You know, you don’t realize how fully you’ve embodied the habits and know-how you need to run a business until you happen on someone, or in this case a group of some-ones, who don’t have a clue.
A developer is planning to build an 80 story black-glass-façade building right behind mine, in a neighborhood of 12 to 16 story pre-war brick buildings and five story brownstones.
To say that the neighborhood is up in arms would be an understatement. About 300 people showed up last Wednesday for a meeting called by a woman who was spearheading a quest to do something about it.
It was mindboggling
So here we have 300 well-to-do residents, the majority of whom own their own apartments and have a very strong economic incentive to stop this building because of the detrimental effect it will have on the value of a significant financial asset.
They’re all hepped up and ready to DO something about this! Wouldn’t you kill for a room full of people with money demanding an answer for which you have a solution?
Here’s what went down
Instead of talking about what can realistically be done to stop the building, this woman spent a good half an hour bemoaning how unfair it was, how it’s going to ruin the character of the neighborhood, how underhanded the developer was in securing enough air-rights to build something so tall, blah blah blah.
The crowd was restless. Then a handful of local politicians got up there and didn’t say anything very useful either. Over an hour went by and people started to leave because it was clear that no one had a plan.
Not one to be shy and bashful…
So I stood in line to speak and asked, “Why was this meeting called – to bitch and moan or to actually DO something? Where is the action plan?” Lots of cheers. I went on, “Here are 300 people who came here to DO something and no one’s telling them what to DO.” More cheers.
Can you believe they had no plan to collect any money to pay for an attorney to represent us!?! I watched people offering to give them money and they were so bewildered they didn’t know what to do – you can’t make this up!
When I cornered our City Council Representative and asked why this, this and this hadn’t been done, she looked at me in shock and asked if I would come work for her – apparently she’d never met anyone with a brain in their head before!
Sales Choreography 101
Never assume that what you know is common knowledge. As entrepreneurs, we become so accustomed to running a successful business, that we don’t realize what the rest of the world is like.
We associate with people like us, we read business magazines, books on marketing and Dan Kennedy’s newsletters; we listen to podcasts, attend webinars and group calls, and we take what we know for granted.
There’s more than one way to be successful
There are hundreds of thousands of people out there who haven’t got a clue, and while you may prefer to work with those who do, there’s plenty of money to be made just coaching people about the basics.
Remember, you don’t have to be The Best. You just need to know more than the client to be a hero in their eyes.
“Comparison is the thief of joy”
I’ve had numerous clients who are always comparing themselves to the Eben Pagan and Brendan Burchard’s of this world and then berate and belittle themselves for not being as uber-successful.
Would it be nice to be that successful? Maybe.
However, there’s nothing “wrong” with doing well. You might not be willing to do what you’d have to do to have a list of 50,000 and make seven figures. And that’s OK.
You might not have the kind of business that’s ever going to make seven figures; be realistic about that. I know I’m never going to make that kind of money doing Roadblock Removal and while sure, I’d like to make more than I do, I have a nice life and that’s good with me.
What’s the lesson here?
Being successful isn’t all about making a pile of money. There’s being a successful parent, having a successful relationship, working for or even leading a charity that successfully raises money for a cause that’s meaningful to you.
Coaching your son or daughter’s basketball team and winning the championship is not only a success for you, think about how successful it makes the kids feel. You can’t put a price tag on that.
How do I make this work for me?
If you’re one of the many people who often compares yourself to other people and decide that you fall short, take the time write down all the ways you are doing well and making a contribution.
Success comes in many forms and does NOT mean being the celebrated guru, being better than anyone else at something, or making more money than most people. Well OK, that is success and those who get to that level have a right to be very proud of themselves (providing they came by that success honestly).
Be fair to yourself
However, when you believe you have to be like them – or worse, you’re a failure if you aren’t as successful as they are – you’re not being fair to yourself. You can have a great time playing golf even though you don’t have as good a handicap as Lydia Ko or Dustin Johnson, can’t you?
Dan Kennedy, among others, has assured us for years that “Good is good enough.” And that’s the standard to which he holds himself. I was someone who had a tough time with that, because “good enough” wasn’t good enough for me. Until it was.
Until I realized that holding myself to an unreasonably high standard and believing that everything had to be close to perfect was robbing me of the pleasure of accomplishing something I could be proud of even though maybe it wasn’t The Best.
Comparison IS the thief of joy, and please don’t let it steal the pleasure and satisfaction of doing something well.
NOTE: this doesn’t apply to brain surgeons and the like! When you’re doing something like that, you truly do have to adhere to exceptionally high standard. But none of you are brain surgeons.
When you’re conscientious, good at what you do and do your best to do it well and have your client’s best interests at heart, good nearly always is good enough.
Do you have an Addiction to Comparison?
If you can’t silence those voices in your head that make you feel not good enough, if you feel like a fraud when you find yourself in the same room with colleagues you believe are more successful than you are, let’s have a chat about that, because I can easily make that go away for you.
At dinner with a client a couple of weeks ago, he confided that while more than doubling his income because of the work we did together was really great, the most personally meaningful benefit was no longer having those negative voices in his head that were constantly comparing himself to other people.
If you’d like to have what he’s having, send me an email and let’s schedule a complimentary 30-minute private call to talk about how you can get rid of those unpleasant, ugly negative voices in your head, too.
Wishing you happiness, prosperity and abundance in all things,