Photo cred. Naim Ferguson
(I’m the smaller, paler guy, not the strong one!)
Just this week, this standup paddle race in Lake Union, Seattle, WA, reminded me how hard it is to “start” things.
To simply… start… moving.
To be completely honest, whenever I lineup to race against a world class athlete, which Chuck Patterson (photo) clearly is, my stomach feels queasy. I lose my appetite for about an hour before every race. I also get a huge adrenaline rush as the start horn sounds, then about two minutes later a huge energy drop and every muscle in my body tenses up and feels weak. It’s really a pretty diabolical physiological experience.
The thing is, by about four minutes into the race, I’ve completely forgotten about starting and I just settle into a nice zen rhythm of continuous motion that takes me through the next twenty to sixty minutes of competition. My body starts to feel in sync with the standup board, I start to notice the weather, and sometimes I even start chatting with the competition. Those first five to ten minutes are tough!
Starting sucks. But it’s over quick.
I’ve done that race about forty times now, and I’ve raced with Chuck Patterson probably ten times at this point. I’ve won that particular race, even the series, but I’ve also lost it multiple times. The same is true of racing agains Patterson, who may be one of the most intimidating athletes you could see (but nicest people, too). No matter how many times I’ve raced that race, or how it turned out, starting feels the same.
Many days I feel the same in selling real estate. Recently, I had a low energy week. It coincided with a week when I had three deals fall apart without notice. I also lost the standup race! After weeks like that, starting to sell again, no matter how many times I’ve done it, is hard! I wonder “if I still have it,” or “if I am doing something differently,” or “what I did wrong.” The thing is, if I ignore the feelings, and just start working…
… it all fades away, and, inevitably, another deal appears before me. I can’t race if I don’t start.
We all want good momentum, but, this is proceeded by STARTING. The first can’t happen without the second. And, once we start, whatever we are doing becomes easier. I think it would be great to focus on being a specialist in simply starting. This feat alone would move most of us towards goals we didn’t know we could achieve.
Did you start prospecting today, or did you study prospecting?
Did you make a cold call, or did you read about how to make a cold call?
Did you walk out of your building and into a business or did you study a business online?
Starting comes first. Action. Then the natural rhythm of pursuit directs a calm path of pursuit.
Almost every time I race, or every time I start cold calling I think “Do I really need to do this?” Once I start, I forget the question.