Freaking Fear!

There are two culprits that mostly get in your way when you’re trying to achieve a career or life goal.

One of them we covered in my earlier blog entry: “Rob Gronkowski admits to only reading 80% of his book” where I talk about the correlation between preparing and success.

So the first obstacle between you and success: Failing to properly prepare.

The other convict is: FEAR.

This four letter word will kill any creativity, inspiration and motivation at contact.

I just recently had an ugly encounter with our four letter friend. In early September I started to promote my new Maternity Coaching package to companies looking to retain their female workforce.

( Psst -I’ll let you in on a little secret: this is the first time in about 5 years that I have had to sound, look and be corporate.)

I banged out the service offering in no time and did some research on the cost implications to companies on failing to retain their female talent. Even my Best of Boston® award came at just the right time to give me some solid street cred. Everything was perfect and I was really proud of my brochure. Then as soon as it was time to start sending it out to actual corporate companies, I ran into a major wall of fear!

Holy freaking F.E.A.R… all of a sudden I had 110 excuses as to why I was going to wait until tomorrow to send out the brochure, why now wasn’t a good time to call a couple of leads…and the list of self sabotaging procrastination went on…

Luckily I have you guys to hold myself accountable too and I really like to practice what I preach! So, I got right in there with my little frienimy. I was like: “Ok, girlfriend, spit it out – what’s the matter? Why are you so scared? What’s the worst thing that’s going to happen here?”

And just like that my little furry friend subsided – you see it had the usual concerns about failing, looking like an idiot, the “who the hell do I think I am to take this product to massive corporations.” As soon as I acknowledged it and identified exactly what I was so scared of, I was able to move forward.

I’ve also taken Elizabeth Gilbert’s advice on fear:

 

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Accepting that I can’t eliminate fear or even push it away, has allowed for smooth sailing ever since. I wrote down my little pitch, practiced it out loud a couple of times and started making some cold calls! Now I’m well on my way to getting new clients and my little furry friend fear has not said bleep.

Ooh, I feel a tweet-able coming on: “FEAR is my frienimy, all I need to do is acknowledge her and then she’ll be quiet!”

Next time your four letter friend trips you up, follow these quick steps to move right out of your own way and on to your goal:
1) Ask yourself what’s stopping you from going for your goal?
2) Name all the things you fear will happen. What’s the worse thing that can happen if they all come true? What’s going to be worse: Failing or regretting not achieving this goal?
3) Embrace fear, make peace with her and accept that if you’re going to live a big, exciting, best version of yourself, fear will come along for the ride. You do however have a choice how much power you want to give that fear. Choose carefully!

Here's me minutes after my interview.
Here’s me minutes after my interview.

Ooh and guess what? My cold calls paid off! I pitched my first big company last week! Fingers crossed for me please :) I’ll let you know when I get some updates!

Now I’d like to hear from you – how do you overcome your fears? What goals are your fears holding you back from at the moment?

3 Mistakes you’re making while networking

Having moved countries and cities a few times you can pretty much say my life has been one big networking event! From forming new friendships, to landing jobs and growing my business – making the right connections are crucial!

By now, you’re probably very familiar and good at networking too! However, after wasting some much valuable time on a few networking coffee dates recently, and talking with others who had similar experiences, I realized that most of us can use a refresher on networking to help us avoid some time sucking mistakes.

It’s so important to have a good networking strategy: a) because it will save you time and b) because in the end you can’t accomplish anything without good connections who can help you!

Here are 3 mistakes you’re making while networking:

1) You only network for yourself:
When you’re at a networking event, stop thinking solely about what it is that you need to get out of it. Start being curious about the other person and how you can perhaps help them too! It’s not always a scratch your back you scratch mine situation. Sometimes you’ll help one person and then the karma will come back to you from a completely different angle. So serve others and let Karma take care of the rest for you.

2) You have a long boring intro about yourself:
Yawn… seriously!? No no no no no! Lead in with something interesting about your job, something other people can relate or understand. Just think how boring it is when someone just says: “My name is Blah and I’m a divorce lawyer.” Someone’s deduction may go: smart, boring, and great at charging people to wreck their lives. Now if this Divorce Lawyer would have said:”I help people get out of their marriages with minimal financial damage,” they would have had my attention.

Or a Marketing consultant:”I help small business owners be the center of attention in the market place.” You see how that immediately pricks your curiosity and automatically raises a few questions? In having a cool little intro, you’ll make sure that you engage people in conversation and no longer have to stand there trying to make awkward conversation!

3) You only network with people in your industry:

If you’re a business owner, this one is crucial! Start attending networking events that you know your ideal clients will attend. Don’t just go to networking events for other business owners (unless of course that’s your target market). Really spend some time thinking where you’ll get the most ROI for your time! (And hint to all the single ladies out there: you can even do this little exercise to figure out where you can find your ideal man. Example: If you’re looking for a well traveled fella with a more international social circle, you’re probably going to want to visit some bars near Kendall Square vs if you were looking for a sport loving Boston born and raised boy – which most likely would be hanging out in Southie. ;P)

So whether you’re looking for a new job or a hunk, make sure you know:

1) What you’re looking to get out of the networking event.

2) How to introduce yourself in a more interesting way that provokes conversation.

3) How you can help others and add value for them with referrals or introduction!

4) Who and where your ideal client/future bosses would be socializing or networking.

Now I’d love to hear from you! What are your best networking tips for us. Tell us below so we can all learn how to get better at this important step to help us fast track our careers!

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