Tuesday August 8, 2017
For many business owners, it's easy to feel neglected and unwanted - by potential clients who aren't interested, by business contacts who don't return emails and calls, and by themselves.
When you're neck deep in these feelings, it's easy to be insecure, unhappy and uncertain - which will only serve to drive people away even more, thus exacerbating the problem.
How can you break this vicious cycle, so you can build your business with confidence and joy that attract great people to you, and that enable you to enjoy the journey instead of struggling through it?
Here are a few steps that have helped me greatly in my business, and I'm sure they'll help you, too.
Step 1: Remember that it isn't about you.
When I first started my business, I had a lot of insecurities and emotional wounds from past struggles to make friends. As a result, when people didn't return my calls, weren't interested, or forgot appointments, I took it very personally.
I felt like I was a "bottom-of-the-dumpster" priority to them, and it hurt.
Today, I have a stack of low-priority mail that has not been read, and a clear understanding of the fact that when people don't respond to me, it isn't that they have anything against me - they're probably just drowning in mail and to-do items, and don't have room for more.
These days, inboxes are overflowing, people are busy, and it can be a challenge to get people to carve out time for you.
To encourage people to make room for you in their schedules, it's important to:
1. Make a connection with them. Don't go straight to selling; start by building a relationship and offering them something that's valuable to them.
2. Speak in terms that they understand and care about. If you start by offering something they don't want, they probably won't take the time to find out why they should want it. So don't offer the process they don't care about; offer the results they desire and think about frequently.
3. Not give up right away. Sometimes, it can take five to eight contacts or more before someone is ready to respond to you or make a purchase. If someone doesn't respond right away, keep trying - and if they tell you it isn't a good time, ask when would be a better time to follow up.
Step 2: Don't depend on others for your happiness or self-worth.
Other people's reactions may not always be your responsibility, but your happiness and sense of value are.
If you base your joy and self-worth on the way other people see and react to you, you'll always be living in fear of their opinions and reactions, and that fear will inspire the kind of reactions that reinforce your insecurities.
Many people, and many stories that influence our way of thinking from an early age, romanticize the idea of someone else making us happy.
The perfect partner "completes" us, an unconditional lover sees past all our faults (thus negating any need for growth on our part), a fellow adventurer sweeps us away into a world where after a few hard battles, it's happily ever after.
This idea is especially prevalent in romance, but that mindset can spread to every aspect of life, including your business.
But the truth is, until you're happy and complete in and of yourself, nobody else will be able to create happiness for you. Even if you found the ideal romantic partner, business group, or source of clients, you wouldn't be able to create the kind of relationship you desire with them.
If you believe that other people don't like or want you, confirmation bias - the natural human tendency to interpret data in a way that aligns with your existing beliefs - will cause you to read every sign of disinterest or uncertainty on the other person's part as a sign that they don't like or want you.
This means they'll either hurt you by accident or walk on eggshells to avoid doing so, while you live in constant fear of being hurt.
This sensitivity will drive away confident, healthy people who want to work with other confident, healthy people instead of having to take regular eggshell walks, and it will attract people who share or reinforce your insecurities.
In my experience, when it comes to levels of emotional health and maturity, like attracts like. The healthier you are, the healthier the people you'll attract.
That isn't to say that other people can't help you heal - part of the benefit of close relationships is that you get to know each other well enough and feel safe enough for your inner wounds to surface and be addressed.
But you need to do a lot of the work to identify, acknowledge and heal your inner wounds, to make your inner healing a priority, and to take responsibility for your own emotional health, rather than expecting other people to "fix" you.
Remember, you are complete, worthy, lovable and worthwhile, whether or not your relationships in your business or outside of it go the way you want them to.
When you love yourself, you'll be more confident, vibrant, secure and emotionally stable, and not only will great people will pick up on that and be drawn to you, but you'll be able to create better relationships with them.
Step 3: Have back-up plans.
If your potential client doesn't call you back, do you have a list of other people who could potentially take the time slot you offered them?
If someone forgets an appointment, what will you do with the newly-opened time?
While it used to upset me when people cancelled plans, these days, I'm fine either way.
If the person keeps their appointment, great! We can make a connection, forge a friendship, and possibly create a mutually beneficial relationship.
And if they don't? If you could read my mind, you'd hear a happy pterodactyl-like screech of "I HAVE TIIIIME!"
I don't stake my ability to be productive and happy on other people's actions. Instead, I have lots of things with which I can occupy my time and bring myself joy, regardless of what other people do.
Step 4: Treat yourself well.
It isn't just other people who can neglect you - you can neglect yourself! Make sure you make time to take care of your physical, social and emotional needs, set that time in your calendar, and make it a priority rather than an "If no other tasks come up, maybe I'll do this" kind of thing.
If there's something you'll regret not having done if you die before you do it, don't make that something wait until you've done "enough" work. You have time for the things you choose to make time for, so make time for yourself and the things that are important to you!
When you treat yourself and your passions as being important and valuable, that will encourage other people to do the same.
Do you have trouble getting potential clients to make time for you?
I'd be happy to help them see how important it is for them to make room for you in their schedules!
I might even be able to introduce you to some great referral partners who'd love to send clients your way.
To learn more about this opportunity, click the button below.