Several years ago I found an Ayurveda herbalist who lives in a rural village in India. I was looking online for an herbal treatment for one of my patient’s son who had been suffering with severe constipation for 5 years.
This Ayurveda practitioner told me to have the boy drink a cup of warm milk with a tablespoon of ghee each night before bed. It worked like a miracle. I started suggesting other American and European mothers email her for help for their kids. They did and were very happy with her suggestions.
Then I suggested she start an online practice so that she could get paid for her work with these people. I am a Chinese herbalist specializing in helping women get pregnant and the women find me on the internet and live all over the world. I have made a good living like this and knew that she could too. She needed money and was thrilled with the suggestion.
I used all my knowledge of how to create a successful online practice. I created and promote a website for her. I told her what should go into the email correspondences between the mothers and her. I told her how much to charge and how to ask for payment. I felt very excited and proud of myself for helping her increase her income. I went to India to teach her everything she needed to know about maintaining the website and the online practice.
When I got there I found out what a failure it was. The doctor loved the website but she said she felt like a fraud and couldn’t use it. She thought the site looked “American”. She thought the website gave the impression that she was more impressive than she felt. She didn’t have the confidence to use the website even though she had written all the text. She also didn’t feel comfortable asking a reasonable “Western” fee even though I gave her a script to use when asking and when she used the script she got paid. She felt more comfortable plodding along promoting her work on the web in a way that didn’t bring her the income she needed and probably never would.
The failure came from me not taking HER personality or cultural expectations into consideration. I had my American “let’s make this venture produce $$” attitude and never thought about her reality.