The Recovering Farmer

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Don’t Sell Yourself Short

As I alluded to some time ago I am in the process of re-inventing my business. It was time to freshen up. Get with the now. With the type of business I have this becomes a difficult task for me. I am not selling a product. I am selling a service and to sell a service you need to sell yourself and to sell yourself you have to portray a certain confidence.

My son and I, bless his soul, took to the streets of Winnipeg this week. Seek out businesses that could, perhaps, use my services. Notice? Even in that statement I sound apologetic. My son embraced the job with enthusiasm. He approached the job with confidence. There was nothing holding him back. He jumped in with both feet. It was really neat to watch.

One of the places we went to, and it shall remain nameless although their receptionist needs a lesson in how to greet people, my son went into his spiel and tripped over his sales pitch. We walked out. He was mad at himself. He gave himself a tongue lashing. I took some comfort from that because that is a regular occurrence for me. I told him to get over it. I can preach it even if I can’t practice it.

We drove further down the street and a business caught my son’s eye. He said we needed to go there. He knew someone there. We pulled in, he grabbed some brochures, and confidently entered the business. My excuse for not going with him was that I needed to make a really important phone call. When he came out he was all smiles. It had been a success. People were interested. He felt he had redeemed himself.

I suggested to him that our mission that day was similar to a game of golf. You go out. You start whacking the ball. You have all sorts of expectations. And then reality hits. But as you all know, at least if you are a golfer, you make one good shot, you have one good hole, you know you will be back tomorrow. In fact there are some of us who don’t even have to have a good hole to come back the next day.

My son looked at me and informed me that there is actually a name for this. It is called intermittent positive reinforcement. He explained that gamblers often fall into this trap. The concept is simple enough. One small win and we are fooled into thinking that losing is impossible. Whether golf, gambling, our workplace, dare I say kids, perhaps even relationships, that becomes our mindset.

We know full well that nobody ever has only positive events in their lives. At least I don’t think so. Now, perhaps, if I was in perfect health, lots of money, good relationships, good job, although why would I need a job if I have lots of money, weather was always perfect, golf shots always went as planned, and there were absolutely no challenges in life, my life would be perfect, right? Probably not.

So we carry on. We have challenges that arise. How we deal with these challenges becomes the issue. The other day, as I was traveling into the city not feeling very good about my lot in life, I began to think of all the positive blessings I have in my life. I found my mood getting better. In some unknown way I was utilizing intermittent positive reinforcement. To me that helped in regaining focus on life. The kind of focus that helps me move forward. The kind of focus that helps me carry on in a positive way. The kind of positive that helps me get up in the morning to face the day. The kind of positive reinforcement I wish on all. Perhaps it is in our control. Think about it. Make it a good one.

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