In our society we are conditioned from early days to ask for permission for everything and wait expectantly for others to provide our opportunities. This mindset is something that has to be deprogrammed when we take the step of self employment.
You can't just do whatever you want whenever you want - that is a distorted illusion of what being an entrepreneur is all about. However, waiting passively for customers to seek you out, to present you with opportunities, to hire you, is going to be a frustrating and discouraging approach...continued...
As business people we have to be assertive about creating clear value propositions, unique solutions, seeking out the the customers WE want to work for, setting our own boundaries, etc. If we don't respect ourselves first, our clients will not respect us either.
Yes, the gatekeepers will always be there. But they are rarely the decision makers. When you meet with a gatekeeper try to leverage your relationship with them to access a decision maker, not delegating your hopes and intentions and value to someone who is charged with buffering them. I read somewhere once that there is 'Yes', and there is everything else. Anything other than a Yes! (maybe, i'll think about it, let me get back to you, i have to check with my partner, call me next week, etc) is a NO. And if you never ask, the answer will always be NO. But recognize that most of us default to NO when an opportunity is put in front of us. Even if your value proposition is really strong (even though McDonalds gives away free coffee during certain periods, the line up at Tim Hortons drive thru is always long) saying Yes! to you means change for them, and while novelty can be interesting, actual change requires effort and involves perceived risk. No thanks. Its why mass brands that guarantee mediocrity are so successful - they offer consistency and safety even if they are uninspiring. If you are having a hard time getting Yeses, perhaps you haven't given yourself permission to own your work, to own your results. Perhaps you are not getting through to the decision makers.
Gatekeepers and resistance to change can seem insurmountable, validating our inactivity nicely. Being respectfully assertive requires that we ask ourselves what is the most direct route to action in any particular situation.
Find a way to enable gatekeepers to help you, give yourself permission to take action and be accountable to yourself for your results.
If you appreciate the free content on MicroContractor Blog, please share with a link and click the article sponsor's ad: