In the previous blog I shared a story about overcoming obstacles in the early days of my career.
Today I’ll finish this story of transformation, and at the end expand on the what I learned from this experience which, in summary, was:
9 Tips To Overcome Obstacles In Business
- Call Forth An Empowered State,
- Have A Vision,
- Know What’s Most Important,
- Have Courage To Change A Situation That’s Out Of Alignment,
- Ask A (qualified) Friend for Help,
- Connect and Effectively Communicate with The Decision Maker,
- “Chunk Up” to Agreement.
- Don’t Settle For Less,
- Let Go and Be Free.
So there I was, in Atlanta, at 19 years old (these were my pre Tony Robbins days).
I had just finished running a meeting that cost me my job.
(Remember from yesterday’s blog: Mr. K was a big event promoter who contracted Mr. E’s company to lead the sales/marketing for his Atlanta event; I worked for Mr. E who had fired me.)
I braced myself, called Mr. K, introduced myself, and explained the situation.
He listened in silence.
I asked him to give me an opportunity to work directly with him. I assured him I wouldn’t let him down.
He interrupted saying hiring me would undermine Mr. E’s authority. He couldn’t do that, regardless of the situation.
I affirmed how important it was for a leader to back his team.
Mr. K talked; I listened.
When he was done, I assured him we all wanted the same thing – a successful sold-out event that gives people so much value they’re thrilled; and their lives (and our world) improve as a result. That’s our mission, right?
I expressed my devotion for personal development, and the impact it had on my life. I thanked him for building his company. It felt like the perfect vehicle for me to grow, while helping him achieve his goals.
“Give me a chance.” I said.
There was silence, then a sigh.
“Okay,” he said, “here’s what I’ll do. I’ll give you a job in our call center. You’ll be setting appointments. This will give you a start. In a few months we’ll reevaluate.”
What!!? He offered me a telemarketing job! Not what I had in mind.
Committed to shift the direction of the conversation, I inhaled a breath, elongated my spine, and focused my STATE.
Firmly and politely, I said…
“Mr. K. I appreciate the offer, but…
Right now I’m standing in front of a big real estate office.
I’m sure they have at least 200+ agents.
I’m ready to go in, meet the decision makers, and set a meeting – for YOU.
Please tell me, what should I do?
Should I make this happen? OR should I pack my bags and go home?”
In a cold tone, Mr. K. said, “Go set the meeting; I’ll call you back.”
We got off the phone; I became very present to the situation, and observed my life.
Somehow I knew this was an important step. Meeting Mr. K was a milestone to my destiny.
I thanked my spirit guides; then remembered a vision that had come to me years ago, offering a glimpse into my life’s purpose.
Intuitively, I knew I was on the right track.
My determination skyrocketed. Committed to inspire Mr. K to hire me as a “Corporate Trainer/Speaker (in the making),” I resolved to set as many appointments as I could that day.
A few hours later, Mr. K called.
“Listen kid,” he said, “this isn’t going to work.”
Before he could say another word, I said,
“I understand, but I set a meeting with that real estate office for next Tuesday; they’re excited for it!”
And now I’m standing in front of a big car dealership, and I’m ready to go in and set a meeting there too!
Should I go in and set this meeting? Or should I go home?
“Alright,” he grunted. “Go set the meeting; I’ll call you back.”
We got off the phone.
He was resistant, but I could sense I was starting to get through.
There I was in the lap of uncertainty, driving around a new town in a rental car, setting meetings with no job, and a big vision.
Finally, at the tail end of the day, Mr. K called, he said:
“Okay, here’s the deal. You can’t stay in Atlanta. I’m going to fly you to NYC.
You’ll be promoting Brian Tracy, and you get a raise because you’ll be a part of my core team.
Congratulations kid! You’ve got your chance.”
Woohoo! I was dancing on the street! And within a few days, I was flying to New York City for the next stage of my evolution!
I only worked for Mr. K for a few months before joining Tony Robbins’ team, but that’s a tale for another day.
For now, here are the lessons I gathered from this fascinating experience. May these lessons empower you to turn proverbial lemons into lemonade.
9 Tips To Overcome Obstacles In Business
1- Call Forth An Empowered State.
In the midst of a challenging situation, check in with yourself.
What mental and emotional STATE are you in?
Are you in a disempowered state, like frustration, worry, anxiety, or overwhelm?
Or are you in an empowered state, like gratitude, confidence, focus, and love?
Or is the pendulum swinging?
Your ability to produce results has everything to do with the mental and emotional states you frequent.
The STATE you are in influences your perception; it colors your entire experience of reality. That’s how important it is!
In my 1Day Supreme Influence event, I reveal a formula to call forth and embody empowering STATES at will. This formula has 4 ingredients: your beliefs, your language, your physiology (or body language), and your focus.
These four ingredients come together to produce your STATE.
2- Have A Vision.
Having a “Vision” can seem illusive, but without clear vision, you’ll end up unconsciously reacting (and giving away your power) to circumstances.
In the absence of vision, the tendency is to:
- React to other people’s demands,
- Resist unwanted experiences (pushing away from (perceived) pain), and,
- Move toward pleasure (sometimes in destructive ways).
Your VISION becomes the compass for decision-making; and good decision-making is a prerequisite for success.
Therefore, it’s essential to clarify your vision.
This is true for individuals, families, and corporations.
VISION is comprised of 3 areas of concentration:
- Your core values and guiding principles,
- Your life’s purpose (or company purpose),
- Your mission (a BIG, measurable goal/major milestone to be achieved).
So let’s look at core values a little deeper.
3- Know What’s Most Important.
The most important thing to know it’s what’s most important.Core values answer the question:
what’s most important to you?
What’s most important to you in an intimate relationship?
What’s most important to you in the context of career and life’s work?
How you answer these questions points to your core values.
But, sometimes there’s a gap between what a person says their core values are, and what’s actually showing up.
If a person says they value “health,” but they consistently eat cheeseburgers and donuts, and don’t exercise. There’s a gap between what they say and what they do.
Incongruence in core values leads to roller coaster results.
What if you could sit with someone for 5 minutes, and discern their core values? I can teach you how. It’s easy. You would simply observe the RESULTS.
If you want to learn more about core values, and how they drive behavior, then come to NeoGenesis.
4-Have Courage To Change A Situation That’s Out Of Alignment.
Do not just ‘go with the flow’ if something doesn’t feel right in your gut. Honor your feelings, without giving into them. Do not allow others to make decisions for you. If something feels off, go for a walk to shift your state.
Gather your thoughts in a solution-focused manner, in alignment with your vision, and prepare to: Communicate.
The key is to resolve the challenge as early as reasonably possible.
5- Ask A (qualified) Friend for Help.
We all love our friends, but some are more qualified than others to give advice.
When overcoming obstacles, only ask help from friends with a proven track record of successfully navigating challenges in the context you’re dealing with. Otherwise, you’ll end up with opinions, rather than sound strategies.
You wouldn’t call someone with a string of bad relationships and ask for marriage advice.
If you don’t have a “qualified” friend in the context at hand, find an authentic mentor who’s been down the road you’re traveling, and can show you the way.
Ultimately, you want to gather feedback from qualified people who care about you, and tune into your own inner guidance system to ensure you make the wisest choice for you.
6- Connect and Communicate with The Decision Maker.
Even if you communicate masterfully, you can waste valuable time if you’re talking to “Seymore” – someone who needs to see-more information before they can make decisions.
It’s important to determine who’s in charge; sometimes it’s not the person you think. For example, I’ve seen decision makers who follow the lead of their right hand person.
Once you know who the decision maker is, RESEARCH.
In the early days of my career I had a saying, “work hard up front for the easy result.” I’ve seen people do the opposite: work easy up front for the hard result.
Invest the time to learn everything you can about the decision maker, and his or her closest circle. This will inspire insights on the most effective and respectful way to make the initial contact for that particular person.
Oh, and be prepared to use all your devices – a phone call, an email, a letter, a gift, social media, a messenger – whatever it takes to differentiate yourself, and get through.
Years ago I had a decision maker who wouldn’t return my call, so I Fed-Ex’d him a cell phone. He took my call, laughed out loud, and our relationship began. So get creative, and have fun in the process.
7- “Chunk Up” to Agreement.
If you experience disagreement with another person, “chunk up.
”Chunking up means communicating from a broader perspective. It has power to create alignment, and facilitate rapport.
“Chunking up” is a term in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) used to describe the process of finding the highest positive intention of a behavior.
For example, in the story above, Mr. K didn’t want to undermine Mr. E’s authority. His highest positive intention was honoring his strategic partner, and keeping harmony in the field.
Once you discover the positive intent of a behavior, you can find new, more effective ways to meet that same highest intent.
In the story, when I said, “we all wanted the same thing,” I was chunking up to the highest positive intention of all our actions.
This is one of the techniques I teach at SIIA.
8- Don’t Settle For Less.
Know what you desire; and know your negotiation points. In other words, what are you willing to let go of, and what are your absolutes?
Be infinitely flexible in your communication, but don’t cave.
In the story above, I could’ve easily taken that telemarketing job that Mr. K offered me. But, I would’ve been settling.
Just to be clear, there’ve been times in the past where I’ve made an exception in the context of business. For example, when I first landed Mercedes-Benz as my first client upon launching my company in 2000, my consulting fees were higher than what they wanted to pay.
So I let them know up front that I’d lower my fee for a short period of time, until they saw results. Then we’d resume my usual invoicing. This marked the beginning of a fruitful long-term relationship.
Also, it’s important that you’re ready to seriously perform when you hold yourself to this standard of “not settling.”
”Years ago I asked Tony Robbins, “What’s the one thing that would make the biggest impact in my life right now?”
He said, “Raise your standards.”
I said, “But I’m only 20 years old, and I’m breaking records by a landslide.”
“Don’t ever compare yourself to anyone!!!” he sternly said. “It will always lower your standard.”
9- Let go and be free.
Regardless of the challenges you’ve navigated in business, you can make the choice to let go and be free of past grievances.
Observe your past experiences, and learn from them.
Realize your greatest challenges contain seeds of opportunity.
Your greatest hurts, disappointments, and wounds contain precious insights for your future, if you mine them.
What is the there for me to learn?
What is the gift that is buried within this experience?
This elevated inquiry will bring you clarity and strength to know with certainty that no matter what shows up, you have the ability to transform it, and create an empowering meaning from it.
You are here to grow, evolve, and be free to create in alignment with your vision. And I am here to be your friend and guide who supports you on your journey.
May all your inspirited creations be blessed.
To your success, and with Supreme LOVE,