Have you ever just wanted to give up?
Throw in the towel? Quit? You don’t—but you punish yourself on the down-low? You stay, but you stop going to the gym. You participate, but you check your Blackberry while you are sitting in the meeting. You go to the event, but sit by the bar and snacks, make friends with the Apple Martini but ignore your coworkers; you are there but you are really gone. To add insult to injury, the more you try to “toughen-up” or “make it work” or “do what has to be done” the more you are justified in really sticking it to you. Of course you and I are not that honest.We don’t say, “I hate my______(job, relationship, body, you fill in the blank) but it pays the bills so I will stay here and in the process I will gain weight, develop a drinking problem, and stop having sex because I feel so despondent.” Naw, that would be too honest. Instead we say, “I’m fine.” or “Times are tough, but we are pulling through” or “Everything is ok.” But it is not. You know it; I know it.
I have been disheartened since the last time I posted. I had been working on a proposal for a nonprofit. I had revised the proposal, adapted my pricing to fit their budget and their needs, and I had been in communication with the President of the Board with regard to the project. I even received emails requesting my input with regard to the troubles the VPs were having with the CEO. I am happy. I am enthusiastic. I am positive. And then I get the email. They, the VPs are swamped with budget planning and can not handle anything else until January. I could practically hear my heart hit the floor. I know this doesn’t mean “no” and I know that clearly the VPs do not see enough value in working with me at this time. I know what there is to do is create more rapport and more value–any good sales person worth their salt can see that.
Here is the source of the disappointment: I think, in my heart of hearts, I have nothing of value that business people–high grossing business people–would want to pay for. The same day I received “the email” a former client of mine who runs an affluent networking group, gave me a call to let me know that yes my story is inspirational but for multimillionaires, they can’t relate to “survival.” I said, ok, but can they relate to creating solutions, creating strategic visions for their teams and for their lives, and can they relate to having the same experience of prosperity they have at work in their personal lives? He said yes they can, but he doesn’t see quite yet how to frame it so that his members get value. Furthermore, on Monday, I had a one-on-one with a potential client and after 1 hour and 45 minutes she had to “work out the money.” Between the “email’ and the “call” and the “one-on-one”I have been in a tailspin wanting to give up. The irony: these three incident are mirroring an unspoken relationship with myself: my work is not worth paying for. Translation: I’m worthless. No one is saying no; but no one is saying yes either.
When people are not saying yes to you, be it in a sales situation or your teen cleaning their room, consider there are two things at play: they are not experiencing the value for themselves of saying yes and you are not clear on the value you bring for yourself to powerfully communicate what you bring to the relationship. And be clear: everything is relationship. People only do business with people they know, like, and trust. Here are some steps to talk you back in off of the ledge and getting the results you want:
1. You to You: do you know, like, and trust you? Do you know in very simple and clear terms what you bring to the table? Do you like you and what you have to offer? And do you trust that you can deliver the outcome you claim? If you have any doubts about any of these three, you are dead in the water before you begin. The brain can pick-up on fakeness from a mile away. It’s like going to a used car-lot and a greasy car sales man (forgive me the stereotype gentlemen; I know there are women sharks out there too– check retail) tries to sale you on a car that is junk. You can tell that something is not clean here. The brain has a built-in alarm system for picking up on verbal horse manure. If you don’t believe you—and belief is a function of trust and acceptance—no one will.
2. Actions for self-cred: If you find that you don’t believe you, take the actions that will help you do so. Start small. Work with a person that you trust and get clear about what you bring and what problem you are solving and who has that problem. You may have to shift some things around or change. That’s ok. There are 8 billion people on the planet. I promise you, you have a tribe who needs what you have to give.
3. Clear and Concise Value Saying: This is going to take some trail and error. Talk with your peers about this until you can say what you offer in 60 seconds. Once you can do it in 60 seconds, cut it down to 30. This is essential. You may go through a series of sayings before what you offer collides with the problem you are solving. That’s ok. Sometimes you don’t know how what you have solves a problem for other’s– but we call that dating. Dating is all about having your talents serve someone else and being rewarded with time, love, and attention. Professional branding is no different. It’s all relationship: relationship to yourself, relationship with people, and relationship to how you can help someone solve a problem.
4. Get input from Experts: If you are anything like me, you think you should know and shouldn’t have to ask for help. Collaboration is the quickest road to success. Go to a networking event and tell them why you want to give up. Or call you mom and tell her what’s wrong so much so that you want to quit on you. Then give them permission to make suggestions. There are alway s solutions in community and in communication.
5. Keep Going: No feeling is ever final. Don’t let your feelings say how life will go; let who you are for yourself have the final word. Remember: you matter. You have a right to be here–no less than the sun or the grass. You are the miracle and the blessing. I know that in the process of creating it is easy to forget that you are doing all that you are doing because you want to contribute your distinct gifts to the world. I know. I hear you. Just please, remember, especially when you want to quiet: don’t give up on you.
I know it takes EVERYTHING to keep going and honor who you are for yourself when it seems like you are failing. Stop hurting you. You matter. You matter to me. Thank you for reading my posts. I know you read and don’t comment: that’s ok. Please know that I love who you are and the commitment you have to yourself. You are doing great! Just keep going. Never give up on you.
With all the love my heart can hold….