Why Going To Therapy Was The Best Thing I Ever Did For My Business

Posted by on Friday, April 25th, 2014 with 1 Comments

Why Going To Therapy Was The Best Thing I Ever Did For My Business

If you know me personally or have heard me speak, you’re aware of how much I believe in therapy. Few things have impacted me as positively as attending regular sessions with a psychologist, rummaging through my past, and learning why I am the way I am. If I were silly enough to try to summarize my last few years of therapy, I might say something like this:

Before, I was living inside a very intricate box, whose walls sloped and curved in ways I didn’t understand. Every decision I made took into account the shape of that box and my goal of never breaking through its walls. And yet, I had absolutely no idea I was in a box at all. Today, I live in the world again. People, places, and situations are far less intimidating to me, as I can finally see them for what they are, rather than what they looked like through the walls of my fears and limitations.

It feels great to be able to see the world clearly. While I’m not 100% changed – and still do find myself in that box sometimes – I now have the tools to get myself out of it. Understanding that a better, freer version of the world exists has made all the difference to me.

One of the greatest effects of the new freedom I enjoy is that I feel more empathy for people than I ever did before. When I meet a new person, I find myself almost automatically imagining what it’s like to be them. This creates a kinship, which, while not always visible, reveals itself in the energetic connection between us.

Of the many arenas in which feeling more empathy for people has been helpful, business is the one that has surprised me most. I used to think business was about providing a good product or service and managing your company efficiently. This is far from the truth. Business is about people: understanding their needs, being receptive to their feelings, and making them feel satisfied (at my company, we like to shoot for thrilled).

The people you deal with in business fall into three groups – customers, team members, and partners. Each one has different needs, and every person has a unique personality that, as a CEO, it is your job to get to know. A great leader will try to understand the perspective of every person in his orbit.

It’s important to note that empathy cannot be faked. If you don’t really care about the people you deal with every day, pretending that you care for the sake of leadership will not suffice. Much of our interactions are nonverbal, and people can tell if you’re being disingenuous. That is why I cite therapy as one of the reasons my business has grown in recent years: by helping me to manage my fears and thereby open my heart to the people I interact with each day, it has allowed me to experience a genuine connection with each of them. Those connections affect nearly every aspect of my professional life.

What do you do to improve yourself so that you can be the best CEO possible? Have you ever worked with someone to help you feel a closer connection to the people around you? Please let me know in the comments section below; I’d love to hear about it.

One response to “Why Going To Therapy Was The Best Thing I Ever Did For My Business”

  1. Lily says:

    Evan, thank you for sharing such an important message. So often, I think that people are actually ashamed of admitting that they are in therapy. Or maybe it’s just too personal to share, but the truth is that we all construct that box you refer to, and it helps to have a guided voice to break down the walls and work through it.

    The fact that you’ve tied it into running a successful business seems almost obvious after reading it, right? How can anyone invest in their business without first investing in themselves?

    Thanks again for this post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *