Let's say you've decided to start this new business opportunity you were presented with. It all sounds amazing: the products, the team, the training, the lifestyle. You buy your favorite stationary items, start thinking about what colours you are going to use for your logo, set up a new Facebook page and even start planing the best way to give notice at your full time job soon. Ah, starting new things is so exciting! Until you realise that, to actually make a decent income out of it, you will need to hustle! Or to be more specific, you will need to go through a process not everyone is up for: being bad at it first, figuring things out with trial and error and maybe even failing a few times. And sorry to say but, if you are like 85% of those who start anything new, you are going to find the perfect excuse to give up at the first couple of obstacles along your way. You see, majority of people are not willing to put their “image” at risk by making mistakes or sounding like amateurs in front of others.
In a way, it is understandable. Comfort zones are real and getting out of them can be painful. Exposing yourself can be scary. Talking to people can be intimidating when you are just learning what to say. Answering questions can be uncomfortable when you are not 100% sure of all details. Basically, succeeding can be a slow, even arduous, process. For everyone, in everything. Since our first day of life actually.
Remember when you were a child? You had no problem with being bad at things. As you babble away trying to talk or tumbled onto your bottom trying to take your first steps, people were actually encouraging and you persisted tirelessly until you mastered whatever you were trying to do. Have you ever seen a kid stop playing with the ball just because they didn't catch it the first one hundred times? No way! Persistence is in our blood. In our survival. But something happens when we grow up. Somehow, most of us start being afraid of what others will think. And because of it, people refuge in their conventional caves, doing what everybody else does, staying right where it's safe and expected, as average as it may be, so they don't disappoint anyone or look stupid.
By the time we reach adulthood we are quite good at a number of different things and enjoy the feeling of competence and expertise so much that we tend to ignore the precious piece of knowledge we all knew as children: we have to be bad at it first, sometimes terrible - like you were at eating without spilling anything during your first five years of life! I guarantee if you talk to anyone who has mastered a skill, they will have a lesson on this to share with you. Ask them about their first week. Month. Years! The ones who go all the way from beginners to masters (and I see this happening in network marketing too, my own field of expertise) are the ones who took on the challenge of being newbies and decided that failing at tasks and strategies was merely part of the journey.
When we don't know how to deal with failure or amateurism very well, we end up inviting one of these three responses into our experience:
Blaming – It's either somebody else's fault or the thing you were trying itself. In the case of starting a new business opportunity example, you would start saying there is something wrong with the model, the systems, the team, the person who has shared it with you, society and so on.
Avoidance – You may tell yourself you will get back to it soon enough but in reality, to avoid discomfort, you keep choosing anything else to do but the thing that frustrates you. It may take a while to admit it to yourself before you give up and quit with the excuse “this is just not for me”.
Beating yourself up – Or playing the victim. “If only I had started earlier.” “I can't believe I thought I could be good at this”. “I will never be like this other person”. You get the picture. This can go on for painful years and be the biggest obstacle on your road to success.
So before you go on responding negatively to your few first attempts, have a think about this and let it sink in. Yes, there are some crazy talents out there who seem to excel at peculiar things from a young age but most of us who are great at anything – business, selling, network marketing, public speaking, hosting events, playing an instrument, even parenting or being organised and on time – had to suck it up and be bad at it first.
Mastery requires dedicating indefinite time, sacrificing temporary image and letting go of other people's expectations. It means asking yourself what you really want and having the courage to do what it takes to accomplish your answer, knowing there will be many lessons to learn on the way. Masters are always disciples at heart, always learning, always growing and always willing to fail in the name of their goals.