You are going to hate this article (and ME) if you’re the kind of person that has to get ALL their ducks in a row—have all the answers—before they push the launch button and begin taking massive action. If you’re the type of dude (or dudette) that has to analyze all of the best practices recommended by your organization—if you’re the type of character that feels they must dissect all of the processes and protocols—looking to build a better mouse trap—even before you have landed your first piece of business, you are gonna’ hate this blog!
In this article I’m going to outline the 5 reasons that diving in and doing a high volume of activity (even if you feel somewhat unprepared for every eventuality) is usually the action that saves you if you’re starting a new entrepreneurial venture or a commission gig.
Look…I have interviewed, hired, coached, mentored, promoted, fired and hosted retirement parties for THOUSANDS of salespeople and managers over my 38-year career in organizational leadership. What that means is that I’ve also had the awesome opportunity to see a percentage of people launch into successful, or even wildly successful careers, but then also had to witness a larger percentage of them crash and burn.
The difference(s) you ask? Is it…
I agree that some people are more of a quick study than others, but I have witnessed many naturally smart people crash and burn. Sometimes the really smart ones are too smart for their own good.
Coming into a gig or venture with some past knowledge of the space could be good…but it could be quite detrimental also. People tend to drag all of their old stuff into the new gig versus being open to the current best practices that work.
I have seen people start a gig with a lot of money in the bank and still fail miserably. Conversely, I have seen people with less than $20 to their name take a commission gig and become multi-millionaires. (I’m one of those) Sometimes having a nice cushion in the bank makes a person so comfortable that they forget to go to work.
Advanced Formal Education?
I almost want to say, “No comment”…but, I have coached MBAs that were not coachable and high school dropouts that just went out and killed it. Generally, I have found that the more formal education (and multiple degrees) someone has, the less coachable and trainable they are. I’m not sure why this is true…but it just is.
So none of the above bull sh#t really matters.
The difference, in my humble opinion, lies in two primary areas. ( One element more than the other) I believe that a person’s resolve—their commitment and decision to eventually succeed at a venture regardless of the length of time it takes is a HUGE piece of the puzzle. However, I have seen many people with some reasonable level of resolve still fail to do the other very important thing…
…which is to DIVE IN and get busy.
Allow me to carefully describe what I mean by, “dive in.”
What I’m talking about here is a person’s willingness to take some reasonably good basic training, then turn off the dangerous part of their brain and go directly to work—doing the work (the activity) at or above the metric level recommended. They park their ego at the door and do the work without protracted questioning, scrutiny, second-guessing, or analysis.
They dive in.
That’s what I’m talking about.
There are times in our entrepreneurial lives when we simply don’t know all about how to do what we know needs to be done, even after we receive some basic training. We have a vision, but it totally exceeds our know-how and some of the details are missing. That was about where I was at in early 2014 when I decided to begin writing and publishing books and other digital content and also begin to speak professionally.
It was both an exciting and scary time for me.
I sort of knew what I wanted to achieve with regard to my writing, coaching and speaking. I knew in my heart what I could deliver, but I didn’t have the knowledge or skillset (at that early juncture) to do everything I wanted to do. I was paralyzed for a brief moment, so I took my own medicine—the stuff I teach you about in my first book, The CAP Equation.
First, I dove into the experience the best I could. In other words, I took whatever I knew, I got busy, and as soon as I did that I started really learning and improving. I immediately started writing. I wrote every day even though I wasn’t sure what I’d do with the content, or even if it was any good.
“I dove into the experience the best I could. In other words, I took whatever I knew, I got busy, and as soon as I did that I started really learning and improving.”
Okay…so as promised, allow me to outline the 5 reasons diving into your new gig (almost blindly) WORKS, and why you’ll ultimately fail to launch if you don’t!
- You don’t know what you don’t know
Why in the world would you select and train for your new venture just to throw on the brakes and start second-guessing? What the heck are you actually analyzing? You have ZERO real—hands-on—experience in your space, but you’re going to begin questioning and scrutinizing the sales system or best practices you just learned? Based on what—what current body of work and success qualifies you to challenge anything?
While you are sitting around analyzing stuff, your peers or competitors are making contact with target prospects and future clients. They are going to make it…you may not.
- A busy person has less time to think
Up front, when you get started in a new gig, turning off your brain (and emotions) for a little while is a good thing. If you are working—doing the key activities they asked you to do—you are not only filling your pipeline, you are learning how to focus on the body of work—staying in motion—without the distraction of negative micro emotions that can erode your attitude and deplete your emotional gas tank.
After you complete a FULL workday—you can turn your brain back on.
- The words feel (and sound) better coming out of your mouth (and your confidence soars)
If you are inert—on the couch analyzing and re-writing your script—not taking massive action—you are losing the benefit of REPS. While you are contemplating your belly button, your peer or competitor is out there diving in—doing the work—and they’re getting better and better at WHAT they say and HOW they say it. They are getting their reps in and their confidence is improving each time they make an approach. Their ‘pitch’ doesn’t sound like a pitch anymore. They sound conversational and more like a thought partner than a vendor or some salesy guy.
Busy people are becoming Tiger Woods and you’re lost in the woods, stumbling on your words, because you are not at work.
- Your instincts kick in and you’re able to intuitively refine your game
There is a secret sauce that the pros know about and rely on. Pros know that if they stay in the task and do a massive amount of activity (prospecting, presenting, etc.) they will receive an incredible amount of valuable feedback from their prospects. Think of this as a cluster of codified data that would cost tens of thousands of dollars to obtain from an outside market research firm.
After even a brief session of 5 – 10 cold calls or reach-outs, they see, hear or perceive things that cause them to micro adjust. Their instincts kick in and they’re able to intuitively refine their game. They listen to and gauge how the prospect reacts and responds. Their client gives them a better blueprint of what and how to say and ask things to better garner their attention.
It could also happen that something pops out of your mouth (unscripted) and it’s brilliant, and then you add that tool to your toolbox. However, if you are curled up in a fetal position under your sink, scrutinizing everything you were offered in training, you have robbed yourself of the power of your natural instinct to improve on the fly and become awesome.
- Momentum (and the law of large numbers)
“Put your body in motion and your psyche will heal itself.”
Pros don’t focus on micro minutiae. Small setbacks don’t slow them down. They want to collect a lot of data and emotional experiences quickly. They know that if they can get off to a speedy start and power through the initial learning curve fast, the initial pain period (all the bumps and bruises of figuring stuff out) will be much, much shorter. They know that getting to the promised land happens faster when they put the laws of large numbers and momentum on their side.
People that fail to launch are way too careful with the way they approach things. They don’t understand that regardless of how perfect their scripts, pitch or business plan may be, it will all come down to the laws of momentum and large numbers. Instead of diving in and getting a little bloody, they carefully muddle—start slow (if they start at all) and they develop paralysis by analysis. They never generate the momentum necessary to experience the small victories needed to keep their emotional gas tank full. Because they aren’t taking massive action their tank empties as time progresses, they often become embarrassed with their own poor performance and they quit the game.
So there ya go.
In short, those that don’t take massive action tend to fail…and those that dive in (almost blindly) tend to do very well. They figure that they can become creative and inventive after they have the requisite experience and a proven track record.
I have to share this quick story to illustrate what I’m talking about.
In 2014 I began to work with a coach for writing/publishing, and another coach for the speaking part of my venture. I even had a coach to help me roll out and develop our first website. I also began to seek out other writers and speakers that had more experience than me and I asked them for a few minutes of their time. The organization eventually invited me to a small exclusive two-day event at Jack Canfield’s home in Santa Barbara.
The 12-person mastermind was designed for new promising authors and it was at that event that I had a small epiphany. Even with all of the coaching I was receiving I hadn’t yet finished my book. I had stalled. Jack called me out on this in front of everyone and asked me to, “Just finish the damn book.” We all had a good laugh, but I got his point. No book is ever perfect…no work is ever perfect, but if you stall out—stop moving forward—your product or your services don’t help anyone.
Jack went on to tell me about many promising authors, speakers and trainers that never completed a book or got their careers off the ground. Perfect is the enemy of good and that’s the trap I‘d fallen into. I was so bent on making the work perfect that my level of activity with regard to all aspects of what I was trying to build had trailed off. I was in a state of paralysis by analysis!
“Perfect is the enemy of good”
If you don’t know, Jack Canfield is the co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. He is the most published non-fiction author of all time. He was kind enough to talk to me personally during breaks in the two-day mastermind meeting. He’d tell me all about his early struggles as a new author and speaker. It was incredibly valuable! I knew I needed to model what he was telling me. In one sidebar conversation he asked me if I would commit to finishing the book in the next thirty days. I did…and I did. I finished the damn book and it was on the Amazon shelves 45 days after that meeting in Santa Barbara.
I’m not sure how long it would have taken me to finish and publish that book if not for Jack’s strong counsel to, “Just dive in…whatever you don’t know, you’ll figure out on the fly.” Perhaps I would have stalled out completely, thinking my work wasn’t good enough, or that I didn’t know enough or didn’t have all of the answers. Instead, I set all of my hang-ups aside and I DOVE into the experience—I got started writing again and I finished the book.
The CAP Equation was a really good book.
It has sold well and helped thousands of people.
It doesn’t matter what you’re selling or building. You have to turn the bad part of your brain off, dive in and get super busy. Massive action will solve virtually all of your problems.
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Joe Buzzello is a nationally recognized expert on the roles of direct selling, entrepreneurialism and leadership. He has built legacy sales teams and experienced unprecedented success in individual and business-to-business markets as well as the network marketing industry. Joe has held executive level positions for Fortune 500 companies, but he has never strayed far from the art and science of selling, which he loves. In early 2014, Joe began writing, speaking, and coaching through his platform, www.joebuzzello.com and The CAP Equation©.