Be The Change You Wish To See In The World
"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Ghandi
We've all heard this quote before, but what does it mean? Does it mean if we witness something or someone operating at a fraction of their potential, we turn a blind eye to it, allow it to happen, and just become great on our own? Or do we rise, become the example, and inspire those around us to do the same?
As an entrepreneur, I've seen a lot. At the end of the day I see people who are more alike than different. We all have goals, dreams, families, failures, successes, hurts, joys, and ultimately want to become the person we feel we were created to be.
How does this happen? With time, experience, honesty, and truth. Honesty is the display of truth. Truth is black and white. As leaders, we have a responsibility to always do a self-check and admit where we could be better or where we are wrong. After a couple years out of the entrepreneur "spotlight" or wheelhouse so to speak, I was able to see differently.
How many people shift or transition from one job to another, only to become a slave to themselves and their team? Believe it or not it felt this way for me even though I loved what I was doing. Having a brick and mortar storefront, there are advantages and disadvantages. One advantage, which I'm a huge fan of, is systems and products. You can generate revenue without being there. The downside is the responsibility of overhead, hours, and geographical restriction.
In a nutshell, starting WITHOUT a huge nest egg, a mentor to say get this amount of help, no employees just interns, a new born, three year old and husband at home; life wasn't much prettier than my corporate job...at first. This is where the tricky part comes in and the entire reason for this message.
The intent of a decision drives the decision.
If the intent is freedom and flexibility for myself and family without a financial cap, then somehow the entrepreneurial path would not fully be worth it without the FREEDOM and financial payoff.
Stay with me.
First, the freedom piece takes time!! Again, you can't pay me or anyone else to give you time. There's no way around it, as a startup. Those looking for immediate time and freedom become frustrated like I did and begin to seek other options or models for their company. E-commerce and a digital model provide more freedom sooner, however it still takes time.
Secondly, it's a process. We each have a unique goal or dream. Someone who has made it to your desired destination can only give you the tools. You must apply them. As leaders we are responsible for providing the right tools, at the right time, for the desired outcome.
What happens many times in sales is that people are no longer treated as such. People are seen by many corporations as a transaction. At the auto dealer where I worked, there was a script generated that included so many seed-planting emotional words and the motto 'Always Be Closing', that I wondered if we were running a doughnut circuit.
Don't get me wrong. Yes, in business we have transactions. We sell products. We sell services. But, I think it's time to SHIFT the approach.
As an entrepreneur your story is sacred. Use it to inspire. Protect it. Remain humble. If it's emotional, let it be, because that what it is to you. Not because someone taught you to include the emotion at just the right time and when to flash your offer at just the right follow-up moment. It's sad, but it's true. I sat in on corporate meetings with potential investors and even had conversations with leaders, coaches, and general managers who had no ill will, it's just the nature of what they have been taught.
My advice. Share your story. Sell your products.
Don't sell your story, manipulate the messaging, or feel that you must always be closing. Even as a strong sales negotiator, something always seemed a bit misaligned to me. I realized what I had been taught was not the only way to secure contracts, clients, and opportunities. I realized that being me, sharing who I am, sharing what I know, and what I don't know, works too. Knowing that is more refreshing than the old school model.
It's time for a new view in business, entrepreneurship, and life. Let's rise into an intentional way of leading and living that inspires the whole leader inside and out. Sell solutions, not the dream.
We've been taught there is always a "formula" to success. We feel that the formula is YOU.
- Tierra Destiny