We have already talked about following up on other occasions, and today, I would like to focus on a typical situation: you call somebody and there is an answering machine. As you expected to talk to a person on the other side, you might hesitate, go blank or decide to hang up and call back later.
You don’t know if that person cannot pick up the phone, is ignoring it or talking to someone else.
Well, I’m going to give you some guidelines that will solve your doubts and make the follow-up process much faster and much less uncomfortable in such situations. It is about always having a plan B.
Let’s start with a typical scene: you call somebody and bump into an answering machine. Instead of hanging up, leave a message telling you will call back another time. Look at your schedule and try to make it the next day about the same time, if possible. The other person should hear the message. They can call you back or wait for the agreed time, when, hopefully, they will answer.
If they answer the call, it’s great, so take the opportunity to say that you left a message making a new appointment because you understood that the person was busy with something important. Say it confidently, because there is no proof that it’s not so, it really could have happened. That person may want to share the reason for their absence or not, the important thing is that you talk as you have agreed.
But what if they don’t answer?
Well, be patient and have good manners. That person may be ignoring you, but to be fair, they may not really be able to answer the phone. If you bump into the answering machine for the third time, in your next voice message, instead of simply proposing another time to talk, ask if everything is going well and remind that they can talk to you about matters other than the business, get some support. It’s not a matter of always thinking the worst, but of keeping the mind open and be empathic. We don’t know what is happening in the lives of others. Tell them to let you know if everything is okay.
If the person returns the call, at least it means that they don’t want to get you worried or that they understand that it’s not very professional to ignore calls without any reason. If they don’t call you ever, well, keep in touch with the other people on your list and tick that phone number red, because you will probably not call anymore.
If the person does answer the phone, but at least three times in a row, they tell you they haven’t had time to think about the proposal, that moment or that week isn’t good for them and they always say “we’ll talk next week “, most likely they won’t get past that point. Press a little or let it go.
An important part of your planning is visualization. It’s also part of the law of attraction that you can use so as to create a more positive and successful life.
But to visualize is much more than to imagine something briefly. To visualize is to SEE it in your mind, to really see it, to actually be in that image, to study it and to assimilate it.
So, practice with these tips how to get a more complete and useful visualization.
The first thing is to find a quiet place.
It can be in your own room, whenever you are alone, or any other corner of the house. But it is important that there is no noise and nobody disturbs you. Try doing it outdoors, if you can, for example, in the garden or in a park. That mixture of tranquillity and nature will inspire you even more.
You must sit in a position where you are comfortable and don’t get distracted or want to move. You will need to be in that position for a while, so it must be one that you forget right away and get relaxed, because the next step is to empty your mind.
Close your eyes, relax and clear your mind. One way to do this is by concentrating only on the rhythm of your breathing, which must be slow and deep.
Not only will you see it as a concept, you will see it as a clear memory of something that is yet to come. Visualize the moment when you reach your goal in all the details. Where does it happen? How are you feeling? What people are there with you? You can visualize much more, even the clothes you’re wearing, if there is music or there are people talking, how you react to that moment, etc…
You can write down your visualization in your diary and resume or expand it the next day. That visualization helps you to follow the plan in more detail and with more determination, in addition to attracting a very positive energy that will be the impeller of your plans.
Come on, visualize!
Happiness is not the end of the road; it’s not the final prize we must win. Happiness is, in fact, the mood that should be natural in all people. And it is also one of the best tools to fulfil your dreams, plans and make other people happy too.
Happiness is a raw material that we use to create thousands of wonderful things in life. But as a material, it needs space. It needs a lot of space where to be able to grow, to be able to create. But we are constantly stuffing that space with other things that don’t do us any good.
If you want to make more room for happiness to grow and help you grow, you have to set yourself free…
From the opinions of other people.
Constantly trying to meet the expectations of others and not your own ones is a very suffocating way of living. It doesn’t leave room for your dreams, nor even to breathe calmly in your own skin. Break free from the need to live according to the opinions of others, so you can be free to discover how you really want to live your life.
From the past.
The past has already happened. It had its good things and its bad things, but you shouldn’t live those good past things again and again so as not to face the control of your future. Nor can you constantly avoid negative memories to keep yourself from making decisions or moving forward. The past is there to know where we come from, to see the way travelled, to learn from the good and from the bad, but always looking forward, not backward.
The fear of “what if I’m wrong?” The fear of “what if I’m not good enough?” And all those fears that become anxiety about the future. If you’re wrong, you’ll learn something. If you’re not good enough, it is because you were not fully prepared, not because you will never achieve it. All those questions have their answer, and the answer is that it’s ok. Because no matter what happens, there will always be another opportunity, another day, and any setback only makes you stronger. Stop fearing and you will begin to experience, to grow and to live.
You cannot have a positive and happy life if you have negative and destructive behaviour towards others. Stop judging and criticizing and save that energy to create positive changes in your life and in that of those around you.
There is no excuse, be responsible for what you do and what you don’t do. If you can change something, change it.
If you have time to complain about it, you have time to find a solution. Activate the most positive part of your brain, always look for solutions and your problems will cease to exist because they will no longer be problems, just puzzles to solve.
From the restrictions.
Not only the limits that you set mentally with your insecurities, but also the bonds that you create when you decide to make a plan that has no room for change. From those walls that you create around yourself when you want everything to work out in a very strict way and you are not flexible, when you are not open to change. You restrict your path to a single straight line when life is something larger and full of infinite paths and intersections.
Get rid of all that and you will be able to enjoy life much more and able to make any project a reality. You will stop seeing the negative side in situations and in people; you will have a more creative and resolute mind. You will see the world full of infinite possibilities. And you will be happier and, consequently, much more successful.
Jorge Bucay is an Argentinean writer and therapist. He defines himself as a “professional helper”, and through his lectures as well as with his books and his short stories, he offers some tools for us to help ourselves, heal and fly high.
One of his best known stories is called “The Wings Are For Flying”, and it is about the risks we must take in life and points out that when we back down is when we are most likely to fail. But… I better share it.
When he got older, his father said to him:
-My son: not everyone is born with wings. No one is forcing you to fly, but I think it would be a shame for you to limit yourself to walking when God gave you wings.
-But I don’t know how to fly – replied the son.
-True… – said the father. And so he led his son on foot up a mountain to the edge of an abyss.
-Do you see, my son? It’s empty. When you want to fly, come here, take a deep breath and jump. Once in the air, you’ll spread your wings and fly.
The son had doubts.
-What if I fall?
-Although you will fall, you won’t die. When your cuts and bruises heal, you will be stronger for the next attempt.- the father answered.
The son went back to town to see his friends, whom he had walked with all his life.
The most close-minded ones said to him: Are you crazy? Why? Your father has gone half-mad… Why do you need to fly? What’s it good for? Forget it…
His best friend tried to reason with him: Even if your father is right, it’s too dangerous! Wouldn’t it be better to start more slowly? …from the top of the stairs or from up on a tree, but… from a cliff?
This advice made sense to him, so he climbed a tree and summoning all of his courage, he jumped. He spread his wings, and beat them with all his might but fell awkwardly to the ground.
Walking along with a big bump on his forehead, he saw his father.
-You lied to me! – he said- I can’t fly. I tried, and look what happened. Look at this bruise! I’m not like you. My wings are just for decoration.
-My son – said the father – In order to fly you have to create space in the open air so that your wings can really spread out. It’s like a parachute. They only work from a high altitude.
To fly you have to begin taking risks.
If you don’t want to, maybe the best thing is just to give up, and keep walking forever.
In this story, we see how the worst thing the son could do was to listen to those who told him he wouldn’t be able to fly, so he took a very low risk without really believing. Here Bucay also speaks to us about the fear of the new, the changes and how people transmit that fear to others.
In the end, if you want to fly you have to spread your wings, trust your possibilities and be yourself, make our own decisions and not let fears of those who have never tried invade you.
Seeking success and working toward it can usually be seen as a stressful process. It can be so, without a doubt, if we do it in a way in which we focus only on some results forgetting everything else.
As I have said on numerous occasions, happiness is not the goal but the way. That is why achieving success while maintaining a good peace of mind is not only possible, but also can be the best way to reach it for real.
That peace of mind that we need to have so as to achieve our goals in a much healthier and also a much more permanent way can be obtained through meditation, working on a positive mindset, but it’s also a process in which we have to take certain weight away from our minds. Think of that weight as rocks stored in your backpack or a bag that you’re carrying uphill, together with other things we really need, such as knowledge, techniques, planning… But those rocks slow us down, it’s tiring, they make us waste more time when looking for what we really need in that bag.
We must get rid of those rocks and lighten our weight. This is how we find that peace of mind.
Rock number 1: Fear.
There have been times when fear might have been useful, but it’s only getting in the way. It holds you back, paralyzes you and makes you take decisions that, in the long run, you realize were the worst and the least thoughtful. The thing about fear is that no matter how many times you throw that rock away, it can always reappear. But you must learn to recognize it and get rid of it on time.
Rock number 2: Anger.
This feeling appears with frustration. And the frustration easily appears with all those contacts who are dragging their feet, who didn’t return your calls, with the hours you have wasted this week or this month without getting enough results. And very soon, anger makes you want to give up or simply makes it difficult to keep working, because it comes up in the conversations you have and scares people away. You should avoid it. Remember that not everything has to go well all the time, but the more negativity you collect, the more it affects your business.
Rock number 3: Comparisons.
This is a very heavy one. You want to be like that networker, or you want to have better business cards than others, or you think your presentations are not as good as someone else’s. This just tosses you off. It prevents you from really seeing how good you are, your own merits and what is special about the way you do things.
Rock number 4: Judgment.
Judgements or prejudices. That pushes us to assume things about others instead of listening to them and putting ourselves in their place. To be successful in this industry, you have to be open minded, not only for new business models, but also for people, for their situations, their lives, their needs. You must forget everything that you think you know about the people in your mind and open yourself to getting to know them before you believe that you know anything about them. This will not only help you in your business, but also in personal relationships and in having a peace of mind clear of that noise generated by your assumptions.
Rock number 5: Competition.
You don’t have to compete against anyone or against anything, maybe only against your own limitations. It’s team work, and competitions and egos do more harm than good in this environment.
Of course, don’t forget to enjoy each day, meditate and keep a diary of appreciation in which you reflect all the good things you have gained or experienced throughout the day. Your path to success will be lighter, happier and more peaceful.
Your journey towards your dreams may have just begun, and you are taking the first steps in your own business adventure. At the moment, everything is uncertain, with a lot of emotion and a bit of fear.
But before you, many other people have gone through those first steps, and from their collective experience we can draw some conclusion: concepts, tips and ideas that can guide you happily and safely to your goal.
1. Passion. Passion for your work or passion for the reasons that motivate you to do your work, passion for the reward that you know you will get from that work. Live and work with passion, and try to enjoy every day.
2. Learning. Learning new things always keeps you motivated, fresh and in tune, away from the danger of losing heart and prepared for new challenges.
3. Practice. There is no other possible way that you can be really good at something without practice. So you shouldn’t be frustrated by a bad start, but accept that you can go better.
4. Comparison. There will always be someone who seems to have more talent than you or do things better. Try to
learn what you can from that person, but never compare yourself to them, nor allow yourself to feel bad about it. You must learn to compete with yourself and to improve without setting strict standards or striving to become another person.
5. Criticism. Criticism is necessary to improve, but you must learn to separate constructive, useful criticism from that only looking for destruction.
6. Community and the team. Success rarely comes when you seek it alone and isolate yourself from others. The diversity of thoughts, personalities, ways of dealing with situations turn teams into great creative minds with solutions for everything.
7. Balance. Defending your ideas is as important as knowing how to accept the opinions of others. Saying “yes” and being positive you can go very far, but, for your own good, learn to say “no” when necessary. Perseverance is key, but in certain situations (like when you know that you cannot reach an agreement with a person) it’s much healthier to back off.
8. Positivity. Think about what you want and not about what you don’t want. Consider the possibilities and focus on solutions. Fill your work and life with joy, desire to eat the world, and leave no room for fears.
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