Let me start by saying that, since I became a coach, I’ve pretty much hated the Nike slogan and phrase “Just Do It.” In early coaching classes we learned about all the dangerous “shoulds” out there and how people “should all over themselves.” Those shoulds lead to living the life that we think we’re supposed to, rather than the one only we can live in the way only we each can live it.
“Are you living the life you chose?
Are you living the life that chose you?”
– Jason Isbell
I’ve been really reaching out lately for the life I chose (and am choosing) in a much more committed, vulnerable way.
I’m asking all the time these days. I’m asking people for business, I’m asking people for help. I’m asking people if they’d like to be my client. I’m asking people if they know someone who might be interested in the work that I do … I feel like I’m asking someone something vulnerable and scary at least 10 times a day.
At least, all this asking started out as vulnerable and scary…
All of a sudden, as I asked for help for the 10th time TODAY, I noticed … this doesn’t feel as hard or scary as it did when I started.
The process reminded me a lot of going on auditions as an actor.
At first, the soul suckers step in and say things like, “No freaking way!” “You don’t really want to be an actor…” “Okay, you can be an actor, but just skip this one audition.” “Hey look over here at this random shiny thing!” “You can start auditioning next week” etc etc.
Then, eventually, you Just Do It! (or at least I did).
It helps that there’s a deadline with acting – You either sign up for the audition in time or you don’t. You either show up on the day or you don’t.
After “just doing it” a bunch of times as an actor it becomes a part of the process. Part of the life. You get vulnerable and audition. Then you do it again, and again, and again. After a while it can start to feel like an empowering, thrilling ritual. As actors, this is what we do.
(It’s dawning on me now that THIS is what Michael Jordan and Nike were getting at. Not the “shoulds” version of “just doing it” but the commitment to the passion version – from basketball to acting to running a business to marriage.)
It’s about commitment. Which means committing, and re-committing. Also known as STAY-ing.
In the midst of all of my vulnerable asks as a business owner, I got one response from a C-Level Exec overseeing the company’s sales team in which he shamed me for my email asking for a conversation. I remember thinking “Wow! This is about as bad as rejection gets…” And then, I laughed out loud. I laughed in part at the irony (he was head of sales after all…) But more than that, I laughed thinking “what have I been so afraid of?” This is the definition of “ask for forgiveness not permission.” I felt great!
Now I’m thinking ,.. this is just what I do. As a business owner, I “just do it.” And by just doing it, it becomes a little easier, and then empowering, and then part of the ritual of being a business owner.
So, what do you really want? What are you scared to ask for? What would happen if you “Just Do It” and ask!???
With passion & love,
PS – Are you curious about what I’ve been asking for recently? Most of my time today was spent asking colleagues to help get the word out about my new dearly beloved baby: my Mastering Presence program. If you would like to help, or are interested in the program, let me know!