The 4-Letter Word Keeping You From Believing In Yourself

Robin Robins MSP Marketing

Last month I brought Tony Horton to speak to the Producers Club. In the rare event you’re not familiar with him—even if only by name, due to the extensive advertising done by Beach Body—he’s the star fitness trainer of the P90X home DVD workout series. On various fronts, it’s the #1 best-selling home fitness program of all time, netting over $500 million in sales; and that’s NOT including the brand-new version, P90X3, that was recently released.

As part of his presentation, he conducted a morning workout for those members who cared to join us. The workout was definitely hard, but not impossible, and even at 8 months, pregnant I was able to do all but one exercise since I’ve made a determined effort to, first, get in fantastic shape before getting pregnant, and then maintain my fitness through the morning sickness, tiredness, headaches and various delights that come with growing a person inside of you. (P.S.—There’s a lesson there that applies to everything you do, every potential challenge or threat to your business. I’d suggest you take a moment to pause and reflect on what it is. I’m not handing it to you.) HOWEVER…

I DID catch myself during the workout turning to Andrea (standing next to me) and saying, “Yeah, I can’t do that!” when he was demonstrating the next exercise. But, being the pig-headed person I am, I found that once I actually tried to do the exercise, I was able to without much difficulty. This got me thinking: What else in my life am I instantly dismissing that I “can’t” do before I’ve even attempted it?

One of the biggest hurdles I have to help clients overcome in order to be successful is getting rid of their ingrained, knee-jerk response to anything new or different that always starts out with “That will never work for ME because…” Often these beliefs are tied to what they think their customers will and won’t do, pay or accept. On a recent Q&A call, a newer member asked for my advice on what to do since companies were no longer spending money on IT, choosing to buy computer equipment from Best Buy and moving to cheaper alternatives for tech support. My response was that, first, his statements are only true for HIM. Weather is local. I can, right now, point to hundreds of MSPs who are growing rapidly, selling managed services plans, hardware and other services at a premium rate and NOT losing customers to the phone company, Best Buy, Dell, etc. Does that mean he’s not experiencing it? I have no doubt he is. But his question should have been, “I’m finding that I’m losing customers to cheaper competitors. What am I doing wrong?” rather than believing that’s what EVERYONE is doing, thereby making him helpless in doing anything other than closing up shop. It’s often been said that when Wal-Mart comes to town, it kills off all the small, local entrepreneurs running shops selling similar goods—again, that’s not entirely true. They force the mediocre shops out of business who have nothing better to offer and who truly are no longer the best, most convenient, fun, etc., place to shop. The ones who specialize in goods and services you can’t get at Wally-World, who provide a unique experience and who have worked hard to establish and maintain a loyal following, don’t suffer a bit.

But, of course, if you choose the “victim” thinking that once a big competitor comes to town you’re toast, completely unable to compete and without options, you might as well crawl into a Saddam-size hole and give up. This type of thinking that it’s “impossible” or that you “can’t” do something imprisons you. Shuts off possibilities and options. Causes you to dismiss ideas and strategies that you COULD actually profit from. You might be correct that your CURRENT services offering, target market or business approach is no longer viable or profitable—but all that is required is your flexibility in changing your approach. NO business isn’t susceptible to change and competitive pressures. All of us, at some point, will have to evolve, grow, expand and change if we want to continue to be relevant to our customers and current trends—and wishing and hoping for the good ol’ days when your current model worked is an exercise in futility.

Further, waiting around for “IF ONLY’s” to happen is a death knell. IF ONLY customers would see the value in IT support. IF ONLY I had more time. IF ONLY I didn’t live in such a big town, small town, on the East Coast, on the West Coast. IF ONLY I had better staff…more money…more time…better customers…less debt…more sales-ability. There is only ONE legitimate “If Only”; that is, “If only you had more skills and knowledge.” THAT is fixable. Jim Rhone once said, “Don’t wish for less problems; wish for more skills.”

So back to the Tony Horton workout: It was an excellent reminder for me to 1) NOT prejudge my abilities before even ATTEMPTING something; 2) EXPECT to do things well and visualize success before getting started; 3) NOT create “problems” and inabilities before they happen. I’d suggest you use this as a reminder for taking a hard look at the “cant’s” and “impossibilities” you’re accepting right now, governing your daily actions. Maybe it’s time you said, “I can…and I will.”