Okay, it is now time for some blunt, in-your-face honesty. Honesty with myself professed to the world. This is simply too serendipitous to allow it to go unnoticed by people other than myself, so let’s talk about when MY own words came back to haunt me as a quick motivation.
I have recently started doing outbound cold calls to initiate contact with people to sell services for a brand I started (edit: this was for a previous brand). Right now these calls are directed at people and businesses that I know or use, or both.
And let me tell you, even though I know from my past experience that sales are hard (I’ve done sales in different capacities, as well as a brief stint as a B2B telemarketer over a decade ago), I don’t think I remembered entirely how absolutely soul-crushing and negative some of the rejection and feelings of failure can get at times. Especially when just getting started (as you start to get data on a percentage of closed sales, rejections should get easier, i.e. “okay, that is my 15th ‘no,’ I should be getting a sale soon”).
Let’s face it: sales are hard. When you make that sale, yes, you are on top of the world, and it is a great feeling. But sometimes all the no’s and the get no-where’s and the lack of getting in touch with people, as well as the lack of responses, can get you down. Like, really, really down. And that is where I was only a few days ago.
I just learned that when your own words come back to haunt you it is the funniest feeling. You are looking at your words, words that you wrote or said, and realizing:
Hey, maybe the real reason I wrote this out is because this is what I needed to hear. Not them, but me. And if it helps someone else get motivated, or get things going, all the better.
When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going
Yes. Trite but true. Do you want to let the little things bog you down? Do you want to keep allowing yourself to feel like you are rolling over and playing dead? Or do you want to change? Make something of yourself? Bring a little peace and happiness into your world and the world of those around you?
Perseverance is Key to Many Things
Many people don’t fail, they simply stop trying. It gets too hard at a certain point, and so they decide that it isn’t worth it, and give up.
Do you want to be one of those people? As an entrepreneur, we all have these feelings at times. They come and they go, testing the waters, seeing how susceptible we are to them. When the first little push is listened to, or allowed in, more and more sneak their way in.
Like Cracks in a Dam
Almost like a minute crack in a dam, allowing only a trickle to escape. But this trickle starts to weaken the structure, and more water begins to push its way out, until you have an epic and catastrophic dam bursting.
Away, Negative Thoughts
And so it is with negative thoughts. Les Brown (btw awesome motivational speaker) says that negative thoughts are like WEEDS – they just keep coming! And he advocates for building yourself up in defense of these thoughts by allowing in more and more positive thoughts. While there are different schools of thoughts for the efficacy of dealing with negative thoughts (see Russ Harris’s The Happiness Trap), the notion that negative thoughts can sprout up like weeds after letting a few in to go to root certainly rings true.
My Own Words Coming Back To Haunt Me
Now let’s get back to brass tacks. I started off telling you that I was in a difficult mental and emotional state while dealing with rejection (check out Jia Jiang’s TED talk on 100 Days of Rejection). And then lo and behold, this past Tuesday, TechInsurance posted a quote from me on their blog post titled 7 Best Business Lessons Learned from Non-Business Sources:
When I was in my early twenties, I started going to a rock climbing gym near my house. An interesting aspect to rock climbing and bouldering is the ‘whatever it takes’ attitude. In rock climbing, I found that it didn’t matter if you couldn’t do something today or tomorrow – you kept at it, kept working at it until you could do it. Fail 100 times only to succeed at 101. If something was too difficult to do, you just kept trying until you could finally get it. This attitude is really helpful in business and in entrepreneurship. A large part of succeeding in business is continuing when it feels like you have failed and trying a different tactic if your original plan didn’t work.
BAM! Game, set, match.
- Have I failed at this 100 times yet with no success? No.
- Have I really, truly, tried every technique (bouldering is all about technique)? No.
- Have I kept up my typical ‘whatever it takes’ attitude? No.
- Have I maintained the true spirit of the entrepreneur? No.
I have come up short against my own words. This is not failure. This is life. There are always ups and downs. Failures and successes. Wins and losses. The biggest question for these types of questions comes down to, do you keep going? Do you have what it takes to persevere?
And my answer is YES.
Have a Blessed Day
This morning I met up with someone for a Craigslist type sale. I don’t know what he is going through, but as we all know, “problems” seem to follow us around. Les Brown jokes in one of his speeches that:
You’re either in the middle of a problem, just finished dealing with one, or heading right into one.
The point of this is not to say that you will always have problems. The point is that problems are normal, so do your best to deal with them positively and move forward…because ITS POSSIBLE.
Anyways, he got out of the car, and he was just super happy to be there. Not there at that moment, but HERE, on earth, alive, and breathing. He started off by saying, “Any day here is a wonderful day.” Ain’t that the truth. Thank you David, for your positive attitude and the light it shone on me. Keep it up, spread it around, keep it going.