It’s been a week to test the patience of a saint, I tell you! One week to really practice my “bug free mind” techniques, and I’m pleased to say that that practice paid off. In spite of the stress levels caused by circumstances that could have easily overwhelmed me and made me ineffective as an entrepreneur, I had a relatively productive week.
If you often let your feelings get in the way of how well you do (at work, or as an entrepreneur) you can skip past my story to the end… but if you like a bit of a laugh…
Last week on Tuesday at about 9am, my broadband went off.
We had a crossed phone line too, with a charity shop in Shoreham, which meant that every time I picked up the phone to call SKY, not only did their phone ring but they couldn’t use it at all ’til I had finished. I couldn’t do any scheduled client calls, or use my Skype call out service to call SKY rather than the telephone.
The problem was further exacerbated by three other factors:
The first is the fact that my mobile (Orange) simply doesn’t work inside the house. Unless you are out in the street or upstairs, it won’t work at all. Our router is downstairs, and you obviously have to be able to see that while they do their tests.
The second was that I don’t have a laptop anymore, so couldn’t just decamp somewhere else. An iPad is great, especially with a keyboard and now a 3 mobile broadband dongle attached, but it’s not man enough for the job of running a digital marketing agency.
The third was that, yes, I could just about carry my iMac round to my ex-husband’s who offered his broadband, but it’s big, heavy, and it was POURING with RAIN, so the cardboard box I carry it in would have fallen apart immediately.
We had no idea how long it was going to be off, “could be back today”, said the second, very broad Irish accented lady I spoke to (the first – who was obviously either in India or possibly Indian with an Irish accent – having been cut off mid call by the lack of signal to my mobile).
Why, oh, why, do call centre employ people with such strong accents? I love a good accent, me, but when you’re stressed to the max, it does not engender good customer relations!
It was my mate Steve’s birthday, and my daughter Phoebe, Steve and I, were off to Jamie Oliver’s restaurant in Brighton for cocktails and dinner, so I had to abandon my quest that day. I didn’t even have time to buy him a card, but he reckoned dinner was as good.
The next day I missed a then regular “product creation” session at 8am and was then told, after many more calls to SKY, it could be up to 72 hours before we were back online.
72 hours?!!!! That’s like… OMG, it’s about 3-4 days isn’t it?
I waited till a break in the rain and lugged the iMac and my portable mic round to my ex’s and proceeded to sit wrapped up in 2 cardigans and a blanket for the rest of the day (not wanting to use up his “leccie” to heat his flat while he was out – considerate, me!). I did manage to speak to a couple of clients and get 3 new episodes recorded for my podcast that evening, so didn’t feel the day was a complete write off.
Next day went fairly smoothly, and by Friday we were back online, so I scuttled back to my house and got set up again feeling very grateful indeed.
Only to discover our upload speed was back to 0.46 and an 8 minute video took about 2.5 hours to upload to YouTube.
Since then we’ve had various nice men popping in and out and phoning us up, trying to sort out our “copper problem” at the box, and giving us the good news that there will only be about 100 spaces for each of the five providers when BT Infinity fibre optic cables come to Shoreham Town. It’s already on the Beach, presumably prioritised as a result of all that new build. Or perhaps some bigwig lives over there…
So what does all this mean for you?
Do you let how you feel, get in the way of what you achieve?
In “The Prosperous Coach” book by Steve Chandler & Rich Litvin, which is currently taking the more advanced coaching world by storm, the authors say something quite profound about feelings and business and marketing.
When asked by one of his students what he does when he “doesn’t feel like it” or his “energy gets low” or he is “losing hope”, Steve replied that this question reminds him of when he used to coach writers who occasionally struggled with “writers block”, whose hope and energy were low, so they did not write.
How many bloggers among us feel like that regularly? I know I do. So, when I read this passage in the book, I came straight to my computer and wrote what you are reading now.
Steve gets his clients to create a game, a scorecard, a schedule for logging the minutes each day that they WON by completing the “client creating” assignments they gave themselves.
(This is gamification in the raw, by the way **)
He asks his students, “Do you think Truck Drivers have this same problem? Is there something called Truckers Block, where a driver wakes up and finds that his mood isn’t right for driving that day?
No, a trucker drives his truck no matter what his energy or hope levels are. He has a schedule and destination map and he follows it no matter what”.
(Or he would lose his job!)
“So in coaching, the trick for me was to find a way to make as many of my activities be lunch pail, blue collar activities as I could. So mood would not be a factor. Hope could come or go, it didn’t matter. My energy would be high or low and I’d still do what I set myself up to do”.
Pretty profound stuff don’t you think?
I was reading this book because it was highly recommended by someone I like and respect and it was having a rather profound impact on her. The coaching content was very sound but, to that point, most of the marketing sub-text were concepts I’d heard before in the various high ticket internet marketing mentoring programmes I’ve been on recently.
However, that day I was struggling a bit with energy levels and feeling a bit down, wondering if any of the (rather labour intensive & brain draining) actions I’ve been taking recently in my own business would ever have the effect I thought they would.
So this last section – Chapter 59 – hit me right between the eyes and changed my energy completely.
Interestingly it all echoed a conversation I had with my “oldest” best friend, the one I’ve known since I was 15. We were talking about the same topic really, and she said…
“The problem with all you coachy types is that you think everything should be fun and easy! Sometimes it’s just hard work and you’ve got to buckle down and get on with it!”
Wise words perhaps?
** If you are interested in gamification, one of my clients is the UK’s top gamification expert and consultant, having graduated in the top 5% at Wharton Business School in the USA. Find out more at PeteJenkins.com
Picture by Patrick McConerhay (Flickr, Creative Commons)