Not everyone is going to be ready for your product, your coaching, your consulting. People come to us at different places and circumstances in their lives. We are all not in the same state at the same place at the same time.
Some of us are sick. Some of us are self-indulgent. Some of us are whacky and weird. Some of us are attention starved and will do anything to relieve it. Some of us are slackers that have a hard time getting up off the couch.
Some of us are all caught up by the noise inside our heads and cannot get out. Some of us are right where we need to be right now to hear your messages and marketing. Some of us are ready. It is for these people who’s valuable attention we seek to capture. Those ready. Those willing & able to buy the ticket and take the ride.
Not everyone seeks personal & professional improvement. In fact, few do. Most people simply perceive themselves as running too busy lives to be bothered by self improvement or professional development.
Who has time for that? They plead.
It never occurs to them that for those savvy to reflection and getting better, you make time for it. If anything is actually important to you, you make the time for it. Period. Or else, it really isn’t that important to you despite what you might fool yourself into thinking.
You can’t really blame them. It isn’t for them. This is hard work, and there are not many takers when it comes to ongoing and advanced, difficult emotional, physical and mental training. Some might even misrepresent it as self-flagellation. Only it isn’t. Not for us. Not for the willing. Not for the disciplined. Not for the dedicated. Not for those who wake up at 4 o’clock in the morning to work-out and then write. We’re here to Win. We’re here to gain victory over the self, over ego. We’re here to engage the difficult. We’re here to compete. We’ve chosen to stay and fight. Even if it means kicking our own ass over and over and over again.
It is OK to polarize people.
I’ve written before that it is perfectly fine to polarize people. When you do this, you let people know exactly where you stand by drawing the proverbial line in the sand. Some will be for you and will be even more so now. And some will decide that you aren’t for them, that you pushed things too far, that they are now repelled by you. This takes sales & marketing courage. This takes Chutzpah to execute. Both you and the audience you seek to serve are far better served because of the courage you exhibited. You need to make the people that are for you even more for you. This activates them into active promoters, people that will evangelize you and what you stand for. You’ve created marketing ideas worth spreading. People pick up on this, feel passionately about it, and thus gain status boosts by spreading your messages to their friends and family. You’ve gifted them something new to be proud of, something they can identify with, a beacon of status.
It is difficult to characterize just how powerful identity is for human beings. These simple words, spoken or unspoken, drive just about every single decision we make: “I am the type of person that…[either does this or doesn’t do this].” Every. Single. Decision. We. Make. I either am or I am not this type of person. I am the type of person who would drive a Tesla. I am the type of person who would buy Beats Solo Pros. I am the type of person who prefers to buy full price at the Apple Store because of the way it makes me feel. I am not the type of person that cheats on their income taxes. I am not the type of person who eats fast food. I am not the type of person who is under regular couch arrest.
Identity drives decision-making and executive function.
Who you are, who you think you are, the story you tell yourself about who you are, is pure identity. This is why the story of self is so important. Sadly, many of our self stories are messy, some ugly. Even worse, we feel that it is only us, that we are all alone, that nobody else can understand a poor self story / poor self-esteem, that nobody can ever get us.
And that story is B.S.
Of course, people can understand you. There are 7 billion people on this planet. Somebody can get you. Maybe not me. Maybe not the guy over there. But somebody can understand you and what you’re going through.
The other ugly part about a poor self-story is it goes hand-in-hand with self-indulgence, the inability to escape the noise inside our heads, that it is only me, that nobody else has to deal with this. Let me tell you something: we are ALL dealing with similar inner head noise. All of us — Together. We simply have different ways of dealing with it. But we are dealing with it as we go about our day. It becomes a part of the daily discipline.
It is never just you.
Please understand that it is never just you. Ever. It turns out that this is selfish, even irresponsible, thinking. It is particularly irresponsible thinking for parents. Parents who think this way are a mess. They are a mess to themselves, to their kids, to their families, to their extended families, to their friends. The last thing any kid needs is excessive self-indulgence in their parent(s). It was never about you, especially once the kids come along. It is time we get over ourselves and be excellent for others. And for ourselves. Don’t you want to be excellent?
Leadership Lesson #119: never be afraid to ask for help.
Seek help. Get help. Ask for it early. Ask for it often. You are not in this alone, so stop thinking that you are. Best way to do that is to get help. Meet with the therapist. Get a coach to hold you accountable to what you say you want. Get clear about where you are now and where you see yourself going. Create compelling goals and look at them daily, if not multiple times per day. Talk out your difficult feelings no matter how difficult. I guarantee you there are other people out there that feel similarly to you. 100%. 💯
None of this is easy. Just like a work-out, this is an emotional and mental work-out. The good news is that just like the physical work-out, you adjust and you get better. The gym exists to make you better, stronger, faster, even happier. The mental gym exists to help you earn these qualities for your mind, to improve it, to make it better, stronger, faster and happier. All this is possible because you first asked for help. You’ll love You 2.0 so much more than your previous iteration of identity.
Identity is iterative.
While it is a mental stretch, identity is iterative. We are not the same people we were ten years ago. I am 42. I am not the same person at 42 that I was at 32. Thank God. Not that I am 100% new and improved. But I am a new iteration of my previous self. Hopefully, a new & improved version as I craft it daily. I think about this a lot.
Who do I want to be today? How am I showing up today for my family? For my friends? For my colleagues? How do I want things to go today? How do I want to make people feel today, from the wait staff to the cooks to the bartenders to the valet to the folks working the front desk to the people working at Starbucks? What do I want them to know, think, or feel?
I have Power.
Then, I think, “I have Power.” I get to decide how the people who surround me feel. I have impact on their lives. I am one powerful dude. I better not screw this up and make people feel bad. There’s too much at stake. There’s too much to lose. Let’s think this all the way through first before we do anything stupid. Let’s reflect. Let’s take notes. Then, let’s go!