is a win for sure. So being world class and providing world class service is really a core value of Productive Therapist. And that’s, I think, important for a couple of reasons. And I’ll share a few and then you can share some that come to your mind too. But we just, generally speaking, want to be the best versions of ourselves and provide the best service because we’re really sort of on a mission to prevent and fix therapist burnout, if you will. And provide the admin support that’s going to help the therapists do their best work. And the bigger goal of that, too, is just to improve the mental health of our communities and the bigger picture.

Tracel:   Right.

Uriah:   So that’s kind of connected to…. our mission is connected to some bigger things.

Tracel:  Right.

Uriah:   And that’s what drives us forward, for sure.

Tracel:  Right. And I think that, you know, the one of the main services that we provide is that intake support. And when you are the first contact, you have to have world-class customer service because people are making a determination about whether they want to work with you or not based on how a phone call is going, how an email is responded to. So that’s why it really is paramount in what we do here, is having that world-class customer service.

Uriah:   Definitely. And it just makes everything more fun, too, I think.

Tracel:  That’s true.

Uriah:   And then we just feel better and better about the services that we provide. I think it inspires our virtual assistants. And also the therapists are thrilled by that when it all comes together nicely.

Tracel:  Yes. Yes, they are.

Uriah:   So I kind of just wanted to talk a little bit about some ways to be world-class in general. And this can apply to our listeners, obviously, in their role as a therapist. It can apply it to them in their role as a business owner. Or just as a human. And I think these are a couple of things that come to my mind. And there’s lots of ways to answer this question, like how do you be the best? How do you be world-class in any given area? But a couple of the things that I’ve learned over time and that that I hang on to and remind myself of. The first one really is just to focus on your strengths. And that might sound cliche, but that has helped me with everything that I’ve been successful with. I have tried to narrow in and dial in the things that I’m really good at. And this is the advice that we always give to the therapists that we work with to: focus on what you’re good at and then outsource the rest.

Tracel:  Exactly.

Uriah:   That’s kind of one of our mantras. So, you know, I think that’s key because no matter what the arena is, if you try to do something at a high level that you just don’t like or don’t leverage, not good at all, you’re just never going to get there, right?

Tracel:  No, because you probably won’t want to or have the time to put in the effort to improve in that area if you need to if you don’t like it.

Uriah:   I think one of the things that you excel at is talking to the therapists on the phone, sharing about our services and really coming from a place of trying to solve problems and help them. And you seem to really enjoy that and be good at it, too.

Tracel:  I didn’t know how much I was going to enjoy it. Like, the first time you asked me to do it, I was panicked. I probably sweated through the entire first call that I had, but I love it so much. And part of that is because – well, I think I am a good salesperson – but I believe in what we do, I know how much it can help somebody. I have done that job so I know what it takes and I know what we can offer. And so I get really passionate about talking to people on the phone about it.

Uriah:   Definitely. And you get rave reviews for that, too.

Tracel:  Oh, well, that’s nice.

Uriah:   I think that’s a good sign when you are focusing on your strengths and doing what you’re best at, people are likely going to notice and go like, oh my gosh, that person is is so good.

Tracel:  Right. Right. Yes.

Uriah:   So focusing on your strengths. And then the next one that comes to my mind is: chase what excites you. Or some people might say Follow your passion, which is not always the best advice, to be honest. But if you can find some alignment between what you’re actually genuinely good at and what you enjoy, those things come together and you’ve got this beautiful synergy. Because nobody can compete with somebody who’s doing it for love and passion. You just can’t!

Tracel:  Right, because if you’re just doing it for the paycheck, that is going to be evident in the work that you produce.

Uriah:   Yeah, for sure. And the truth is that, you know, like I said, the strengths and what you love to do, don’t always line up. And it’s perfectly okay to have a hobby doing something that you’re not that great at. But maybe you shouldn’t make it your career or like how you make your stamp on the world! I don’t know – just a general idea there! I think one connection to actually doing the work of therapy that this brings to mind is, over the 20 years that I’ve been a therapist, it’s really helped me to figure out which clients I enjoy working with and I feel particularly effective with and then making sure that I draw some boundaries around those ones that I don’t. I guess an example is I just realized over time that I love working with kids and teens…not working with, I love being with kids and teens were on the autism spectrum. They’re just a blast. They’re just interesting and unique people. But I was never very good as a therapist for those particular kids and teens, so I stopped doing that. And it was a good decision. And then guess what I did? I hired a therapist who who does love it and excels at that.  So if you happen to be working with some clients that you’re not enjoying and it’s because there’s that misalignment, just take note of that and maybe make a change.

Tracel:  Right. And I think maybe one of the challenges for a therapist is that, you know, you got into this to begin with because you want to help people. But being humble and modest enough to know that it’s not your job to help everybody. And if you are not doing your best because it’s a population that, you know, like you just mentioned, you realized you didn’t really enjoy it or maybe weren’t the best at it, then it is in everybody’s best interests to refer them to somebody who that is their specialty.

Tracel:  Absolutely.

Uriah:   Yeah. And on the business side of things, the example that comes to mind is managing social media. Some people love it and some business owners, some private practice owners just don’t – they dread it. They procrastinate. They do it sometimes and then they drop it and those kind of things. So if you’re listening to this and you know that you want to do social media and post regularly and create some engagement for your community, but you don’t love it, then you should probably find somebody that does!

Tracel:  Right.

Uriah:   And we do that here at Productive Therapist.

Tracel:  Yes!

Uriah:   So give us a call! And then the last one that I want to mention…So number one, focus on your strengths. Number two, chase what excites you. Number three, is work hard, because that seems to be key. And anybody who says you can be successful in any arena, whether you’re an Olympic gymnast or you are a business owner or you are a therapist working at a nonprofit agency, you have to put in consistent effort over time to get where you want to go. Right?

Tracel:  Right. And that example that you used, an Olympic gymnast, that does not happen overnight. You know, the sacrifices and years and years of training that go into something like that. And so you can see how that would apply really in anything that you want to do. Well, it’s going to take some effort on your part.

Uriah:   Yeah, ten thousand hours, they say, I don’t know if that’s 100 percent accurate, but that was what somebody came up with, if you put 10’000 hours into anything, you’re likely to be extremely competent and at the top of your game.

Tracel:  Yeah, my goodness.

Uriah:   I think I’m pretty sure I’ve done ten thousand hours of therapy! I had to do three thousand to get my license, so I must have crossed that!

Tracel:  You must have!

Uriah:   Oh, my goodness! So, yeah, those are the three things that come to mind. And I don’t know if anything else, you would add anything else to that list. But I think if if the folks listening to this episode kind of implement those things and keep those as sort of their guiding principles, you’re going to get where you want to go because you’re going to be driven by feeling successful because you’re doing what you’re already good at and you’re going to enjoy it because it lines up with your unique desires. And you’re going to work hard because those two first things are true. There you go.

Tracel:  Yeah, I don’t think I can add anything. I think that was perfect.

Uriah:   Three secrets to being world class. Maybe we’ll have to rename this episode!

Tracel:  Yes!

Uriah:   Thanks for have this conversation. This was fun.

Tracel:  All right. We’ll talk to you soon.

Uriah:   All right. Bye!

 

Uriah Guilford, MFT


Uriah is a group practice owner and the creator of Productive Therapist. He is a technology nerd, a minimalist travel packer, a rock drummer and business development enthusiast.

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