Mom and dad have always been supportive but my grandparents have always struck me as my biggest cheerleaders. Maybe it is because they never sent me from the dinner table or grounded me, don’t know. It doesn’t mean I love my parents any less, it is just different.
And since my grandparents are all gone now I have nothing but memories so you can decide if they are based upon fact, fiction or fantasy.
Fear Of Failure
I was fortunate enough to have many candid conversations with my grandfathers not just as a child but as a grownup. We all understood what it meant to be married fathers who had the challenge/burden/privilege of being the sole source of income for the family, as does my father.
But the distinction is that dad never was a salesman.
That is not a knock against him, was just never his thing and it probably saved him from a fair amount of aggravation because when you are in sales you fear failure. Or maybe you don’t fear it, but failure means no cash and when there are mouths to feed and bodies to clothe/shelter you are always aware of what your numbers look like.
I think about how I stayed with a couple of positions longer than I should have or wanted to because fear of failure prevented me from moving to things that I was better suited for.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a damn fine salesman as were my grandfathers. That is because I know how to tell a story, how to listen and when to ask for the order. That is the watered down version of sales that doesn’t take into account the importance of knowing how to ask questions beyond the order.
Those are the questions that help you and your prospect identify pain points, potential solutions and then build a foundation to create a partnership between you.
If all I cared about was money I could have remained a commissioned salesman. I could followed the Yellow Brick road right to the Emerald City and it wouldn’t have mattered how many flying monkeys or witches attacked me because when I choose to be focused you can’t make me miss the ball, but the beauty of life experience lies in learning a few things about yourself.
And in my case I remembered this is what I am supposed to be doing.
Writing and using my skills as a storyteller, marketer and salesman.
When I don’t actively work to feed my creative side I get bored and when I get bored I get into trouble. I don’t need help getting myself into trouble because I have knack for it and my fear of failure/consequences is at limited at times.
Take A Risk
Somewhere out there in cyberspace Ma and Pa Wilner are reading this and maybe they are smiling because I am famous for being stubborn and for being a creature of habit.
If you look at the picture above you can see a little hand on my body. That belongs to another creature of habit but he is far less adventurous than I am and sometimes I wonder about that.
I want him to be his own man but I don’t want him to fear change so much he misses out on opportunities because he doesn’t take a chance.
And that brings me to a willingness to take a risk in business. I am quite willing to take chances there. It might sound contradictory but experience has taught me that in business the people that are willing to be agile and daring are often those who have great success.
Because when you all you do is follow the lead and example of every one who surrounds you the opportunity to distinguish yourself never comes about. It is hard to encourage others to build a relationship with you when they see no distinction between you and all of the other Sneetches,
You could take this headline and see this as nothing more than a personal post and I am sure some will. Hell, you can have some fantastic discussions with people about what their dreams are and what prevents them from pursuing them. I can give you some of my answers but this blog is a mix of business and personal so I am focused on the business side now.
And that requires talking about ways to build relationships because business isn’t conducted solely upon money, quality or skill. Trust and relationships are huge.
If you don’t find a way to break through the clutter and noise you’ll never build those relationships so maybe it is worth thinking about taking a chance. Maybe it is worth doing more than just talk or think about being different.
Maybe now is the time to Act Different.
What do you think?