I had tea (actually it was fruit juice at tea time!) with someone who is quite active in the new age scene. We got to talking about the challenges that spiritual entrepreneurs seem to be facing and something he said made me think about it a few days later. He said that one of the challenges that healers, spiritual teachers, intuitives have is the lack of clients because there is a higher supply of practitioners than there are clients. I did not disagree with him at that time as it didn’t strike me as anything unusual at that time as this was what most practitioners are being challenged by.
Anyway, a few days later I thought about the statement: “Supply is more than demand” and then it hit me that this is not exactly true. Well, at least not for me. What I have done in my work is that I have created programs that are uniquely my own even though I have some of the same skills like other practitioners out there. Because the programs are unique, this means that the target audience I am speaking to also has a unique demographic. And this group of people are looking for something I am providing. In essence the supply is much lower than demand.
Practitioners such as coaches, healers, yoga instructors, intuitive counselors/readers etc are targeting the same pool of people in their own industry which inevitably means they are competing with other practitioners of the same trade. Some have attempted to set themselves apart by being different in the features of their services but it is not clear enough to the audience that this is so.
A few months ago, when I facilitated the workshop Be of Greater Service by Getting More Clients there were two yoga instructors present. In the course of the day while we went through the mindset and business model makeovers, we created two unique target audience for each of them using each person’s unique abilities. So even though they were both yoga instructors they were not reaching out to the same people. And in essence, the demand for their unique abilities is far greater than the supply.
Part of the reason why some practitioners are ‘competing’ with each other is because they are afraid to set themselves apart. They are afraid to market themselves as offering a unique service using their unique abilities because they lack self confidence. And some practitioners are also very conflicted in their ideology — they want more clients but are afraid to market themselves for fear of being judged that they are ‘selling out’. And one of the challenges they face is they do not want to appear like they have commercialized their service. The thing is it has to be commercialized. The definition of commercialization is to apply methods of business for profit. I wonder who goes into business to lose money?
Commercialization to many practitioners means a dog eat dog world. But it does not have to be this way. If practitioners are confident that their services do make a difference in other people’s lives then they should do whatever they can to make sure that people know about them. Some of the practitioners are so talented and they can even save lives but their lack of marketing is not letting them save lives.
We all know that clients do not drop down on our laps from heaven no matter how hard we pray. We each have to take responsibility to put the word out there that what we are contributing to the world is making a difference.
© Shamala Tan