Several years ago I read an article about a woman who was picked to be the varsity coach for Calvin Coolidge High School, an inner city school in Washington DC. Natalie Randolph is one of the few women ever to coach a boys’ varsity football team. She is an amazing role model for not letting what other people’s opinions or what they think of you get in the way of what you want to accomplish.
Her main focus with her athletes is to teach them to be great young men in society. Football is the avenue through which she teaches them to overcome fear, believe in themselves and never give up. I have long said that embracing your inner entrepreneur and making the decision to create a money making service business is the best self development course on the planet. All of your fears and every possible reason you should to quit is right in your face. Her advice for success is as applicable to you as it is to her athletes.
1. HAVE NO FEAR. “People concentrate too much on what others will say about them. If you know you can do something, just do it.” Worrying what others will think or say about you is a major stopping point for many business owners. It’s one of the main reasons you don’t do the things you need to do to take your business to the next level.
Don’t believe me? Then take a moment and think about these next few scenarios and see what happens in your body, what emotions you feel and what thoughts run through your head. Imagine . . . . . . telling your clients that you are raising your rates by 50% starting next week . . . . . or making the decision to find and ask 10 people in the next 2 days to purchase your products or services . . . . . . or challenging people’s reality when they tell you they can’t afford your services . . . . . or letting the employee or customer go who is draining your energy and no longer a good fit for your business . . . . . or restructuring positions so everyone is in the right seat of your company bus. Are you worried about what people will think about you? These scenarios are all a part of what it takes to get to the next level of business.
2. SHOW UP EVERYDAY. “No matter how hard the previous day was, never give up.” In business and in life there will be bad days. People don’t show up for a class or workshop you give. A new, awesome client backs out of working with you. You get a “nasty” email from an upset client or subscriber. The last 10 people you have talked to “can’t afford” your services. You feel like a fish out of water at the networking event you attended and no one seemed interested in you or what you do. You have a dissatisfied employee who is creating unnecessary drama within the team. You raise your prices and your clients complain.
If you are in business, all of these things and more are going to happen to you. Are you going to quit? Give up? Close your doors, sell everything and get a job? OR are you going to look at what is going on within you to attract these situations, make the necessary adjustments in your thinking and your skill sets, remind yourself of why you are doing what you are doing, take a deep breath and show up every day to do it again until you find a way to make it work?
3. IT’S OKAY TO BE AFRAID. “But it’s not okay to run away from what you’re afraid of.” Be honest. Do you know you need to market your services, narrow down your target market, get to more networking meetings, or ask 2 people a day to engage in a sales conversation with you and, yet, you find yourself avoiding the tasks? Instead of doing what you know you need to do to bring in more clients and more money, you sink into the fear, run away from the tasks and find things within your comfort zone to do that look productive but won’t get you what you really want.
Come on, you know what I’m talking about. Spending 6 months perfecting your website instead of calling people you know, telling them what you are doing and asking them for referrals. . . or attending another training or certification program instead of developing the marketing and sales skills you need to ramp up business . . . . or talking with people but never getting to the part of the conversation where you ask them to become a client . . . . . or spending hours on Twitter or Facebook commenting on everyone’s status, but not leaving your house to attend in person networking meetings in your community. Any of these “running away” behaviors sound familiar? It’s okay, you can admit it because I’ve been there, too. But here’s the deal, the more you feel the fear and do it anyway, the more comfortable you will be in doing the scary things; and then they won’t be scary anymore.
So, this is the pep talk from an amazing female football coach. She expects great things from her players. She expects them to play full out. As one of your coaches, I expect great things from you. You have gifts to share, people to serve and important work to do. You can’t do that if you are playing so that you don’t get hurt instead of playing full out so that EVERYONE wins.
P.S. This advice is also great advice for how to show up in your life.
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