I’ve always been good at second-guessing myself.
I am the king of the “what if” game. What if I do this? Will the outcome be (a), (b), or (c). If its (c), what will happen next? And if that thing happens and then I do (b) as well, will the outcome be more like if I had done (a) in the first place? I was never good at chess, but I should be, because I plan out scenarios in my head all day long and second-guess everything. Not always in a negative way either. In some ways I’m proud of my ability to do this, but in some ways its a curse. Spending time considering the options and the outcomes can waste valuable time and help convince me to not take the path I should take for the best results.
I’ve been getting phone calls lately from Market Leader about their product Growth Leader. You know them well by now I’m sure. There’s been articles here, there, and everywhere. Now, I’m as skeptical as they come when it comes to someone promising me traffic, leads, clients, or transactions. I’ve been through the deluge of calls from these companies that smell new-licensees like a Vampire smells blood. I’m not interested. Why? Well, at this stage of the game, money is a huge factor. In addition, I’ve heard through the various blogs, friends, and office water cooler talk that a lot of these companies just aren’t worth it. Many of these companies have been rude to me on the phone, so its been easy to say “no thanks” and hang up before we get too far into the conversation. So when Growth Leader began calling, I wasn’t really listening to be honest. They were very nice on the phone, so I give them credit for that, and the woman who contacted me (Robin) followed up with in a nice way and sent me some more info. She didn’t badger me, so she also gets credit for that.
ActiveRain has been doing some test runs for Growth Leader
I had read some posts referencing a partnership where ActiveRain was getting some agents a free trial of Growth Leader in return for a weekly blog about Growth Leader and how the agent felt about it. I read them, then forgot them. Since Market Leader had already contacted me, I assumed they had what they needed from their test cases and were now in the launch phase and trying to get people like me to sign up. Even if the trial run was still open, why would Market Leader be interested in a guy who’s oonly been on ActiveRain for a few months and hasn’t even finished setting his own website up yet (its getting there…slowly but surely). Second-guessing at its best. One night, I read another post about Growth Leader and something about it sparked my interest. It also had a direct link to Bob Stewart’s original post seeking willing guinea pigs. The post was dated November 14, 2008. Too much time had passed and to top it off, my city wasn’t listed in the test areas anyway. Second-guessed myself again.
For some odd reason, I ignored my thoughts and emailed Bob anyway. I actually forgot that I wrote him, when the following evening a call came in from a strange area code. It was Bob Stewart on the line. We chatted about Growth Leader (and a bit about ActiveRain as well) and he told me he’d love to have me on board as a guinea pig (he didn’t use those words). I was thrilled. I had almost not even attempted to contact Bob. I had almost second-guessed myself out of a potential opportunity. One that could prove to be good for me. If Growth Leader works, I win. If it is absolute crap, I win again, because I can tell people about it so they don’t spend their money on it and I look like a hero. Why would I have thrown away the chance to be a winner no matter what the outcome?
You can kill your career with your own thoughts.
I’ve become more and more aware of the psychology of myself since becoming an agent. Things I did that I put up as stumbling blocks all the time are slowly coming to light. Easy, little, tiny thoughts that could be career killers. And as I make my way through them, I’m learning how to cope with my own worst enemy – me. Next time you think it can’t be done or that its too complex, stop what you’re doing. Just stop. Put down the phone, step away from the keyboard. Just stop. Stop and play “what if” games. What if I did this and it does produce a positive result? What if I didn’t do it, what opportunities will I be missing out on? What if I don’t take some chances once in awhile – will I remain stagnant or will I learn something new? We control our own thoughts and our own destiny. We can make them work for us or work against us. The choice is pretty simple.