Isn’t it crazy how fast time flies?! I’m convinced the earth is spinning faster than it used to.
It’s been several years ago now but, at the end of one particular school year, each of my four kids said to me at different times, “I can’t believe the school year is over already!”
I don’t know about you, but I NEVER felt a school year went fast. This was all the evidence I needed to know that time truly moves faster than it used to.
I’ve been reminded of this again recently by each of the four kids as they’re all moving through some typical rites of passage into adulthood: graduating from high school and college, getting married, and living abroad.
Wow! How can that be?! 😳
The little kid inside you
While they are all young, very responsible, adults, I love that I still see glimpses of their little kid selves in their actions and attitudes. If I watch close enough, I realize it isn’t that I’ve lost their 3 or 10-year-old selves. It’s still there, I just have to look a bit harder.
They say youth is wasted on the young, and maybe it is. Why is it when we’re young we can’t wait to grow up and have responsibilities? And once we grow up, we long to be young again? Of course, you can’t return to your childhood, but if you can go back and find a little of your leftover inner child, it can make this whole responsibility thing you finally have a whole lot more fun. Here are a few suggestions.
Ask questions like a 3-year-old
Have you ever marveled at the ability of a 3-year-old to ask questions? Have you ever really stopped to wonder why they ask so many questions? I think it’s because everything is so new to them, it’s exciting, and they have a truly insatiable curiosity about the world around them. It can be exhausting as a parent, but, at the same time, you have to love the enthusiasm they have to question and learn.
But now as adults, we approach most sales opportunities from our very serious, very adult, very “me focused” perspective. We tell ourselves, “They allowed us in; they must be dying to know everything about the history of our agency, about all of our experience, about the great level of service we will provide, about blah, blah, blah.” Boring! Unimaginative! And, just plain wrong!
Now, just imagine how powerful it would be if you could take that same level of insatiable 3-year-old curiosity into every prospect/client meeting. How much more would you know about your clients, their issues, their fears, their opportunities? With that type of understanding, can you imagine how much better prepared would you be to really make an impact on their business? Don’t you believe they would be equally impressed and comforted by your curiosity about them?! Don’t you think they would rather end the meeting exhausted from your questions than bored to tears from hearing your story?!
Be as optimistic as a 10-year-old
When my son Zach was 10, I would shake my head at times at the level of optimism he brought into each day. If I shared with you some of the things he just knew he was capable of doing, you may have suggested a battery of tests.
What he had/has isn’t the arrogant type of optimism and confidence that turns people away. In fact, it’s just the opposite. It’s the type of optimism and confidence that attracts one person to another. You would have found yourself rooting for him and expecting him to succeed even though what he was attempting violated three laws of physics and multiple laws of common sense.
I think it was because at 10 years old he didn’t carry the baggage of everything that “can’t be done.” He just assumed that because he wanted it to happen, and he believed in his ability to make it happen, that it would, well, happen.
Again, how powerful would it be for you as a producer if you could eliminate the head trash that keeps you focused on everything that you can’t do? Your level of optimism/pessimism becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Tell yourself you don’t deserve that “unreachable” account, that they will never end that current relationship, and you will never get it. Worse than that, you will never even make the attempt.
However, if you approach every opportunity with the conviction of using every resource at your disposal to make that new account yours, and proceed with the passion and determination of you inner 10-year-old child, there is a very real chance it will happen. Crazier than that, when you have the optimism/confidence to make it happen, others will sense that in you and help to make it happen for you.
Feel as invincible as a 21-year-old
I can still remember that age myself, and the thought of having even one of them in my house scared the crap out of me for a long time. Now I’ve had the experience of multiple 21-year-olds in my own house!
You remember being 21, don’t you? For some, the memories from that year may be cloudier than others, but I’m sure you can remember the sense of invincibility from back then. When you’re 21 you feel as though you can survive anything. Minor setbacks are seen for what they are, minor setbacks. The thought that something could go wrong rarely kept us from trying something new. Why, as we grow older, do we start seeing doomsday scenarios in the thought of trying something new?
How come being “double-dog dared” ceases to be a challenge that has to be accepted?
Start reminding yourself that there is nothing about the sales process, nothing about changing how you work, nothing about trying something new, that is life threatening. (Okay, except for that thing where the skateboarder rides the board down the handrail and doesn’t make it all the way to the bottom before he ends up riding the “handrail pony.” That one scares me, and I won’t be trying it anytime soon.)
Of course, there will be minor setbacks along the way, we will be rejected from time to time, there will be deals we don’t win, but they are still just that – minor setbacks. In the end, we always survive and are better prepared for the next time.
So my challenge to you is to bring a little of your inner child to work with you.
- Ask questions with the insatiable curiosity of a 3-year-old.
- Have the belief and optimism that you are going to be successful like you did when you were 10.
- Approach each day with the fearless attitude you had at 21.
Do this and wrap it with the responsibility you now have as a result of your experiences and, wow, wouldn’t that be powerful?! Not only would it be powerful, wouldn’t it be fun to play/work like a little kid again?!
Go ahead, I double-dog dare ya!
Photo by Yuganov Konstantin