I recently created a speaking opportunity for some of my clients. There is no cost involved, but there are certain requirements they would need to meet to claim a spot.
And my clients are some truly amazing human beings. And several of them began to worry about whether they could say yes and step into the opportunity. I heard a variety of reasons why people weren’t sure or why they didn’t think it was the right timing for them and they would wait until next time.
Now this is just the ego-based fear of the subconscious mind talking. They were totally ready and it was a perfect opportunity for them, that’s why I created it. But the voices of doubt can get pretty loud when we’re about to step forward.
What We are Really Committed To
I’ve learned over the years that someone can be talking to me about how they just need to figure out how to get in front of the right people so they can bring in clients one minute, and then turn down an opportunity to get in front of the right people the next. Generally its fear of doing the thing itself, say speaking, that gets in the way. Often it is also uncertainty about whether doing the thing itself will pay off in a way that makes it worth the fear.
What if I go speak, and I don’t get clients anyway, and then it was all for nothing?
Yet, you can’t ever know how you do at converting audience members into clients without first doing it. But I promise you this, you won’t convert any if you don’t believe you will convert them.
The energy and intention you bring is more powerful than any executional step you can take. Whether you take action with intention or back away from opportunity represents your true underlying commitment.
The Yes, Grow Tractor Beam
My business has grown tremendously each year, and it has done so by me making a series of big decisions that have forced me to grow. Generally they involve me investing money at a level that is consistent with a new level of revenue that I haven’t created yet – marketing opportunities, team members, event space, etc. Sometimes it has involved me declaring an offering in my business that I’ve never done before.
If I had waited to know for certain that an opportunity would work, pay out, or be approved of by others, I would have never done it, and I would not have grown. Instead I threw my hat over the wall, making decisions that were essentially irreversible, and then I BECAME the person able to deliver on my new commitment. It doesn’t work the other way around. If we wait to become the person before we create the new commitment, we will never get there.
One client called it the tractor beam, “I need something to come in like a tractor beam and pull me up from where I am.” That’s so accurate. Stepping into a commitment that requires you to show up in a new way can be that tractor beam.
Be Willing to Fail
You won’t say yes to something you know how to do unless you are willing to fail. For me, my divorce was my first big failure in my mind, and it was the biggest gift for starting my business because I learned that I could fail and still live. It opened up a whole new world of possibility for me.
The more you know yourself, the less you will fail, but the willingness to fail must be there at every level in order to truly grow. Moments of surrender build a business worth having.
Say Yes to the Dress
I was watching TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress” in true procrastination style this weekend while working on writing my book. This is my mother’s favorite show it seems, so I was familiar when I landed on it. I enjoy it, because who doesn’t love watching people try on different things and judging how they look? For me I enjoy seeing whether I can predict which dress is in “alignment” for the bride. You can feel when someone is in alignment, and I find that to be true for the dress trying process as well.
Sometimes brides surprise themselves by liking something they did not expect to even try on. They would have never found the dress if their consultant hadn’t pushed them out of their comfort zone. From within their preconceived notions about who they were and what they could handle, the “yes” dress seemed like too much of a stretch. As a business owner, you need someone outside of yourself who can nudge you to consider what you really want, rather than what the old limits of who you were say is possible. You’ll only know if it’s a yes when you try it on.
The Environment Influence
The other thing I enjoy watching about this show is observing how the shopping buddies can influence the process. It’s a perfect reflection of how our own environment is influencing our decisions at any moment.
A bride who was certain she loved lace was deterred from the lace gown she loved by her shopping companion who hated it. The level of stress produced in the dynamic of the bride not only considering what she likes, but also considering the opinions of her array of friends is astonishing.
We do this as well. Say you are considering an opportunity that involves getting on a plane to grow your business. Without even being aware of it, little thoughts like how it will affect the family, or what will friends think when you tell them you’ve invested in something that they don’t get or understand, flow through your mind and influence what you will consider.
Let Yourself Off the Hook
Women put a huge amount of pressure on themselves about their wedding, and the dress can feel like the biggest decision.
Business owners also put a lot of pressure on themselves, and every decision feels crucial.
It is and it isn’t. But when the decisions feel in alignment, even when they are scary or out of your comfort zone, it’s important to honor that regardless of what anyone else may think, and say YES then grow into the person who can pull it off. This is the art of becoming an Aligned Entrepreneur, and it sure is a fun ride!