04 Feb Maybe You’re Not Ready
Maybe you have a Vision Board or photos on your wall of things you want to buy once you achieve a certain level of income. Maybe you have a wish list of client companies you’d love to work with. Maybe you have a mental picture of how you want your firm to look in the next 3 to 5 years. I believe it’s great to think big and to have career-related dreams. My question to you today is this: are you prepared, are you really ready for the changes you’re imagining?
You may think, “Oh, she’s talking about all of the practical and logistical things. Have I looked at the budget to hire two new staff members. Have I thought of what legal paperwork I need to start a solo desk. Have I considered the cost of retaining an advertising agency.”
No, I am not. I’m referring to the intangibles: your mindset, your emotions, your thoughts. The practical matters and logistics are pretty easy– the mental pitfalls are the ones that can kill your business. I know firsthand because it happened to me.
Start with the feeling.
When you picture whatever it is– billing $100K more per quarter, hiring two more recruiters, landing a Fortune 100 company– how do you FEEL about it? Take this seriously and don’t blow it off as New Age woo woo. Close your eyes and really contemplate it. I want you to picture this like a sommelier tasting a wine. She doesn’t guzzle it and toss the bottle in the trash. She takes her time to experience every possible smell and taste. Do the same with this exercise.
See it mentally and live in it.
If you achieve the goal, what is the outcome that you want from it? More money to spend on your family? More time to volunteer at church? Get very clear on why you want this goal. Simply saying, “Yeah, I guess I’d like to make more money. Who wouldn’t?” is not useful. In the same exercise as feeling what it would be like to realize your vision, I want you to see it mentally and live in it. If you want a new car, visualize yourself driving in it. Feel the wind in your hair. See the open road. If you want a new house, imagine how you will decorate it and what you will do inside it. See yourself having a dinner party with friends. Picture the home theater room you want. Sit in it with your family eating popcorn.
I once mentored an entry-level recruiter who seemed both confused and unmotivated. I asked her if there was any particular personal goal she was working towards and she said she wanted a new car. She had always driven used cars that were barely hanging on and she wanted a new car of her own. I advised her to get specific– don’t simply say “a new car,” decide on a make and model. Take a test drive of it, if you can. Print off a picture and hang it up in your workspace. Really SEE it and see your own ability to obtain it. She never did. Within 60 days, she left the company and decided to get out of recruiting completely. A few months ago, I ran into her at the grocery store and discovered that she is still driving a used car she’s not happy with.
Conversely, I had a dream about a piece of jewelry. (This is unusual for me because I typically do not wear much jewelry. When you live on a farm, it’s impractical. 🤷♀️) When I woke up, I thought, “Damn. I’d really like to have that ring from the dream!” So then I thought, “Hmm. Why not set an intention to find it?” Two weeks later, I saw an ad for it on my Instagram feed from a store I’d never heard of called Sugar & Cotton. The clearer you can get on exactly what you want and what you will do with it, the easier the pathway will be to getting it.
If you believe everything has to be difficult, it will be.
You may have had parents, grandparents, and teachers who taught you that you HAD to work hard for everything and you HAD to struggle to get what you want in life. “If ____ was easy, everybody’d do it!” If you get nothing else from this post, I beg of you: please, please get that notion out of your brain! Telling yourself over and over that life is difficult and work should be hard will make you mis-er-a-ble. Any progress you make through that lens will be exhausting and will take a lot longer because you’re telling yourself that it’s supposed to be difficult and laborious.
Are you a “high C?”
Back in 2017, I hired a sales copy freelancer who told me, “I made some mistakes in my business early on… worked with some people I shouldn’t have. Now if I meet someone who is a high C, I just walk away. I don’t need that.” All I could think of was the fruit punch, so I asked the obvious question of what he was talking about. He was a big proponent of the DISC profile. I don’t know much about it, but according to his explanation, a high C is someone who wants a lot of details upfront, questions everything all the time, wants to be right, admires precision and accuracy, hates ambiguities, etc. He felt that those types of clients wanted to question every marketing tactic he has and try to poke holes in it all. Sort of an “I wanna be right so you have to be wrong” type of thing. For our purposes, I will simply say: you can 100% get in your own way. You can be your own worst enemy. You can spend too much time inside your own head pretending to be the world’s most logical robot and screw yourself out of what you truly want. I’ve seen it happen and it’s a complete tragedy.
If you are reading this post thinking, “I want to increase my business. I want more than I currently have but… I just don’t know about all this mental imagery stuff. It sounds way too hocus pocus, touchy feeling for me. I believe you gotta roll up your sleeves and work hard. You gotta take action and make shit happen, dammit!” then you’re probably not ready yet. AND IT IS OK NOT TO BE READY! If someone turned on a firehose and you stood there with a sippy cup, you’d feel more pressure and pain than excitement. Truly. I’ll say it again: it’s OK not to be ready.
Been thinking about how to level up in your business? Do you want more but have some fears or uncertainties on how to get there? Let’s talk about it.