Do you work without the aid of a safety net?
Have you ever had a knife pulled on you by a drug-dealer wanting to get past you into your night-club?
It was 1986 and I was working on the door of a dubious club in Leeds. My job was to let the pretty girls in and keep the undesirables out (of which there was plenty of both)
Being a 6’ 3”, 17 stone rugby league player, it was an easy ask, and one that never fazed me. That was until one night I found myself face to face with a guy off his head on drugs waving 6-inches of Sheffield steel under my nose. Funny how being faced with a guy who really wasn’t playing to any normal rules makes you feel!
I was 18 and thought I was invincible (like all 18 yr. olds do!) All of a sudden, I knew I wasn’t!
In that moment, I wasn’t big or hard. I was flesh and blood and about to find out how the proverbial knife through butter felt. Right there and then I would have done absolutely anything to give the geezer what he wanted. Welcome to the real world, young man!
Right there and then I had no safety net, no get out of jail free card. But what I did have was a decision to make. And boy did I have to make it!
Fast forward to today. Running your own business can be like walking on a tight-rope without the aid of a safety net. Or it should be!
Let me explain what I mean by safety net.
When you are employed (as I used to be) the safety net is the bubble-wrap that is lovingly wrapped around you. In my situation, my bubble-wrap was a company pension, sick pay, holiday pay, and an inflation-proofed salary. Whatever went wrong, I had my bubble-wrap to keep me safe. My safety net.
Then I go self-employed. My own business. Not a bubble-wrapper anymore. Welcome to the real world, young man!
I thought I was really taking a walk on the wild side!
I didn’t realise it at the time, but I still had a safety net. I lived with my partner who had a very good salary (certainly enough to pay all the bills) so deep down (although I wouldn’t admit it) I knew if I failed I’d still have a very nice roof over my head.
Did that safety net hold me back? Yes! Was it more like a drag-net pulling me into a sludge of excuses as to why my business wasn’t as successful as I thought it should be? Absolutely!
Here’s another safety net that is easy to get dragged into – you’re self-employed but have one major contractor that gives you the majority of your work. Nice safety net until they stop giving you it!
I now live on my own and the safety net is just me – does it sharpen the mind? Oh yes!
It is amazing how having that knife pulled on me sharpened my mind in 1986, and it feels the same now.
Brad Burton (MD of 4Networking) calls it flying without an ejector seat or a Plan B – and he’s right!
Imagine if someone pulled a knife on you now and said: Double your sales next week or I’ll be back for you!
I guarantee you would have a good go at achieving just that. You would certainly commit 100% to increasing your sales one way or another. Why?
Motivation – pure and simple!
I can give you every sales tip ever thought of, but only the motivation and will to succeed will make you truly open the tool-kit and try them out.
So, what is your motivation? Do you know? Take a look in the mirror and be honest. Is the face looking back at you flying without the aid of a safety net, or is it the safety net that is really holding you back?
Only you know. And only I knew that night in 1986.
But this much is true – I’ll give you the skill if you have the will!
Just don’t let that safety net hold you back…