August 25

The Stories You Tell That Hold You Back

Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity

To seize everything you ever wanted. one moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?

-Eminem, Lose Yourself

“I am not good at that.”

“I'm new.”

“My business is new.”

“I am not a good speaker.”

Any of the above comments sounds familiar?  Perhaps you haven't used those exact phrases but some other variation of them. These statements are lies that you disguise as statements of fact. They are stories that do nothing for you but hold you back.

I recently had lunch with a woman who was running sales for a new division of her company.  She told me that she had never failed at anything in her life, but she was failing at her current project.  She came to the luncheon with the narrative, “This is new and I am new” and “I am failing”.  The problem was that I wasn't the only other person at this lunch. There were several other people there.  Other people who could have been potential clients for this woman.

Can I interest you in doing business with her?

There's a fine line between being vulnerable and real versus coming across as someone who doesn't know what they are doing.  Making people feel sorry for you will help get you pity, but pity rarely equates to getting new business. Maybe a pat on the head or the sad eye, but not new business.

If you find yourself in a position where things aren't going ideally, here are a couple of things I would suggest.

The first is to get clear on why you are out connecting with people and what you are trying to accomplish.  It was apparent in talking with the woman that she had no clear-cut strategy for what she was trying to achieve.  Focus on what you can do.  Not on things that are outside of your control.  It's the difference between being a victor and a victim.

Secondly,  Present yourself with power.  If you have a history of success even though your current project is not successful use that to your advantage.  You can say “I have been a part of a lot of winning projects over the last 20 years.” In addition to that, what about your value proposition?  Why are you doing the new project?  How is it different from the industry?  Why are you the person that I should do business with? That's a story that we want to hear, so tell that.

This woman who I sat with had a lot to offer underneath the surface.  You have a lot to offer other people too.  Are you presenting yourself with confidence? Personally, I like to do business with confident people.  What about you?

Want to stand out in a crowded market? Get your copy of Total Experience Design: How To Stand Out In A Crowded Market.  Did I mention it's free?

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About the Author

Brandon is the Founder & CEO of New Work Revolution, a noted speaker and strategic thinker. After working in corporate America for 10 years and experiencing the good, bad, and ugly of it, New Work Revolution was created to assist business owners in stepping into their power as a leader so they can build teams and grow their business the RIGHT way.

Brandon Allen

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