Sunday April 13, 2014

Are you getting out enough?

NOT another seasonal post about the great outdoors

Doesn’t it feel good to get out of ourselves once in a while?

And no, I’m not coming over all Derek Acorah, let’s have an out-of-body experience. This is about working smarter by being able to take a step back and see what we do from the outside – looking in.

Take a step back

It can be all too easy to get caught up in the day-to-day – fulfilling obligations, meeting deadlines and reacting to everything that comes up. Forcing ourselves to be objective can be something that we only ever resort to when we’re facing a problem, but here’s three instances when a step back and a fresh perspective can make all the difference:-

Anais Nin quote on perspective on background of daffodils against a blue sky

1. Make like your own client

Even if you’re working as a solopreneur or one-man/woman-band you are more than your business, more than the work you do. This chimes with something Stephen Pressfield expresses in his book, “Do the Work”:-

“A professional distances herself from her instrument. The pro stands at one remove from her instrument – meaning her person, her body, her voice, her talent; the physical, mental, emotional, and psychological being she uses in her work. She does not identify with this instrument…Does Madonna walk around the house in cone bras?…Madonna does not identify with “Madonna.” She employs Madonna.”

Not only will this perspective help you take time to do the vital work “on” and not just “in” your business but it can also make you more resilient. Those inevitable knocks and setbacks are easier to stomach when you don’t take them personally.

2. Free yourself

“Results-oriented” and “focused” are two buzzwords that can be found on many a CV these days. The problem with concentrating solely on an end goal in our everyday working life is that it can seem an overwhelming and, at times, disheartening, proposition.

Far better and more productive to map your journey as a process. Breaking things down into steps – achievable and necessary milestones – actually makes reaching that end goal more likely.

This is a concept espoused by Terry Mullins in his game-changing sales training programme – The Reluctant Salesman. He calls it creating the “Freedom to Sell:” letting go of attachment to outcome and committing fully to taking it one step at a time, completing each step and then moving on to the next.

3. It takes two

Who can honestly say that sales pitches, presentations or job interviews are their favourite things?

We often make these nerve-racking, high-pressure situations even worse by seeing them as a win/lose, us vs them, equation:- we have to get that job, win that business, deliver that speech faultlessly, close that sale. When we do this we’re effectively removing our own, not inconsiderable, power from the situation.

In reality – we pitch, present or are interviewed because someone has invited or needs us to do so: it’s a two-way thing. A pitch or job interview is a chance for both sides to see how well they fit or can work together. A degree of separation from outcome again works wonders, making us appear less desperate and more likeable.

Remember “if you can’t change the circumstances, change your perspective.” How do you make sure you’re getting out enough?

For more info on The Freedom to Sell, visit Terry Mullins, at
(Image: iStock.)

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