Okay, picture this.
You’re sitting in a coffee shop across the table from your prospect. You tell her “Hey I’m excited out of my mind about this new business I started. The products are fantastic and the opportunity is once-in-a-lifetime. I know you’re going to join me or at least become a customer.”
After your very best presentation you look at her with a big grin on your face and you say “You’re in, right?”
And then she hits you right in the chest with her words “I don’t want anything to do with this business you’re doing. I think it’s a scam. I think you’re a scam, and even if it were legit you’d fail anyway. You should just give up now.”
And then you say “but…Mom!”
Okay, actually that’s not what she said. She really said something like “I don’t have the money right now”, or “I’m not interested” or “I have to talk to Dad about it”. The point is, the rejection stings just the same.
If you’re expecting me to tell you the magic comeback or objection-handling incantation to avoid that kind of rejection, I’ve got bad news. I don’t have it. It doesn’t exist. You’re going to experience it.
The only question is…what do you do when it happens?
The answer to that question is the same as the answer to all situations in life. Chip Heath and Dan Heath, authors of Made to Stick, say that your decisions always answer three questions:
- Who am I?
- What kind of situation is this?
- What would a person like me do in a situation like this?
In other words, the way you show up in all of life comes down to who you believe you are.
Now, if I were to ask you who you are, you’d probably answer with where you were born, where you went to school, what you do for a living, what your hobbies are…
But the narrative you recite only describes who you think you are. How you show up—what you do—faithfully testifies to who you believe you are.
If you want a shot at succeeding in business, you have to believe you are the kind of person who can get past rejection. Likewise, if you recruit people into your business, only those who believe they can get past rejection will stay. The rest will quit.
The good news is, the belief of who you are—your self image—is not fixed in concrete. It can change. It can be developed.
The bad news is, you’ve been rehearsing your self-image your whole life. Every experience you’ve ever had has gone into making up your self-image, so deconstructing and reconstructing that self-image is a huge undertaking. It’s the kind of the thing they do in military boot camp—break you down into your base elements and then build you back up.
Well, a business is a volunteer army and if you try to run a military-style boot camp you’ll probably get sued or arrested. At the very least, your recruits would go AWOL.
But there is an answer.
There is a way you can help a person hack their self-image to the point they can withstand and endure and persevere through the kinds of obstacles that inevitably come when you’re running a business.
To see this self-image hack in action we have to look no further than the movie “Balto”.
Balto wants nothing more than to be a sled dog on a champion team. The only problem is, Balto is not just an ordinary dog—he’s half wolf. No matter how hard he tries, he is never accepted onto anyone’s sled dog team.
When a deadly diphtheria epidemic breaks out at the same time as a blizzard, the only way to deliver life-saving medicine is by sled. When the team gets lost, Balto and his friends venture out to find them. One of Balto’s friends gets injured, so his friends turn back and Balto continues alone.
But, right before they leave, his best friend Boris, a goose with a Russian accent, says to Balto “A dog cannot make this journey alone. But…maybe a wolf can.”
You see, all his life, Balto rehearsed the self-image of a half-dog trying to be accepted in a dog’s world. For the first time, Balto was given an alternate self-image to consider when Boris said to him “maybe a wolf can”.
So when it comes to finding the strength to push past discouragement and rejection in business, you can do what Boris did for Balto. Find the aspects of yourself that maybe you’ve ignored. See the positive side of those attributes. Finally, anchor those attributes to a form different from yourself. It could be a wolf, it could be a bear, a lion, or any other kind of Beast you can imagine.
And when you’re sure you can’t go on. You can’t take another step. You can’t face one more rejection. When you believe you can’t, all you have to believe is…maybe a Beast can.
And to help you find out just what kind of Beast you are, I’ve got a three-day video challenge. Follow the link, enter your email address, and each day for three days I’ll send you a video and walk you through a step-by-step process to identify your inner beast.
I can’t wait to help you on your entrepreneurial journey.