Ever try to solve a problem that’s been nagging you forever but never been able to kick it?
If so, I hear ya.
That’s been me with my skin. I’ve struggled with eczema my entire life. The constant redness and itching drives me nut balls.
But it doesn’t stop there. It goes deeper, affecting my confidence and my ability to focus.
In fact, I can honestly say that it has impacted my life in a big way.
I’ve tried everything over the years – dermatologists, acupuncture, special diets, light boxes (seriously)… You name it I’ve tried it. Nothing has worked.
To say it’s been beyond frustrating would be an understatement.
About a month ago I finally decided I’d had enough. I wasn’t going to live like this anymore and I became more determined than ever to find a solution.
My wife, Amy, suggested I try Chinese herbs. People had suggested them in the past but I never took them seriously. This time, however, I was desperate. I had nothing to lose.
So I started looking online for the best Chinese herbalist in San Diego. After much research, I found him.
He was only a couple miles from where we live and he’s been practicing Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture and Ayurveda for the last 25 years, with more 5-star reviews on Yelp than any of his competitors.
After reading multiple reviews about him from people with eczema, and knowing that I might have to wait a while before he had an available appointment, I decided to give him a shot.
Enter Eyton Shalom…
He’s a native-New Yorker who isn’t afraid to speak his mind or drop an F-bomb (or 10) during sessions.
Not quite what I was expecting from a guy specializing in this stuff, but if he was gonna get me results, what did I care?
The first session went great, way longer than expected, but I had the time for it. I felt a LOT better after the acupuncture and was comfortable with the treatment plan he proposed.
For the few days after the first treatment, I noticed that my skin was less red and itchy… a freaking miracle when you’ve tried everything else in the book.
The second session didn’t go so well.
He walked into the office 10 minutes late from a leisurely walk around the neighborhood. He wasn’t frazzled. He didn’t apologize. He just took off his coat and acted as if it was no big thing.
Then, he couldn’t find my patient file anywhere…and proceeded to call me Mike.
At that point I looked around to see if I was being Punk’d or something. Talk about unorganized…
Once he found my file and I’d reminded him my name was Rick, not Mike, we got to the treatment. He was attentive and happy to personalize my session to what I was feeling that day, and what had worked for me after our last meeting.
When I left, though, I realized in a panic that I had been in his office for over 2 hours. Originally it was supposed to be an hour. I rushed off to an interview I had scheduled, peeved to say the least.
When it comes to other people’s schedules, I have the utmost respect for them. I make sure that my interviews, webinars and coaching sessions start on time and end on time. I know that not everyone values time as much as I do, but it’s important to me that the people I work closely with are at least aware that I feel this way.
I decided to talk to him about the importance of staying on schedule the next time we met.
He was late again to the third session FROM ANOTHER WALK. I waited for him to sit down before airing my frustrations.
After he got settled, I brought up how vexed I felt about our appointments starting late and ending long after they’re supposed to. I clarified that I have calls soon after our sessions end and that going over puts me at risk for being unprofessional with my clients, which is absolutely unacceptable.
To my surprise, he was a complete professional. Without being at all defensive, he thanked me for bringing it up, and apologized for not being more respectful of my schedule. He even explained how it’s difficult for him to keep track of time because he struggles with ADHD, which also explains the disorganization with my file.
I felt heard and respected, which is all I really wanted. After we cleared the air, we had another successful session. He’s been super cool ever since, starting our sessions on time and ending right at 90 minutes.
Better yet, the treatment plan he’s got me on is working! I’m seeing more results now in my skin than I ever have before.
So why do I share this personal story with you?
Because even though you might be disorganized and kinda all-over-the-place in your business, remember that a successful business is based first on solving someone’s problem (and getting paid for it).
Just like Eyton Shalom, it’s about helping people have a better life, even if it’s in what some might call an unconventional way.
For the longest time, I always thought that in order for a business to be successful it had to be structured and organized. Basically, I saw it as all or nothing.
I beat myself up for not having systems and processes in place like other successful entrepreneurs I know. I compare myself to them because I think that must be the root of their success. It’s certainly part of it, but it really comes down to their solving a problem, not the endless systems and processes that support them.
You CAN be successful without being completely organized and structured behind-the-scenes.
Heck, this has been the best year yet for my business and I’ve had very few processes and systems in place. Will that change in the coming year? Yes, it needs to because of where the business is now, but I’ve gotten this far by focusing on solving a specific problem and helping people in my own way — without a ton of structure and organization.
So if you’re feeling overwhelmed and disorganized in your business, you’re not alone and you’re not doomed to making less money until you get your ish together.
The most important thing is that you’re helping people solve real problems in the way that only you can. That’s the foundation from which successful businesses are made.
When you focus on solving problems, your business will grow and the systems and structure will come when it’s time. Don’t put the cart before the horse; maybe you only need a horse right now.
Now I’m off to drink my Xiao Feng San tea (it’s disgusting, btw).