How easily to you give in? How determined are you to achieve your dreams, your wishes, and your goals? Will you go the extra mile? How much resistance can you take?
I started off my life coaching company with absolutely nothing to my name. I was in a really bad financial state. “Shall I buy a paper today?” I thought in those barren days, “any money? That’ll be a no then!” How could I change this downer into an upper? I had no work and hence no readies. I even thought about a salaried job just to keep the ever-hungry wolf from my door. After running my own publishing business, did I really want to go back and work for someone else? Someone who may not even know my face, let alone appreciate my hard work in an uncaring company? Of course I didn’t. But I was determined to succeed with my goal, and with that, persistence became a very close friend.
So, with only my name, determination and persistence (and of course a phone) I began to cold call hundreds of different companies. Yes, I know what you are thinking, “cold calling, how could you stoop so low!” We’ve all been on the receiving end of the dreaded cold call that interrupts our busy day only to be told that we have won an amazing holiday to the moon by an American voice that sounds like it has been ironed. Or the classic “if you were to change your existing windows to double glazing, how many windows would you change?” (tell them you have no windows and wait for the response!). Well, what motivated me was my inner belief in myself, and my skills as an inspirational speaker. If ever there was a time to prove my coaching skills this was it – practice what I preach!
I set clear and simple targets: sixty companies to call a day. A lot of effort, time, words, breath, (not to mention a very worn finger from all that dialing), and determination, I struck gold! Persistence had become my very, very close friend and as a result, I got a yes!
I’m sure that company only said yes to get rid of me. I can see their point as I had called them about a hundred times. I gave them an incredible offer, a complete refund if my coaching techniques did not work! They had nothing to lose and everything to gain. And so did I. With the deal struck this was where the real work began. I had a new target. Three hours to transform one person’s outlook on their working life. The challenge was great. The person that I was to coach was one of the rudest, most negative men I had met. Probably chosen for this very reason, so that I would fail and the company would not have to pay me. Not to be daunted by this we began the session. I kept telling myself, “I can do this” and put in extra effort, care and love. In other words, I raised my game. As the minutes turned to hours, the transformation was amazing. He couldn’t believe it and nor could his work colleagues. His kids and wife noticed too. He decided to book a full day with me.
He then booked more days. His transformation continued dramatically. He lost weight by changing his eating habits, his outlook on work changed from cynical to positive and spread into other areas of his life. He even got voted by his company as the most improved work colleague. He was so happy with the change that he wanted others to experience it for themselves. Imagine what a company could achieve if all of its work colleagues (in this case about 30,000 people), went through this too? I was very happy for him and of course happy for myself. A small spark of success that could lead to a bigger flame.
We then set another target. To convince very sceptical bosses to let more colleagues enjoy the benefits of my coaching workshops. About a year later (I did say very sceptical), they agreed to allow me to work with one shop of two hundred people. I got the impression that they had employed coaching companies before and weren’t impressed. Again, I was determined to prove them wrong and persisted in my efforts (can you spot a theme to this ezine? Good). Again I raised my game, and again, the transformations began. I had one lady tell me that she was a carer and only worked in the shop twelve hours a week. For the rest of her time she looked after her terminally ill husband. She told me that I had given her the inspiration for her to keep loving her husband even though at times she was at her wits end. This one morsel of positive feedback lit me up inside and she was in turn an inspiration to me to keep on my path.
Another colleague told me that his some of his relationships had begun to improve, especially with his grandchildren. He made more time for them and loved them more. The negative fog of doubt was beginning to clear. This was still more inspiration to me. I then discovered that two competing coaching companies were at work on other shops in the company. Seeing my results, they were dismissed and I was offered more shops. After five shops and one thousand two hundred work colleagues I was receiving plenty of positive feedback. My persistence had paid off.
My colleagues and myself are now are coaching more shops and thousands of people. Think about this: what would happen in your life today if you’d persisted with your dreams, your wishes, and your goals? How many times have you given up and not faced the ugly face of fear head on? Did you start to learn a language, play a musical instrument, start going to gym, start to eat healthily? At what stage did you not persist, and take the path of least resistance? Don’t be consumed by short-term pleasure, put some focus on the long term as well; or as Carl Fox says in the classic eighties film Wall Street, “Stop going for the easy buck and start producing something with your life.”
You need to go to the gym and focus on a healthier body, take your partner out to dinner and focus on your shared love, pick up that guitar again and strum with determination. Persist when you get resistance. What are the consequences if you give up? Where will you be?
Raise Your Game Now!