To reach business development goals you’ve never achieved before, you have to change your beliefs about yourself and what you are capable of doing. Your beliefs are either a barrier or a bridge when it comes to your success.
Ask yourself right now…”Do you really believe you can be a Rainmaker? Are you confident you will develop enough new business this year to Thrive, not just survive?” If your honest answer is ‘no,’ your beliefs are holding you back. You may engage in some business development activities but, in the back of your mind, your limiting beliefs will be convincing you that your efforts will never pay off. Soon you will be gathering evidence to support your opinion and, before long, you will give up looking for new business and start searching for success.
Developing the ability to attract, retain and grow profitable clients is critically important to you and your organization. Don’t make excuses as to why you can’t do it. Start focusing on what you can do today. Every professional can get better at bringing in new business. You don’t have to be 100% confident in your ability to be a Rainmaker. The real joy in life comes when you are working toward the accomplishment of something that is not guaranteed.
If you know your beliefs are holding you back, try something that has worked for me.
Ask yourself to do something you know you can do today that will help you get closer to reaching your business development goals for the year. Make one phone call to a potential client or referral source. Write one blog post or article that will add value to your market. Interview a high performer in your industry and ask him/her how they grow their business. Don’t think about all the steps that have to be taken before a new client agrees to work with you. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said…”Faith is taking the first step even if you don’t see the whole staircase.”
It’s important to have a vision for your business, but once you know what you want to accomplish, break your goals down into small steps you know you can accomplish on a daily basis. You will be a lot more successful and satisfied if you focus your time and energy on taking one small step every day. Professionals who worry about their ability to cross the finish line before starting the race usually experience unhealthy stress and poor performance because they don’t do what’s necessary to move forward.
I discovered this approach when doing my first Triathlon. I was very excited as I waded into Lake Michigan to begin the race. I had been training for over three months and was very confident until I walked into the water. I was a little intimidated by the thousands of participants, all of which seemed to be in much better shape than me. As soon as the officials said ‘go’ for my age group, I dove into the water with about 100 other men. Immediately, I swallowed some water as three other contestants swam over my back. I felt like I was drowning in about four feet of water. I could hardly breathe. The water was much colder than the pool where I trained. Plus, I never had to worry about the other swimmers in my lane or the waves crashing into my mouth. I was absolutely convinced I could not finish the swim. I was also too embarrassed to head back to the starting line since I’d only traveled about 25 yards from the beach. While I was certain I could not finish, I did convince myself that I could make it to the lifeguards’ boat about another 25 yards from me. I told myself that it wouldn’t look as bad if I quit after I made it to the first boat. When I reached that smaller goal, I was still certain I couldn’t finish, but I decided I might be able to make it to the second boat. So I kept moving forward.
I finished the swim and completed the Triathlon that day, and the only reason I succeeded was because I broke my goals down. I wanted to give up several times, but instead of thinking about what I couldn’t do, I stayed focused on a series of smaller goals that were just a little out of my reach. I did what I believed I could do.
Every time I lost focus on my short-term goal and started thinking about what I had to do to finish the race, my limiting beliefs kicked in and tried to convince me to give up. I remember saying to myself what seemed like a hundred times, “There is no way I can finish this race. Just stop now. No one will care.” Fortunately, my next thought was always more positive. I would pick a target 25-50 yards away and say, “I know I can’t finish this race, but I can reach that goal.” You can do the same thing when it comes to developing new business. Identify what you know you can do today and just do it.
Don’t wait until tomorrow. Do something positive today!
Let’s Get Better. Together! Bill Durkin