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At the age of 23 he started his entrepreneurial journey, creating one of Australia’s biggest allied health care practices. He then went on to build one of Victoria’s premier bulk billing radiology companies, and within 7 years, had 4 practices in SE Victoria, employing over 35 staff, and turning over 3.5M+/year.
Because of his age and personal experiences navigating mid-life, Dr Ben has had a focus on stuck and how it relates to mid-life. (mid-life stuck = mid-life crisis).
Ben now owns a company called The On Button. The High Performance Coaching arm of The On Button provides tailored Personal and Business Mindset Coaching for individuals, as well as Team coaching for small to medium sized businesses.
To hear our conversation:
You can listen right here Healthy Numbers website
You can listen to the full interview on iTunes click here.
You can listen to the full interview on Stitcher click here.
The full transcript is now available here:
Ingrid: Hello and here we are today with Doctor Ben Carvosso. So Ben, hello.
Ben: Hi Ingrid. So good to catch up with you today.
Ingrid: Thanks so much for being here.
Ben: My pleasure.
Ingrid: So tell us, what business are you in? What is your business?
Ben: I’ve worn a few hats over the years. So my original training is as a chiropractor, so for about 14 years, once I graduated, I was just doing chiropractic. Then I spent a stint of about seven years owning a radiology company and transitioned out of chiropractic during that time. About three or four years ago I sold the radiology company, started back into chiropractic but at the same time, started into mindset coaching for entrepreneurs and business people. So at the moment, I own a chiropractic centre and I coach.
Ingrid: Okay, so you’ve actually started a number of businesses and that’s over a period, it sounds like about 10 years? More than that.
Ben: So I know I sound young and you’ve seen the pictures, I look young, right? But I’ve been graduated now for 26 years.
Ingrid: So your first business was 26 years ago.
Ben: Well, my first business when I was 14, I started a dog walking business, so I walked people’s dogs for $5 for 30 minutes which back … you know, 30 or so years ago, that’s 10 bucks an hour, wasn’t too bad for a 14 year old. But that was my first business venture, but yes, at the moment I graduated, in fact, about six weeks before I graduated, just quietly, don’t tell the registration board, I bought my first business and starter practice.
Ingrid: Wow. So you’ve been in business for a long time.
Ben: Long time, long time.
Ingrid: So choose anyone of those businesses, or you can talk about them all together, is why start a business?
Ben: Yeah, great question. I think for me with my personality, I like to be in control and one of my core values is creation. It’s a driver behind everything that I do. Suck at maintaining but great at creation. And I think that underlying value drove me to own my own businesses. If I was to work with someone else I’d probably feel that some of my creative expression wouldn’t be there. And I had a bit of a metamorphosis I think. In fact, last year we caught up our 25 year chiropractic reunion and I got the metamorphosis award from transitioning from this kind of shy guy when I first started in first year to this more extroverted fellow by the time we finished fifth year.
And I think during those five years I also had this metamorphosis of my personality, did a lot of training in those five years as well as studying chiropractic and I think by the time I graduated, I was ready to run my own business.
Ingrid: Yeah. That’s fantastic. So you wanted, it sounds like to me, that you were looking for this creative outlet. Was there anything else you wanted from the business from day one that you were looking for by having a business?
Ben: I think creation was the main driver. But I got to say, coming right up behind that is I wanted to make money.
Ben: I wanted to make lots of it. So I love my career and I love what I get to do and I’m so so blessed every day that I get to pursue my passion of helping people make change, in fact, a good mate of mine, he used to call me and he’d say “What are you up to?” and I’m like “Man, I’m saving lives.”
Ingrid: Oh isn’t that lovely?
Ben: And I really believe that the work I do transforms and saves lives.
Ingrid: Isn’t it cool?
Ben: And having said all that, I want to make money.
Ben: That’s what I’m in business for.
Ingrid: Yeah, I often, when people say they don’t want to charge this much and I think, well …. and I say to people “You can’t help anyone if you’re sleeping in a car, you know, or sleeping under the bridge. If you’re not together, if you haven’t got it together financially, you’re really not in a position to really save lives and make a difference.” It makes it so much more difficult, doesn’t it?
Ben: Oh look, absolutely. I was interviewed on radio probably about a year ago and there was two other people on the panel and both of them hadn’t been in business but one was a marker, sold large marketing packages to BD enterprise and I made that comment about if you’re not in business making money you are not happy. And he said, “Oh, hang on a second, no that’s not right, it’s all about pursuing your why, what’s really important.” You know, if you’ve listened to Simon Sinek, it’s all about why. And I said “‘Why’ is important, pursuing your passion and your purpose is important but if you’re in business and you’re not making money, you’re not happy”
Ingrid: Well, you’re not in business either.
Ben: Well, you’re not in business. I love that. You got to make money in business.
Ingrid: Definition of business, make money.
Ben: Correct, yeah.
Ingrid: So one of my favourite questions is this next one and it’s this whole thing about when did you actually realise you’re in business. So you sign the papers to the new business, to the chiropractic, you set up the radiography, that’s the nuts and bolts and technical but when does it feel like you’re in business?
Ben: That’s a good question. I would say that I think being in control of the money probably created that feeling at some level, you know, being responsible for paying the bills. Having your name on a lease, having your name on a bank loan, you know, when I first bought my first chiropractic centre, I had just turned 23 and took out a fairly sizable bank loan over $150,000 which way back then for a 23 year old was decent at 17% interest. For the oldies on the call can remember when interest rates were 17%. There’s a really decent repayment a month.
That certainly brings you into the world of business. But also I think the other side, not just paying bills but collecting the money. Seeing that come into your bank account. You know, I’m old enough to remember the days when people didn’t really use credit cards, where we had cheques and cash. You know, we would finish the day and you had to spend some time counting the cash. And taking home a wallet of cash.
Ingrid: How nice is that feeling?
Ben: Well, I’ve still got this picture in my mind, it was in the first week, my wife and I we went down, we bought this practice, we started and you know, we’ve been students, zero money, you know. Peanut butter and toast. And I remember coming home and we had a futon, ’cause we still didn’t have any money, we were sleeping on the floor on a futon and we were bouncing up and down on the futon, throwing the money in the air.’
We just couldn’t believe that there was this cash. You know, it’s literally a week ago, we had zero money and here we were, making money. So I think that’s probably when I realised that I was in business when we were paying some of those big bills but also making money.
Ingrid: Rolling around in that cash. I think there is a generation that are just missing out on that.
Ben: Yes absolutely.
Ingrid: All this electronic money doesn’t give you that same sense, does it?
Ben: You know, it doesn’t and I think at some level, it’s not necessarily healthy. You know, there is something about seeing the money and there are a lot of business that see money come automatically into their account and then automatically comes out. And they’re not tracking it, they don’t have that awareness. That you do have when you can actually see it and feel it and touch it.
Ingrid: And smell it.
Ben: And smell it.
Ingrid: And smell because in those days, money actually had a smell as well. I think the new money doesn’t actually have a smell, does it? Well, ours doesn’t, those plastic ones don’t.
Okay, so a funding question. And you’ve already been quite honest about a big loan. So you borrowed some money, you know, that would have been pretty tricky at 23 to go to the bank and say “Can I have $150,000?” What’s the thinking behind? I mean, a chiropractic obviously needs … you’ve got equipment and things, so that is a big … how did you go to the bank and ask for that sort of money?
Ben: Chiropractors back then and probably still today, we’re seen as professionals and we were seen as a guaranteed thing. It was pretty safe to back a chiropractor. So the banks saw you as a professional and would lend money. It really, I mean it’s a long time ago but in my memory, it was very very easy.
And based on that, when I borrowed money for my radiology practice, I had a history obviously with the banks for 14 or so years before I started radiology, but I wasn’t a radiologist, I’ve never owned a radiology clinic. And there were huge outlays to start a radiology practice, massive. And at the time, when we started the radiology practice, we’d never taken an x-ray. So we had over half a million dollars worth of equipment, we signed leases, we’d employed staff, and we still hadn’t taken an x-ray and then we take the x-ray and we wait, three days, to see if Medicare is going to pay us.
Yeah, that money I remember sending a paper napkin into my financier to borrow that money. And she still got the napkin today. Mate and I sat down and we put a business plan together on the paper napkin, which maybe you can’t do today. But we sent that napkin in and said, “This is what we’d like to do” and she lent me the money.
Ingrid: Based on that, wow.
Ben: It is a history and again, practitioners, if they put their mind to it, they can make good money and they can get a great history.
Ingrid: That’s a very powerful statement, isn’t it? That a skilled practitioner can have a good history and they can really have a very substantial business.
Ben: I think one of the things, it’s a belief I have and I’m not sure if it is the truth, I spend money to make money. You know, people often say “Look, once the money starts to come in, then I’ll spend some money to make some money.” You got to give first. You got to give it time, energy, resources, money, you got to give it your sanity. You got to give it all that first. And then you get a return on investment, a return on investment in money, in future benefit, in lifestyle, in personal development, that will all come and hopefully it’ll come in way greater ratio than what you gave but you first must give.
Ingrid: It’s fundamental law, really, isn’t it?
Ingrid: So, if we think about your actual viability, that napkin, obviously you’ve done the maths but there must have been a calculator sitting behind it. Did you, with the radiology particularly, if we look at that, how did you know that there was a market for what you were offering? It is a big commitment, you know, where did you get that market intelligence from to know that there would be enough people that would want what you were offering in order for you to make that kind of investment?
Ben: I wish I could come up with some very intelligent researched answer …..
Ingrid: How about you just tell us the truth?
Ben: It was gut feel. It was the vibe. I know there’s people possibly listening to this, businesses coaching that are saying “You got to have a business plan and you got to do the SWOT analysis.” Sorry, I didn’t. I didn’t, it was gut feel. I mean I’ve been in the area for some time, a practitioner in the area, I used radiology services in the area, I’d had patients, obviously experienced problems with the existing radiology services.
Ingrid: So these are the things that added up to your gut feel?
Ingrid: That you had been that chiropractor who needs x-rays in order to see the patients, there were difficulties in that process and that would have been manifesting over a period of time, you physically knew the area, so it was actually quite calculated even though it felt that it was a gut feel, in reality it was quite calculated then, wasn’t it?
Ben: It was. And also, thank you this is a great question you asked me. Much of radiology, and there is many services out this way, are run by a big business. They’re big corporates, they have a big … you know, they’re big ships that just take forever to turn. As a small player, and if you’re a small player and entrepreneurial, you can twist and turn and shift just in a day. You can make a decision in a pricing change or a marketing change and I think that’s one of the things that I knew that if I bought my entrepreneurial skills to radiology, I could make a success of it ’cause radiology at the time wasn’t coming from this entrepreneurial mindset.
Ingrid: Yeah, that’s terrific. So customers or you would call yours clients, I guess? When they come to chiropractic and radiography and your coaching clients, you would certainly call clients. So what’s your … where do they come from, how do you know who they are, do you have an avatar? How do you find customers, where are they?
Ben: Great, yes I do have an avatar, particularly for my coaching because my niche in coaching is people that are in midlife, generally probably 70% of the time they are in business or entrepreneurial. I’m either seeing the business owner, the entrepreneur or their partner, sometimes even their children. But you know, there’s a kind of a clear niche, so I have a very clear avatar around that.
Chiropractic practice, it’s very broad, it’s probably more demographic sort of location, geographic for chiropractic and certainly for radiology it was across the board.
What was the question again?
Ingrid: How do they … how do you find them?
Ben: How do they find me?
Ben: So certainly in chiropractic practice and in coaching, a great deal of it comes through referral, people that have had a success refer. A lot of my coaching comes from speaking gigs, so I do a lot of speaking engagements for different organisations, community groups and I often go into a business and speak to the business across the board that often a client will, that’s within that group, will then come and tap me on the shoulder and say “Hey, would you be happy to give me one-on-one coaching?” So I get a lot from speaking engagements.
Ingrid: Yeah, it was interesting what you said about the practice being demographic, geographic because somebody wants, needs to be near you, don’t they, so there is a physicality around that in terms of the profile of your ideal customer or client.
Ben: Yeah, and I think there are chiropractors everywhere and so people are looking for some level of convenience. You know, most people see their local GP or their local dentist at some level. So locality is important.
Ingrid: Yeah, that’s terrific. Thanks. So pricing strategies, you can pay us a piece of string for chiropractic, radiography, coaching, what’s your thinking about a pricing strategy? How do you approach that?
Ben: There was three things that I learned and I didn’t learn those until I had the radiology practice. There were three components that you can have in business. Quality, service and price. You can compete on those three things. Many of you listeners may have heard this concept before but if we look at Aldi, what does Aldi compete on? They compete on price and they would say quality. But zero, zero service. BMW, they would say they compete on probably quality and service but certainly not price. So you pay a premium but you get quality and service.
In my radiology practice, I attempted to compete on all three, so we were a bulk billing radiology, so we competed on price. We used a whole range of strategies that meant we delivered incredible services, not just to the patient but to the referring GP and all allied health. And we put the best quality gear in. So in the beginning, that was a bit of a challenge for us. To compete on price and those other two components.
So the learning experience for me was to not attempt to do all three. So in my chiropractic centre, so my pricing strategy now in chiropractic and certainly in my coaching is to do with a incredible service, the best possible quality but not to compete on price. So I am probably the most expensive chiropractor, certainly in Victoria.
Ingrid: Good for you.
Ben: Well, I mean I’m in practice 26 years, I’m going to deliver amazing quality, you know, we are so structured within our practice, nothing gets missed. That quality is incredible, the service we provide is amazing – no one ever waits. No one waits. You walk into our practice, we have a door slam time that means when you slam your door to come in and you slam your door to go out it is kept to a very minimum number.
So incredible service, incredible quality but because of that, there is a price to be paid.
Ingrid: And you can ask for that price because of the value that you’re providing through quality and service.
Ben: And price, too, I think, comes back a lot, particularly when you’re an individual practitioner working in your practice to self worth.
Ingrid: And then the ability to ask for that price.
Ben: Correct, yeah. And practitioners need to value themselves way more. But you have a life in your hands, you have someone’s health in your hands. And for an hour, we’re charging $70, or $90 for an hour to deliver the care to a patient. It’s too cheap, we have people out there earning $150 an hour and they’re leaning on a shovel. Practitioners need to value themselves a lot more.
Ingrid: Well, I know there is quite a lot of health practitioners listen to this podcast, so I hope they rewind and re-listen to that. Thanks very much for that, Ben, for that encouraging words for all of us that from time to time might give things away for free or might not charge at quite what we think we should. So that’s terrific.
Let’s talk a little bit about exit strategies, so you’ve obviously exited business from time to time. What’s your approach to the need for an exit strategy and the thinking of an exit strategy when it comes to … and you work with businesses, so what’s that approach to exit strategies for you, please?
Ben: I don’t have one. And never have. So I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not but I just … the businesses that I’ve moved into, I’ve loved. And I love the creation of it. I’m passionate about it, it connects with my high values. Any business that I’ve gone into, I haven’t gone into with the thought of ever leaving it. It’s been a change of circumstance or an opportunity that’s come up to move on to something else that’s resulted in me moving on rather than having had it planned.
Ingrid: And that’s a terrific approach that works for you. It’s a question without any pre-conceived answers, so and it goes with your putting it on, doing the calculations on a napkin. You know, it’s your approach to business, it’s that creative entrepreneurial.
So couple of reflective questions about, well, this one is, what do you really wish you’d done differently at the beginning? So when I’m talking usually to someone who’s had maybe one business, there is something that they wish they’d done differently at the beginning. So is there something as you’ve been journeying through that you’ve been able to do differently in your next business that you learned from the way you started out a previous business?
Ben: I’m not sure that there’s a doing thing but there is a mindset thing that I would do different and that is probably to take even more risk to … you know, when your coach says to you “This is a great strategy and this will work, trust me, just do it, it’ll work”, I wish I’d trusted them more and done it instead of mucking around for a couple of years and then finally doing the thing. Putting the price up, reducing treatment times, changing your hours, being more disciplined around when clients can and can’t see you.
Those kind of changes, I mucked around for ages before I implemented some of those strategies. ‘Cause there’s some risk, you know, if you change your hours or reduce the amount of days that you’re available, are people going to get annoyed and not come back? You know, so for years sometimes I worked harder than maybe I even needed to for less reward. So probably more risk-
Ingrid: That’s very insightful. Yeah, a bit more risk. My next question is a little bit different but I think you’ve already answered this one is what do you wish you’d known from the start? So maybe that thing is that you wish you’d known about the advantages of taking the risks.
Ben: Yeah, trust your coach, trust the person and mentor that you’re using, you know, on your journey and if your listeners don’t have a mentor then, look maybe it’s strange for me to say but I would get out of business.
Ingrid: Or get a mentor.
Ben: Or get a mentor. Yeah. That’s a good point, yeah it’s true that there is always another option.
Ingrid: That is the option.
Ben: And seriously, I had a mentor that I started with way back when I was at university, so you know, people might go “Wow, he got out at 23 and bought a business and borrowed that money”, I had a coach in the last few years when I was at university. And so I stepped out into practice with a coach behind me and I’ve had a coach for the last 27 years. 28 years.
Ingrid: Everybody that is incredibly successful has people helping them. You know, Roger Federer did not just win Wimbledon again, on his own.
Ben: Yeah and you know, he had a mentor or a coach, not a Frientor. You know, I’ve been talking about this, you know we had friendtors in our life, you know, when times sucked for Roger Federer and he just didn’t win, he called his friendtor and he’d go “Ah, I bloody lost that game” and his friend would say, his friendtor, “Yeah, that sucks, Rog, why don’t you pop over, we’ll have a couple of beers and watch a bit of telly”. We need those people in our live, the friendtors, the moaning buddy. But we also need mentors, mentors that say “I reckon you could have done better” and “How could you have done better? How could you have taken more responsibility with making sure that outcome worked out, that you were successful in that thing? What role did you play in that not working out? Here’s maybe a tip, I’m happy to champion you, give you some accountability on it, I wonder how you could do better next time.”
That’s what we need in our life, we need mentors, particularly if you’re in business ’cause you will always … if you’re growing, you’re going to get stuck. Everybody gets stuck. The difference between someone who successfully gets stuck and someone unsuccessful is successful people recognise they’re stuck, seek mentorship on their stuck state, change their character, start taking action, move forward and get unstuck. Unsuccessful people get stuck and have no awareness of being stuck and just continue to blame the world and be miserable.
If you’re growing in your business, in your relationships, in your health, you’re going to get stuck but you get stuck with a mentor that assists you in getting out of stuck and continuing to move forward.
Ingrid: You know, we had a local restaurant that had been there for quite some time and they were stuck and all they did was moan about all the other businesses that had opened up nearby, all the competition, clearly didn’t have anybody giving them any kind of direction or helping them to see a direction and they closed. And we miss it because it was a restaurant we went to quite often but they were unwilling to see what could still be a potential, they just decided it was too hard and they gave up. Once people get stuck, they get to a point where they just give up, don’t they? Or they get help.
Ben: Yes. Did Roger Federer get stuck? All the greats get stuck but the greats get unstuck and they get unstuck through mentorship, change in character and change in behaviour.
Ingrid: Yeah, that’s such words of wisdom there. So I was going to ask you about someone who’s been of great assistance to you, who gives you feedback?, you’ve already talked about having a coach. Is there anybody else who gives you that mentorship, that coaching, who gives you great feedback. Where do you get that from, Ben, yourself?
Ben: Right now in my life there are … in the last year or so, there’s probably been two or three people, first of all, not just in the last year or two but forever, one of my greatest coaches has been my wife. Amazing. You know, the level of accountability that she gives me and she constantly champions me to raise my standards. You know, I would not be here without her support and championship.
So first of all. Secondly, I have a great mate, Ryan, who I catch up with every week on a Wednesday morning. He lives a couple of hours away, we both head out for a walk in our own towns, we put our headphones on and we talk for about an hour and a half, every Wednesday morning at 6 am. And he is a friend, probably one of my best friends but also a mentor.
So we get on the call and we basically say, “So, where are you at, what’s going on for you this week?” If any of us brings something that starts to become a big of a moan the other person will step up and move into coaching, mentoring mode and help the person work through it. So he certainly helps me mentorship, accountability and also champions me.
They are actually probably the two top ones at the moment.
Ingrid: So everybody needs someone like Ryan in their life, don’t they?
Ben: We do.
Ingrid: Yeah, we all do. If someone came to you and said they’re thinking about starting a business, what would you say to them?
Ben: I would say do you really want to? Do you really, really want to start a business or has someone told you that you should? Have you “should” on yourself? A lot of people start businesses because they’re being “shoulded” on by their partner, by a work colleague, by a friend. You know, the friend says “Man, you’re so good at that. Stop working for that guy, you should start your own business.” And then the mind goes “Yeah, I should start my own business” but really, deep down, it’s not what they want.
So I’d get them just to ask that question. Do you really, really want it? Is it in alignment with who you are? Your deeper purpose? Are your values in alignment with starting a business? Do you have the standards that would support starting a business? Do you have the character that can support starting and then running a business? Starting a business is one thing but you got to keep running it. Everyone knows the stats and I’m sure you’ve spoken to your clients about … I can’t remember exactly the stats but something like 80% of businesses fail within the first year. Whatever’s less, that is 20% that have left, 80% of those fail in the next three years.
If you can get to 10 years in business you’re doing ridiculously well. You are definitely beating the odds. And there can be a lot of pain with running a business and you got to be up for that pain. You got to be adult, you know, that’s one of the character traits that you must have if you’re going to start a business. That is you’re willing to do the things that don’t feel good but are going to be good for you. That’s what adults do.
Versus a child does things that feel good and are good for them or feel good and are not good for them. In a business, you got to behave like an adult. You got to stuff that really doesn’t feel good but it is going to be good for you. So that’s probably the advice I give. I know that doesn’t sound very positive but really, decide that you’re really want to be in business.
Ingrid: Ben, you and I are on the same song sheet here, you know. It’s not a dream, if you want to have a hobby or an interest, have a hobby or an interest or a side hustle. I’m with you. If you want to have a serious business, it takes commitment and resilience and persistence and all of those things. As you said, it’s an adult behaviour, yeah.
Ingrid: So looking at characteristics, what are your top three characteristics that have made you successful? So how do you describe yourself as a successful business, what are those three characteristics?
Ben: It’s a good question. I think one of my big values of creation, I think that’s always come through. The creative mindset, how could I do this better? How could I change this? Not just change for change sake but change to make it better. I think that’s a key characteristic that I bring. Probably three other characteristics that I pretty much always have on my dashboard.
So one of the things that I coach on is that it’s not what you do but it’s who you be that’s important. And who you be when you’re at work versus who you be when you’re intimate with your partner versus who you be when you’re with your kids versus who you be when you hang out at the movies. They’re different settings and so the setting that I tend to move to, my business setting, involves these three characteristics.
One is that I’m solid. Solid is attractive, people are attracted to people that are solid, they’re predictable, they’re reliable, they’re consistent. So I always attempt to be solid in business. Secondly, energised. Energy is attractive as well. And you need energy if you’re going to be in business. Particularly if you’re in healthcare. If you’re not energised, if you’re not fit, if you don’t look good, if you don’t care for yourself, I think it’s a mistake. In business, particularly in healthcare, you need to be energised. And I’m always turning that dial.
And then lastly, bold. We need to become more bold. What I notice a lot of practitioners out there that are … they are in healthcare because they do want to save the world but they’re not bold enough. You need to be bold with your recommendations, you need to be bold with your pricing, you need to be bold with your marketing. If you are going to get out there and save lives, we need to be more bold.
So that is three characteristics or four if you like. Creativity, I’m solid, energised and bold.
Ingrid: Fantastic. And I’m ticking mine off along with you there. Yeah, it’s true. If you haven’t got the energy and commitment and the solid and reliability, it’s just all part of being in business, isn’t it. And I really liked the way-
Ben: And particularly in healthcare.
Ingrid: And in healthcare. And I particularly like what you said about being who you be. You know, who you are at the movies is not who you are in the business. You put your business hat on, you put your coat on and it’s particularly for health professionals, you’re actually putting on your work gear, you can become that person in your work gear. It doesn’t have to be the same person as you are out of your work gear. I mean a lot of that will be consistent, won’t it.
Ben: I think it’s … I know that … I could talk for ages.
Ingrid: We could, I know.
Ben: But one of the important things I think for you if there is only you in the business or if you have a team, pre-huddle. All great teams, all great sports people, they do a pre-huddle. You know, you see and we talked about Roger Federer before but in the change room, in the dressing room, he is there psyching himself up. Before he gets on the court. You know, I recently saw … what’s it called, the Rocky son’s movie …
Ingrid: I’m not a Rocky, I’m sorry I can’t help you.
Ben: Anyways, his vision of … Creed, the movie was called Creed.
Ben: It was a movie of Creed in the … at the back, getting his gloves on and he’s pumping himself up and he’s doing these pretend boxing and he’s jumping up and down and he’s whacking his chest. He’s getting instate, he’s getting solid, energised and bold before he steps in the ring. There are so many practitioners that arrive at work in the state that they were at home, screaming at the kids, dealing with traffic, running out of petrol, whatever. And they bring that state into the practice and it’s not till 10 o’clock or 11 in the morning that they finally start shifting into the state of being in business and in practice.
We need to do a pre-huddle, before you open that door of practice or your business, you got to turn it on. You don’t practice on the court, you don’t … basketballers, you don’t see them warming up once the whistle’s blown. You do that before you step into the business. And that’s important for the practitioner, the business owner, particularly if you’ve got a team. You don’t want to arrive to work with that stuff. You want to arrive to work on, ready for game.
Ingrid: And that is such an important point because a number of the people who are listening to this, who aren’t health professionals or health practitioners actually work from home. So they’re solopreneurs or solo business owners and so they’re in the kitchen, on the kitchen bench and there’s probably the fruit bowl and there might be somebody’s leftover breakfast bowl. What are we doing when we’re not actually transiting to another place of work or even a mental state of saying “Okay, so this is work time now and I’m going to spend the next two hours on work, even though I’m sitting in this environment that is where I actually live and do what I do when I’m not at work” and so that’s a real …
You know, when I talk to people about the discipline or getting themselves into the state, it’s getting themselves into that state when you’re actually not having that transition. Do you sit in a particular chair and that’s your chair? You know, how do you get yourself into that state when you actually in your home as well, ’cause that’s … you have to be able to do that.
Ben: It’s essential. Spend money to make money. Get your study organised, it should be your sacred place. If you work from home, your office should be a place that you step into, in fact, you wake up in the morning and you can’t wait to get in there. Could you wake up in the morning and your office is clean, it’s tidy, organised, everything filed? You don’t want to be lying in bed and the alarm goes off at 5 o’clock and you say, “Oh, got to go into that brothel of a bloody study, there’s paperwork left from last night and there’s stuff over there, there’s bills I haven’t paid, there’s 750 emails.”
That needs to become your sacred space that when you wake up in the morning you can’t wait to get in there. Make it look good.
Ingrid: And that’s how people need to feel about their business, how they … and if they’re working in a job, that’s how people need to feel about their job as well. And if you’re not, then it’s the wrong place to be. So anyway.
Ben: In business you need to be creative. This needs to be a space that taps that creativity, that space that feels sacred. You know, you’re surrounded by motivational quotes, you’ve got a book shelf right next to where you’re working full of books that cause stretch and growth. You know, I’m talking here from my study right now and there’s this huge bookshelf I’m looking at and it’s covered in motivational books, personal development books, business books.
You need to be inspired in that space. So if you’ve got listeners that are sitting at the kitchen bench with the fruit bowl and the leftover dishes, stop it.
Ingrid: Thanks Ben.
Ben: You’re doing yourself and you’re doing your clients, you’re doing your business a huge disservice. You got to turn up, ready for game. As you and I know, in the KPI programme, they talk about environment dictates performance. The environment inside you, the chemical environment inside your body. The environment of your body, the physical state of your body but also the environment around you.
Ingrid: It sure does.
Ben: So you got to get that sorted.
Ingrid: It sure does and that’s where co-working spaces can be helpful if somebody doesn’t have the physical space in their own living arrangement to do that, there’s lots of ways you can solve that issue.
Ben, we could talk on forever, people are listening and if they’ve had to press pause and come back to us that’s perfectly fine. I know you and I are going to do a webinar at some stage, we’ll let everybody know when that is and what that is and what the topic will be but in the meantime, I just want to say thank you so much for your time and man, oh man, your energy and you know, we’re in different parts of Australia but I can just feel it coming through the Skype call and I’m sure that the listeners can feel it, wherever they are listening from.
Is there anything else, Ben, before we go that you would like to say? ‘Cause our people, they’re listening, you know, they’re either in the early stages of business or they’re thinking about starting a business. Is there anything that you’d like to leave them with as we say goodbye?
Ben: Be kind to yourself. Business is tough but be kind to yourself. Set real and realistic expectations or intentions, even better. Happiness comes from less expectations and more intentions. Set your intentions for the day, start every day with the intention of how you want it to turn out and realise that sometimes life happens, so don’t be too tough on yourself but be an adult. Do the things that don’t feel good, whether that’s in your health. You know, going for a run sometimes doesn’t feel good but go for the run ’cause it’s good for you.
Do the things that don’t feel good in your relationship but are going to be good for it. Take care of all those aspects of your life. Sometimes when we start a business, we can just be so focused on the business that we let some of the key and important things fall to the wayside. So take care of yourself and most important, look after your mindset. I was at … I’ll wrap with this, I was at Safeway’s the other day and I was looking down at my basket, I was just been shopping to get some, make some chicken soup. My son was at home with a cold and I though, “Oh, I’ll make some fresh chicken soup.” So I had my basket full of vegetables and fresh chicken et cetera and I’m looking down at the basket and as I looked down the basket, I glance and the guy in front of me has got his basket and it’s got four bottles of coke in it. And I thought “I got to take a snapshot of that.”
So I sneak my phone out and I take a picture and it’s got my basket full of green veges et cetera and then his basket full of four cokes. And I thought isn’t it amazing what goes through, what ends up in peoples’ baskets that enters their body. Not just chemical stuff but mental stuff. Be careful what you put in your basket.
Ingrid: That’s nice.
Ben: Be careful what you put in your basket that’s going to enter your mind or enter your body. So I’ll probably end with that. Guard your mind.
Ingrid: That’s terrific. Guard your mind.
Ben: Put some good stuff in your basket.
Ingrid: Just leave that coke on the shelf.
Ben: Leave the coke on the shelf, leave the trashy books on the shelf, leave the trashy magazines on the shelf, leave the crap TV on the shelf and put some good stuff in your basket.
Ingrid: Like our podcasts.
Ben: Like your podcast.
Ingrid: Yeah, and maybe yours one too, one day, too, Ben.
Ben: Well, I’m super excited, I got to tell you, if your listeners are listening, they must tune into that webinar.
Ben: I’m already thinking about what it could be and so excited to do that for you if we can tee that up.
Ingrid: We will. Thanks so much, Ben.
Ben: Cool, thanks Ingrid.