Think about the tremendous faith you had in yourself when you started your business.
What was your reason for starting your business?
Everyone starts a business under different circumstances.
I started my business 12 years ago because I felt my back was against the wall.
I had just finished graduate school.
I had the best intentions when I started graduate school.
I wanted to advance my career, and I followed that guidance I had heard so many times while I was growing up.
Get good grades so you can get into a good college so you can get a good job.
The first time I went to college, somehow, I missed out on the piece where I got a good job.
I must have missed class the one day where they taught the lesson on how and where to get a good job.
I walked across the stage to pomp and circumstance to get my diploma, and there I was wondering…
Where is this elusive good job?
There was a tiny tinge of bitterness that I did everything right, yet the reward for those many years in college jumped passed me.
A few months after graduating, I finally got the “good job.”
A year into that good job, I recognized I wanted more.
So, I reverted to the same old thinking that got me where I was now.
I’ll go back to college and get a graduate school.
This time things will be different.
I’m going to make sure I take advantage of the university’s career resources and guarantee myself that good job.
After three more years of classes and tens of thousands in tuition, deja vu smacked me right in the face.
There I stood in my cap and gown listening to pomp and circumstance to get my second college degree.
Still, that “good job” was elusive.
This time the bitterness was ratcheted up one notch more.
Had I been following the path of a lie?
Was there even such a thing as a good job?
I didn’t know, and I didn’t dwell on that thought for very long.
I needed to make money for my young family, and pondering the wonders of the universe would not get me any closer to putting food on the table.
I started with what I knew I could sell.
I knew accounting, and I knew small businesses needed accounting.
So, I dressed up in a white shirt and tie and visited business networking groups.
Show up regularly and show up professionally were my mantras.
I knew that if people got to know me, they would like me, and then some of them would trust me enough to hire me.
I knew if I kept showing up eventually, things would begin to work out.
A few weeks ago, I was talking with best selling author of Profit First and Fix This Next, Mike Michalowicz, and he told me a story about the first book he wrote.
His garage was stock full of boxes of unsold copies of his first book, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur.
He spent a great deal of time writing the book and thought naively that all he had to do was write the book, and people would come flocking to buy his book.
When he launched the book, all he heard was crickets.
Nobody came to buy his book.
As Mike was bemoaning his situation with a mentor of his, the mentor asked Mike a simple question.
“Mike, do you believe that your book will help people?”
Mike replied, “Yes, of course, I do!”
The mentor replied, “Then, Mike, you have a responsibility to market your book to everyone you can.”
Mike’s story meant a lot to me because, at times, I am timid when it comes to marketing and selling.
I find it challenging because every time I go to sell, I put myself in the zone of rejection.
To get to the zone of rejection, I must leave my comfort zone where things are safe.
When I enter the zone of rejection, I put myself out there, and people will reject me.
Then there is the outcome worse than rejection…
That’s the sound of crickets because nobody is listening to me.
Being ignored sucks the life energy out of me.
But I know that before I help people by selling my products and services, I will be ignored first.
That’s just part of the process.
I can’t skip over the being ignored phase.
Why do I persist?
Because I believe in myself, and my life’s work transforms the people I serve.
I have a responsibility to serve those people, which means I do everything in my power to market myself to people.
It is a sacred duty.