I confess that when I started my plans to own my own business my attitude was quite...arrogant. I had an air of: “I´m gonna show you”.
I set out in large strides to get everyone into my network and turn them quickly into new clients. I got lost in the whirlwind of going to lots of meetings, lots of networking events and gaining a feeling of being very important. I was passing out my new business cards left and right and taking seriously every person I met. I got used to bragging about this contract or that contract or this next big deal or big upcoming project. While waiting on getting said "signed" contract back, my confidence grew like a Muhammad Ali, “I am the greatest!”
However, one by one they were jumping off.... I thought I was losing my mind... seeing the fault only in myself. I was crumbling! What was happening? I thought they loved my portfolio of services, they loved my determination and they loved my proposals and loved the fact that I was bringing their business to the next level.
Hey, they had been feeding my ego only to leave me hungry!
I was on a new emotional rollercoaster.
Why was I being denied the final step? Why are they not signing the dotted line?
So I started to change: I reduced, featured, specialized, explained and defined my services over and over again. It only got worse, phones were no longer answered,
I was blocked or even deleted from social network profiles, emails were left unanswered. But...But…Wait…You love me you said so yourself. Why? What did I DO?
These thoughts turned into one part “full blown pity party” and one part “I´ll show you even more”.
I was stuck in a rut, between being continually slapped down and my tenuous nature to get up, adjust my crown and go at it again.
After a first few months past, I was still singing the same song but I added a new note to it: “ANGER”. On on top of this, came the fact that “no clients’” means “no money”.
To make matters worse, I was deep in self-pity, anger and desperation: a fatal combination!
My crown was slipping hard and fast.
What to do? What to do?
So I asked my experts: my lawyer, tax advisor and of course my business consultant and mentors. (Oh yeah, I had them all). I always left these conversations self-satisfied;
I would leap back in to the ring with a roar of, “bring it on”.
THIS was TWO years ago and NOW I have “happy to sign the dotted line” clients.
How did I get there you ask? What did I change? What did I add, rethink orLET GO??
A) I lost the attitude
B) this enabled me to see things clearly
C) with the right attitude and clear vision
I saw that IT WAS NOT ME (AHA MOMENT)
I had not calculated one important factor: I was falling for the “Okey Doke” (Next AHA MOMENT).
The “Okey Doke” had me played and was taking up my time, stressing my nerves and was ruining my business. How do you avoid not falling for the “Okey Doke”?
I asked some very successful Entrepreneurs’ from all over the world how they catch the “Okey Doke” and three things stood out:
1. Presentation: not meaning their pretty PowerPoint but their demeanor.
Key questions are: Are they blowing hot air up your alley or their own?
Are they using choice words and embracing a “less is more” attitude?
Are they letting their product or service speak for themselves?
2. Verbiage: Again, less is more or at least let it be to the point. They have to display confidence in what they want and clarity on where they are going.
3. Attitude and Passion: They approach you professionally in dealing with money knowing that they have to pay you in order for you to be on their winning team. They need to be genuine and are not hesitant to follow through with their side of the deal.
At the end of the day I have one quote from a successful journalist from Paris…
when asked how not to fall for the “Okey Doke”,
he wrote me: “We are all an “Okey Doke” at the beginning of our journey, therefore, it takes an experienced and successful “Okey Doke” to actually read the mind of another “Okey Doke” !“ e.g. When Andre Harrell, Label chef of Uptown Records, hired P. Diddy.
I would like to send a special thank you to:
Kendall Minter, Entertainment Lawyer Atlanta, GA
Paul Michael Oloo, TruClub, Cologne, Germany,
Chuckey "C2" Charles, Hit'em Twice Productions, Atlanta, GA