The dilemma we put ourselves in when we perceive threat instead of possibility.
It was an important meeting. A meeting that would be the beginning of beautiful and important things. We would hatch fun and creative plans together. We would make an impact on the community. We would grow our businesses. The limits were endless.
We would talk all things of mutual benefit. Quoting big numbers, and breaking them down into practical milestones, and then into bite sized chunks we could then divvy up and assign to each other. Then, we would have further meetings, do work with each other, plan events, continue to build our relationship, and build a new world. A world of laughter. A world of success. A world of joy.
But alas, this is the meeting that never happened. It is the possibly that was shut down within minutes when the fear got in the way.
The fear of people stealing from us. The fear of people using us. The fear of being sold to. The fear of getting the raw deal. The fear of being inferior. The fear of failure. The fear of success.
Maybe it is all of these things, or maybe what has been proposed to us just isn’t interesting. It is not compelling. It is not useful, or of value.
This situation is such a tough one to crack. When working with other businesses (B2B), it astounds me how much push back there is to enthusiasm. When a small business, or a solopreneur approaches another business to do some simple cross-promotion, or to join in a partnership of some description, there seems to be a fear, or a scepticism that is stronger than any other force. But why? What is this fear? Where does it comes from?
The answer to this is probably quite complex. There are perhaps Ted Talks and Harvard Business Review articles proclaiming to tell us the core of this phenomenon. But of interest to me is the sheer volume of people that can’t see a good deal in front of them when they see it. The definition of strong business to me is strong community.
If I can help my next-door neighbour be a stronger business then that is good for me. If I can help my industry be stronger then that is good for me. Isn’t it?
The need to rid our instincts of fear is vital. The only way forward is to be brave. Be bold. Listen to offers. Be willing to be sold to. Be open to doing something new or different. Be ready to put a little extra effort in to try something new out.
This does not mean that the rules are off and a free-for-all is now the norm. No. All business decisions need to be analysed and every opportunity still needs to be deconstructed for fit and purpose. But, instead of rubbishing an idea, or an activity straight up, we need to propose ways we can do something. How about, we ask “how can this work?”
It is amazing where this sort of thinking can take us. It can even take us to a point where we realise that the person sitting opposite us cannot help us at this time, and we cannot help them. By exploring possibility and investigating the up-side, we can even say no, and shake hands with genuine pleasure and friendliness. Yes – it is possible!
We hear of luck in business a lot. We all need a little bit of luck along the way, right? This is countered by the argument that hard work and persistence brings more opportunity and therefore more luck. I feel that this sort of argument is bogged down by semantics. The core of it is that there are multiple opportunities which come to us every day. Opportunities to grow our business. Opportunities to answer our needs and help us smash through our obstacles.
The question is, will you let that fear drive your actions, or will you ask, “how can this work?”
I hope you do. It will most likely open many doors that were not there before. Just like magic. It’s exciting. Join the party.