in trade show tips by Dexter Powell

Moving from I Can To I Will

Being an entrepreneur is quite exhilarating. We want to achieve grand accomplishments, make lots of money, and make our dreams come true. Well, at least in theory. Being in business for yourself can quite simply be an extraordinary challenge.

The execution of those grand plans can seem overwhelming at times. It’s not even “I can’t” most of the time. It’s more like (insert long whining sound) – “well…I’ll tryyyy”. As a coach, it honestly makes me cringe!! Not because I don’t sympathize with the fact that dreams can seem daunting when it’s time to actually transform plans into action … because I KNOW my clients are capable of anything. They just need to BELIEVE, and then…well, it sounds cliché, but “Just Do It!”

I know, I know…it’s easier said then done. What is it that keeps us from just saying, “yes, that is what I need to do, I will do it TODAY,” and then doing it? So often, it’s an internal Doubter that is trying to throw curve balls your way. The key to moving forward is to shut down that internal Doubter. We’re going to call your Internal Doubter “ED” (id is just too Freudian!) for the rest of this article.

ED likes to say things like, “But what if….. I’m wrong? It’s hard? I fail? I lose money? No one wants what I have to offer? Someone I respect thinks it’s stupid? My customers hate it? My conversion rate goes down? Google dings me?”

And so it goes. I’m sure you can think of hundreds of more things ED says to you on a daily basis! Usually it’s the same old story: ED knows what your hot buttons are, and he likes to push them. What you need to do is figure out how to silence ED, so you can move forward with your dream.

The first step is to identify your dream.
What is it? We’ve talked a lot on our StomperNet Business Building Groups about setting goals. I really want you to go beyond that, to your dreams. If NOTHING were to stand in your way, what would you love to accomplish?

Remember, there are no obstacles…not money, not time, not knowledge. Take the time to get away from your house, away from your work environment, and just dream. I encourage you to go to a place that is inspiring to you and allows you to really be creative in your thinking.

Now, after you have really dreamed, WRITE IT DOWN!!!
This is your ultimate dream…what you should be working towards each and every day. Everything you do should be getting you CLOSER to this dream. Ask yourself each day, “Is what I’m doing getting me closer to my dream?” Your goals will be steps to get you closer to your dream.

Ahhhh…but what about ED? The secret to getting ED to be quiet is to fully acknowledge him. Don’t pretend like he doesn’t exist. In fact, what I would encourage you to do is acknowledge him, head on, with an interview. Ask ED these questions:

1) “How do you like to disrupt my dream?”

The answer may be something like: The way I like to disrupt your dream, John, is to tell you that you are not smart enough to have your own ecommerce business, so you’ll want to quit.

2) “If you could run my life, what would it look like”

The answer may be something like: Well John, I would keep you so disorganized you would constantly be thinking that you really aren’t good at running your own business.

3) “What would make you afraid of me?”

The answer may be something like: Oh, John, if you have full confidence and an unwavering belief, I’d leave and find someone else to plant my seeds of doubt in.

What you’re doing is trying to really find insight as to what ED wants you to believe, and how you can quiet him down.

Identify the obstacles so you can work on ways to overcome them.
Some obstacles are merely imagined, or beliefs. These include fears and concerns. These obstacles require changing your beliefs. You see beliefs aren’t neutral! You either believe something is TRUE or you believe it is FALSE. It’s a simple choice. Acknowledging, “I think I will fail” is a belief. And then change it to, “I will succeed.” We said in one of our last Business Building Groups that PASSION trumps EXCUSES. It can also be said that BELIEF trumps DOUBT.

Other obstacles are real, such as lack of money or knowledge. BUT, they simply require a strategy. Acknowledge that, “I don’t know how,” requires a strategy. Make a plan to acquire the knowledge that you need. Here’s a quick, true story for you. About two weeks ago, my new stepdaughter was lamenting about going to work at her job in retail. I asked her, “Mila, if you could do ANYTHING you wanted to do, what would it be?” (Mind you, she is still in college, so options are somewhat limited in time)!

Mila surprised me by saying, “I’d teach clarinet lessons.”

She is a very accomplished musician. She plays in a woodwind orchestra, and in the college marching band. I said, “Great! That sounds like you’d enjoy it much more then trudging off to your job. You’d be living your passion, while finishing school.” Mila’s ED took over, and she said, “But it’s really hard (belief). I don’t know how to get students (strategy), and I don’t know how much I would need to make rent (strategy).”

Now, mind you, my family probably gets really tired of having a life coach as a mom, but I launched in to full coaching mode. I asked her if there was NOTHING that could get in her way, is that what she would like to do?

Yes, was her answer. So we set upon the plan. I asked her how much most teachers charged, and how many students it would take, per week, for her to pay rent and have some money left over. It was only seven students a week. We talked about how her life could be very different, not having to commute the ½ hour back and forth to work, and doing what she enjoyed.

This helped her overcome the BELIEF that it would be hard. She replaced it with a belief that it would be FUN. We then started a strategy of what we could do for a website, and how we could market her lessons in the suburbs vs. the downtown area, where she would have a lot of competition with other graduate student musicians, which took care of the “how to get students” strategy.

Thirty minutes later, Mila was happy and excited about her future…her dream! We were able to quiet ED down, and she went from, “I can’t” to “I will!”

So, here are the steps for you:
1.Take the time to fully visualize and write down your dream. Remember, there is no time or space for the “ifs.” There are no obstacles in your perfect world. What would you like to accomplish???
2.Interview your ED – find out how ED keeps you from reaching your dreams.
3.Acknowledge each of the obstacles ED puts in your way as either a belief or a strategy.
4.Decide how you will either a) change your belief and/or b) make a plan to implement a new strategy
5.Set your goal – without ED – to make your dreams a reality
6.Take “I Can’t” and “I’ll Try” out of your vocabulary, and replace it with “I Will”.
Focus each and every day on the things you WILL do, and make sure that you are thinking every step of the way, “Will this get me closer to my dream

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