Teri Holland (00:00.098)
When you're an entrepreneur and you go on social media, it can often feel like everyone is doing better than you. Like everyone's business is flowing along easily and effortlessly, that they're all making more money, they all have more clients, they're all more successful than you are. And that's not actually the truth. So let's take the lid off entrepreneurship and
really take a look at some of the stuff that we don't talk about. And let's start talking about it and normalizing some of these things that go on behind the scenes. Because let's face it, entrepreneurship is already lonely. It can be a very lonely journey. And it doesn't help when we think that no one else is going through what I'm going through or nobody else feels the way I feel. So let's dive in.
Let's dive in and talk about the hard stuff. You're listening to Success in Mind, the show for high-performing leaders, change makers and entrepreneurs ready to take your life and business to the next level. If you're ready for whole life success, keep listening. I reached out into my community today and I asked, what are the biggest challenges that you face as an entrepreneur? And a lot of the answers were,
The stuff that we often hear about, the time management issues, which can be a really big challenge for a lot of people. Imposter syndrome was another one that came up quite frequently. Feeling like you have to do all the things, especially when you're starting out and you have a limited budget, limited resources, and you're brand new at this and you need to figure out how to create ads, how to create content.
how to build a website, how to do all these things that if that's not your field of expertise and you're not in a place yet where you can hire that out to someone, you have to learn it all. That was another one that came up was having to do all of these things. When to stop talking was another one. And I thought that was a really interesting one. When to stop talking. I see this one come up a lot with salespeople.
Teri Holland (02:24.918)
who get into great rapport with the person that they're in a consultation with, and then the conversation tends to get off track and they start talking about other things and different parts of the business or their personal lives and they, you know, because they're really invested in the person they're talking to and they want to learn all about them and the conversation gets sidetracked. And then how do you bring that conversation back into the sales process?
Actually, I had a client who had this very challenge and I'm going to share with you what we did to overcome it. So that was another one that came up that I thought was quite interesting. Now all of these came through my Instagram channel, not my regular Instagram account, but the channel on my account where if you want to get some insider peeks into upcoming episodes, if you want to participate in live audiences when I have guests,
And if you want to be able to ask questions or contribute to the show, that's the place you want to be. I will link it in the show notes. Just join it there. So these, these all came to me through that Instagram channel and then also through direct message from several people as well and from talking with friends. But those were the main ones that were coming up. And I think, you know, my original intention in doing this was I was going to share an episode talking about all the hard parts of entrepreneurship.
But I realized that each one of those needs its own space. So we're going to be covering each one of those topics in a separate episode. So what do you do? Like, when do you stop talking in a conversation? We're going to cover, we're going to cover in another episode, we'll talk about time management tools and I can talk about that one forever. That was the one that really made me realize that this is not one episode. This is several distinct episodes because I think
Almost every single client I have had has had issues with time management, especially solo reneurs, when you might not have a team yet to delegate to. How do you manage your time? And I have lots to share with you on that and some really great tools. And also imposter syndrome is something we've talked about before but it's something that needs more space as well because it's imposter syndrome is a really rich topic. Listen for future episodes on each and every one of those topics.
Teri Holland (04:51.414)
But today I want to talk about one that was the inspiration for this topic completely. And it's one that I've been struggling with. And when I looked online to see if anyone was talking about it, I couldn't find anything for it. I couldn't find it. And that's what I want to focus today's episode on. And to me, this is really the hardest part of entrepreneurship.
And in fact, when I was looking for what are these challenges that we're dealing with, I went to chat GPT as one does now. And I put in a prompt asking about the hardest parts of entrepreneurship. And it gave me a great list as well. And it's all the things that I think we typically think about. Uncertainty and risk. Of course, financial stress, work-life balance, decision-making responsibility.
team building and management, constant learning and adaptation, fear of failure, isolation, maintaining passion and motivation, customer acquisition. And I was like, those are all the things that I think we talk about frequently in entrepreneurship. And I couldn't find, what I couldn't find was an answer to my question, which is, how do you handle losing a client? How do you handle losing a client?
And this is something that I have always struggled to deal with. If I go way back to the beginning of my entrepreneurship journey, when I started my personal training career 15 years ago, I struggled with it then, and I still struggle with this today. And it got me thinking, I can't be the only one. So I went online and I started looking for how do you cope with the loss of a client? How do you handle losing a client?
And everything was about the financial loss and how to then market yourself, how to have a conversation with that client to find out what it is that's making them choose to leave. What is, are there unfulfilled expectations? Were they disappointed in the service? What is it that's driving them away and seeing if you can repair that? And I found lots of resources on how to market yourself so you find another client and all this stuff.
Teri Holland (07:15.318)
But that's not what I was looking for. That's not the part that I think is hard. Because you can always find another client. And that's what I found in my business. You know, there's always another client. That's not the issue. And it's not the financial loss. I mean, that is a consideration, but that's not the part that's hard. At least that's not the part that I find hard. The part that I find hard is the end of the relationship.
Now I have had a few significant client losses over recent months. I lost two past clients last fall and I lost both of them to cancer.
So I'm not just talking about what happens when a client leaves you, but what happens when a client passes away? This kind of grief that I don't... Well, I know, I know I wasn't prepared for. It's a different kind of relationship, isn't it? Especially if you're a coach, if you're a practitioner of some kind. It's a strange thing. Well, let's just be real here. Grief is a strange thing.
in and of itself. And I don't think any of us were ever given a manual on how to deal with grief. But then how do you grieve someone who you had a professional relationship with? And both of those came very suddenly. The first one was a podcasting client and
I found out after the fact. I knew she had been sick, but the last that I had heard is she was doing really well and was expecting to go into remission. And then suddenly she was gone. And I found out by a Facebook video that she had posted saying goodbye to all of her friends on the internet. And the video was posted after her passing.
Teri Holland (09:23.042)
I live in Canada and in Canada we have made medical assistance in dying or medical assistance in death. I forget exactly what it stands for. But it's assisted, medically assisted death. And she chose to do that and she talked about how she chose it. And she was so matter of fact about it. It was like she was talking about going to the grocery store.
And it was so strange to me to watch this video, so strange but also so tragically beautiful, to watch this video and to hear her talk about her life and ending it on her own terms. Now this was someone who I worked with quite a few years ago when I first started helping people to launch podcasts. She was one of my first podcasting clients. And I was sitting there.
watching her in this video at the same desk that she recorded her podcast at on the same mic talking about the end of her life and it was surreal.
and also profoundly beautiful. But I didn't know how to grieve that loss. And then not even a week later, another client of mine who was a more recent client, we worked together over the summer, found out that she had terminal cancer. And I think it was 20 days later, she also chose to utilize maid to complete her life.
Teri Holland (11:02.198)
Sorry guys, this is heavier than I expected it to be today. So she also chose maid, and that was another big shock to my nervous system. I wasn't expecting to lose either one of them. And again, how do you grieve for a client? It's so different because I don't know about you, but I feel very close to my clients and I form tight connections with them.
And I don't know how to not do that. So I don't know how to just grieve them as a coach or someone who worked with them because I'm grieving the loss of a friendship, the loss of a relationship in my life. And then I lost a coaching client before Christmas. And it was one that I saw coming. And, and it ended on very positive terms. The client was complete in the process that we were working through.
but it still felt like a loss. And then even more recently, another client has ended the relationship. And again, ending on the most positive terms possible, and yet it still hit me really hard, like a big shock to the nervous system. And I'm not saying any of this, and those clients just ended their coaching, just to be clear, they didn't pass away.
but each one of them has felt similar and that's, that's I guess where my head is right now is that it's still a form of grief when we lose a client, especially a client when you feel a connection to that client. And I don't know how to not connect with my clients, especially as coaches, I think we need to have that connection. We need to be in rapport with our clients in order for them to get results. But how do we then disconnect?
in a way that's ecological and healthy for us. If you have a way of doing that, please reach out and let me know because I would love to hear it. Because in 15 years, I haven't found a way.
Teri Holland (13:12.246)
Now sure there have been clients that have moved on and we really weren't that close and it was okay, but even in those ones there's still a sense of loss. It just might not be as significant but I still feel it. And then there are the clients who we choose to end that relationship that it's not working out for whatever reason. And that's, and I still feel those ones, again maybe not as deeply, but I still feel
sadness every time a client is complete with me. And so when I was looking online today, I was looking for how, how do we do this? What are some ways to cope with the loss of a client? And I could find lots of strategies for how to market yourself to find a new client, how to, you know, all the business answers. And then I found some stuff on what to do when a client passes away.
which is mostly about making sure you get support, making sure you talk to someone about it and about the loss and allow yourself to grieve. But what do you do when that client is still living and you're just grieving through a relationship?
I couldn't really find anything and I don't have good strategies for it. I wish I did. I wish I could tell you how to deal with it and I can't. I asked a friend of mine today, I said, what do you do when a client leaves? And I told her that I was struggling with the loss of a client, with the end of it. I shouldn't say loss because that sounds like death. It was with the end of a client relationship. And she said, you know what? I struggle with it too. It hits me too.
And when I say, you know, speaking for me, and I described this to her, that it feels like my nervous system just gets a big shock. And I hate that feeling. If there is one thing I hate about being self-employed, it is this, it is the end of a client relationship. And I can logically tell myself all day long that, well, that relationship is always going to complete at some point.
Teri Holland (15:27.558)
all eternity. They're not. It is a finite relationship and whether it's in a coaching package where there is an end date that's known at the beginning of that package or if it's an ongoing open coaching relationship you still know at some point it's going to end and logically I want those relationships to end. I want them to end positively. I want my clients to get the results that they came for.
And so then it's time for them to move on and go out into the world and be great. I want them to get their results. I want them to not need me anymore. But there's still that emotional piece of this relationship is now complete and ending. And that's the part that I have a hard time reconciling. How do you end that relationship? Now what my friend today said, she said, it kind of feels like a breakup, doesn't it?
And I said, yeah, you know what? It does. It's that feeling of this person still is here, still living, and I care for this person. And yet we're not going to be seeing each other regularly anymore. And I'm not going to be interacting with them in the same capacity. I realized today I've become friends with a lot of my clients. And I think this is why, to be honest, and
If any of my clients are listening to this, oh, it just occurred to me that some of you might be listening. If you're a client, or if you're a past client of mine, please know that it's fine. I completely respect all of my clients' decisions to move on. I know in my logical thinking brain, those relationships have an end, and I'm very happy for my clients when they move on, they get what they need, and they move on to the next thing. I'm very happy for them. But there is an emotional component of
Okay, this is now over. One thing that just occurred to me is that maybe as coaches, as practitioners, as healers, maybe we need to have our own rituals for how to honor that relationship at the end. Something we do on our own, not with the client because maybe that could be weird, but something that we do on our own, whether it's a special meditation or journaling or just a little way of acknowledging that this relationship is now complete.
Teri Holland (17:54.538)
I'm making space now for another client to come into my world who needs some help.
I don't know. And I was, I was talking to my husband about this too. And I said, do you think that this is, do you think other people go through this? And he said, I'm sure they do. I'm sure there are many coaches who go through this, but I don't see anyone talking about it. I think there's this, I want to say pressure, but I don't know if that's the right word, but I think there's maybe an expectation.
that we're just fine with it and we continue on. And on social media we put on our happy faces and we look all professional and we show outwardly the shiny bright side of business. We don't talk about these things are the hard parts, the challenging parts. I don't know maybe that is the answer maybe we find a little ritual that we can do that may be something that I'll try.
and just a way of releasing that person, releasing that energy and wishing them well, blessing them and wishing them well. I work with some counselors and psychologists who have come through my trainings. And I know that in their scope of practice and their regulatory bodies, they are not allowed to have any sort of personal connection to their clients.
They can't form a friendship. They don't get involved. They don't know them on a personal level. They work with them, but they keep a bit of a distance. And maybe that's what's missing from the coaching industry is we don't have that. You can become friends with your clients in coaching. There's no stopping that. And maybe that's a problem in the coaching industry is that we need to set up some boundaries about relationships that we just don't get attached. And even then,
Teri Holland (19:57.246)
I wonder how therapists deal with the end of a coaching relationship because they're also human. They can't do their work effectively if they're not in rapport with the people they're working with. So even if they're not connecting with them on a personal level or getting to know them on a friendship level, there still must be an element of loss when they lose a client. I don't know. And I wish I had some answers on it and I don't right now. I just know that this is...
for me the really sucky, the really sucky part of entrepreneurship. And so I thought I'd share that for anyone else who experiences this or struggles with it. And if you don't struggle with it please reach out to me and tell me how, tell me what you do that keeps you separate from the clients because earlier today I was thinking maybe it's time that I go into dog walking. That's always been my plan B by the way.
is that if I ever get tired of working with people, I'm going to work with dogs and I'll become a dog walker. And then my husband reminded me, he was like, dogs are still attached to people. There's people that come with dogs. And dog people can be crazy. And I said, yeah, you're right. Yeah, yeah, some dog people are crazy, but not us. And he looked at me and he said, says the woman
wearing her dog's face on her sweatshirt. Now you can't see me right now, but I am wearing a sweatshirt that has my dog Fiona's face on it, like a sketch of her and her name. And I was like, Oh, maybe I am a crazy dog lady. Oops. So maybe dog walking, maybe dog walking isn't the answer. It'd be great for my cardio.
certainly be great for my legs. Dog walkers always have great legs because they do so much walking. But I don't know if that would be any better for my heart. I don't know. Although it just occurred to me that with dogs there comes a lot of heartbreak. And if you've owned a dog, if you've ever had to say goodbye to a dog, you know that heartbreak. So maybe that's not the answer. Maybe I need to work with computers where there's no
Teri Holland (22:19.074)
just something with computers and no people. I don't know if that exists, if you can have a business that involves no people. And I also think that'd be really boring and I would probably hate every minute of it. But emotionally, it might be a lot easier. But here's the thing, is that as much as it sucks to lose a client and to say goodbye, whether that's just at the end of the relationship or whether
whether that client passes away. What I do know is at the end of the day, as much as I can joke about it, at the end of the day, working with people in transformation and seeing their lives change is so rewarding that it is worth all the grief that comes later when that relationship ends. I also don't want you to think that I'm falling apart over here because I'm not. I will be okay. I'm very resilient.
I brush myself off, I get through it quite easily. But in the moment, it feels like a shock on the nervous system. No matter how much my logical brain says, this is okay, everyone is fine, your client is succeeding, you're okay, you always get other clients, and it's okay to say goodbye. And even though I can logically talk myself through it and I understand what's happening on that mental level,
still hits my nervous system and hurts. I'll tell you what I did to or what I find useful. I don't know if this is what I'll stick with but what I do find useful is doing some meditation, usually a workout first. So I'll workout because I always whenever I feel that kind of shock, I find a workout is really helpful just to move some energy through the body and get it out. So I'll do a workout usually some weight training.
And then I'll meditate. I'll meditate on it.
Teri Holland (24:22.538)
If you have another way of doing it, let me know. I'm very curious. I mean, thank you for listening to me today. If you have something that you find hard in entrepreneurship, share it with me. Share it with me on Instagram. That's the best place to connect with me at the Teri Holland. The link will be in the notes as always. Find me there and let me know what is it that you find hard about entrepreneurship? And if you have a way that you complete your client relationships,
in a way that doesn't feel so shocking or hard? Let me know. I would love to hear it. Thank you so much for listening today. Stick around, make sure you hit that subscribe button because we are going to talk about those other challenges in upcoming episodes, time management, the imposter syndrome, and how to stop talking. Also, what do you do? What do you do?
when you have to wear all the hats and you're not yet ready to delegate, how do you prioritize? Maybe actually as I'm talking through that, I think that'll be part of the time management episode, because that's really what that comes down to as well. So thank you for listening today. Thanks for being here. And I look forward to coming back again next week. If you liked this episode, hit that five star review and make sure that other people like you can find the show. Thanks so much. Hope you have an amazing, amazing day. Bye for now.