The #1 Trigger that Prevents Many Holistic Practitioners From Getting New Clients

I was talking to a business mastermind friend of mine, and we were both admiring our heart-centered mentor who is a master at offering her services without being salesy. He commented on how he observed other people in our mastermind felt annoyed at an event where she was “selling”, while he was sitting there marveling at her heart-centered selling. I did the same.

It made me think…why was it that he and I were loving what our mentor was saying while other people got triggered by it?

Watch this cartoon video I made:

A few weeks ago, I had spoken to an acupuncturist whom I gave insight to on his practice. At the end of our conversation, I offered him an opportunity to work with me further. We weren’t able to complete our conversation because he had to go see a patient. We had a second conversation a few days later. He told me at the end of it that he wasn’t ready to make a decision. I told him that it wasn’t a problem, but the incentive that was there to inspire someone who was ready would not be there beyond our call and that the investment was worth it at full investment, so he didn’t have to worry. The following week, he emailed me and shared that he decided that we weren’t a match to work with. The feedback he ended up giving me was that he felt I was pushing him to do the program.

Another acupuncturist I spoke to not long before that had a totally different reaction. She was excited about what the program can do for her practice, was happy to receive an incentive for the investment, and decided to do it for herself.

What was the difference with the conversations I had with the two people? Was I pushy? One person found me pushy, while the other didn’t. In the past, after hearing feedback from the guy, I would’ve beat myself up for having come across as being pushy. For a long time, I’ve had a pattern of wanting to be liked by people. This wanting to be liked carried through in many areas of my life, including my business. For example, many times it was more important to me to be liked and not annoy people, than it was for me to tell people about my services.

It took a lot of personal development to have a fresh perception. Now when something like that happens, whether I was pushy or not, I don’t have the concern about not being liked to the point where I wouldn’t offer someone who needed my work the opportunity to work with me (and inspire them to either a yes or no decision).

A principle I read in the New York Times Best-Selling book “The Dark Side of Light Chasers” really helped me get to this point of comfort. It’s about emotional triggers that hold us back. The author, Debbie Ford, suggests that when we are annoyed by something, it’s because we have not embraced the quality we’re annoyed about in ourselves.

For example, we are capable of a whole range of emotions and qualities, including ones that we see as being “dark” qualities, such as greedy. If we don’t embrace our greed, it shows up in other people’s greed triggering us emotionally and bothering us. Her suggestion is that once we embrace that quality in ourselves, we no longer get triggered by it. It doesn’t mean that that person you see as being greedy no longer demonstrates qualities of being greedy…it just means that the person’s expression of greed doesn’t bother you emotionally. In fact, you may become compassionate about it.

Circling back to the pushy situation. Is it possible that someone IS being pushy? (including me? Yes, I’m not perfect. Although many holistic practitioners and my clients don’t see me as being pushy, sometimes when I see what can be possible for someone, occasionally it’s hard for me not to be attached when I know what I can offer could help them. It can come across as being pushy.

Can you come across as being pushy? You might, because we all have different setpoints of what we consider to be pushy. But even if someone got annoyed by it, it won’t carry an emotional trigger for you. It will just be that it isn’t an energetic match to work with you. It wouldn’t make you feel bad.

So the next time you you’re worried about suggesting someone to book an appointment or work with you, ask yourself if it comes from a fear of not being liked, or not wanting someone to judge you in a negative light. The #1 trigger that prevents many holistic practitioners from getting new clients–the emotional trigger of how you feel someone would react to your possibly “being pushy”.

Don’t allow it to be an emotional trigger that holds you back from the people who need you most. You have a gift to share with others and no one will know about it if you don’t share it for concern of being pushy. Not everyone will resonate with you and you will not be liked by everyone. But if you keep your gift to yourself, you will continue to be a best-kept secret.

Do you have a way of attracting clients in a way that’s not pushy? I will be sharing one method of attracting clients in a way that’s not pushy in my upcoming webinar: “The Introvert’s Advantage: 3 Secrets to Filling Your Practice with Little Marketing”. Come and join me, and judge for yourself whether my approach is too pushy for you, or if it will help you with attracting the patients/clients you’re meant to help.


  1. Kevin M.Norris on July 21, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Hi Chen Yen!

    Interesting perspectives. You used the word perception, did you mean to use the word perspective?

    I am unclear at the number # Trigger that prevent coaches from getting clients. Is it the fear of being pushy, the fear of not being liked? or fear of being judged? Did I miss something?

    I love how you presented different interpretations and subsequent reactions and decisions made based on of our perception and interpretations.of your approach. I interpreted the language of your approach as pushy, but my perception was that your message did not illicit a level of resonance to provoke me to want more. But I also only received your message through the written word. I was not given the full blown situation in which to experience you through many filters such as verbal, physical presence and body language and more that would have been far more powerful for sure

    I am also curious at the source that rated this trigger number one. We all have triggers that can hold us back if we allow them to take away our power rather than deciding to let go of the power they hold on us..

    Love Debbie Ford and the Dark Side of the Light Chasers!

    Thanks for provoking thought and a study into the fascinating world of human behavior..

    Kevin M. Norris
    Mind Your Own Body, LLC

  2. Priscilla on July 21, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Right on, Chen. This takes a lot of personal growth to even recognize these triggers, doesn’t it. Thanks for the perspective to just not worry about it so much, and see it from a higher perspective, and embrace our greed, pushiness, salesy-ness, whatever.

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