"Why don't you have your own business? You seem to understand the essentials and even know how to make a business grow."
I've had that asked a few times in the past five years. And my response is usually...
"Yeah. I do understand what's involved. That's why I don't have my own business."
I'm not delusional. Never have been. Always been a cynical realist. I slant more optimistic than most people with that condition. But I'm always living in a space of "awareness" and determining whether or not I am comfortable with things.
It's why, for example, I have jumped ship on a few jobs before I even hit the 6-month mark - recognizing the leadership at those companies was - as I put this nicely - "just not my style. Or any sane person's."
I'm great at helping run parts of other people's businesses. Revenue growth... High profit margins for my collective areas... Lower attrition... Managing out talent up or out if they aren't completely in sync with the rest of the team...
I excel with these things. And to be honest, they're innate things in me. They're just how I naturally operate at this point in my career.
But ask me to start my own company where I have to deal with much more than that?
Oh god, no.
I know my energetic limits. And where my patience stops.
Which is why I have very limited patience with people who do choose to operate their own business and do a shitty job at it.
In particular, I mean with the engagement of their customers.
And at a minimum, you should be efficient and timely with your communication to your clients.
That's what I wanted to tell the naturopathic doctor I'd been working with over the past few months. She's terrible at communication.
She's very friendly.
But when it comes to her ability to efficiently and actually do what are common sense expectations of her... She doesn't seem to understand the simple things that would go a long way in demonstrating her effectiveness as a professional.
I should have seen the signs though... As I was wary of her from the start with some of her service offerings that seem to me "hack-ish"... But I kept telling myself, "Don't be such a snob. Not everyone operates the same way as you do. Chill out. She is reading her clients and knows these are things they want."
But that aside, there were signs along the way...
- Her assistant would send me text messages for appointment communication... But it would not be for me but for another client.
- Her assistant wouldn't follow-up on things the doctor would recommend in the session. (Never did get that referral to a naturopathic gynecologist. Or to any of the various specialists that offer complementary services to what she offers. I also wouldn't get the steps for taking some of the at-home tests to collect samples for me. I'd have to follow up.)
- I had to come back for a blood draw that she couldn't get done in one session, after I'd fasted for it. She had problems finding my vein, and I got poked a few times. But she wanted to do the blood draw herself, rather than send me to a lab. "They're so sterile," she said disdainfully, as I was sitting in a comfy chair in her small office with no windows to the outside. "Isn't that the point?" I wondered. "And they'd be able to find my teeny veins on the first go."
- I had to follow up with her on rescheduling the blood draw, which was meant to be delivered in tandem with urine samples I took. So I ended up having to pee in a cup, place my pee in to vials, and freeze them a second time.
I was managing my annoyance at these things pretty well.
"This is California, Heather. Not everyone is Type A like you about getting things done when it comes to their work. As long as you get great advice and feel like you are getting the right coaching about your health, what's it matter?"
Well, I let myself delusional with that until about a week ago. It had been over a month since I last took my second pee test and a saliva test. And no word from the doctor or her assistant. In this time, the online software platform she had used for booking appointments and messaging was no longer working.
So I went to her site. And saw that she was no longer accepting new patients. But I could leave a message through a comment form on the site.
It went unanswered.
And earlier this week I found her email address and reached out.
A day or so later, she responded. And the basic gist of it was...
Yep! I have your tests back. But I am moving out of the state in the next few weeks. So I can refer you to other naturopaths who can review your tests for you. Or we can do it over Facetime.
No apologies for receiving my tests and not reaching out to me. No apologies for my insurance having been charged for these tests and failing to be ethical about giving me the tests.
I wrote her back and decided to take the positive approach.
I'm excited for you. I'm bummed for the community though that you'll be gone. I think what would be easiest is for you to send me my test results with written report of what you see. Is that possible?
It's now been two days since I sent that email. I haven't heard back from her yet. I'm wondering what my options are for getting those test results from her, since she is moving out of the state.