Like many people, I thought I was not cut out for sales because I wasn’t afraid of prospecting and was sure that if I ever did get an appointment, I would make a fool of myself. He got me over my fear of prospecting by having me set appointments for him and tag along to learn. After many appointments like this, we showed up one night to an appointment and he said, “I am staying in the car – you’re doing this one yourself. Go get ‘em Tiger.”
I screamed, cried and cussed LOT but eventually I realized that he was standing his ground no matter how much I squalled so with much fear and trepidation, I dried my eyes and went in to the appointment and amazed myself by closing the sale! I never forgot the feelings of that moment and actually told that story at a memorial service for him after he died several years later.
I felt the same emotions when I showed up for my first triathlon. I was totally unprepared for the rush of fear and inadequacy as we pulled into the parking area on race day. Here I was 80 pounds overweight, with my big heavy $300 hybrid bicycle totally surrounded by all these ultra fit athletes and their $3,000 triathlon bikes. Like that night 10 years before, I began to cry. My husband lovingly told me that if I really wanted to, we could leave but that he knew that I could do it and that I would regret it if I didn’t at least try.
I finished that race number 390 out of 400 participants but the key is that I finished and the man I love was at the finish line cheering me on. I got the same t shirt as the person who won the race but I would be willing to be that I had a greater sense of accomplishment that day than that person did. And perhaps most importantly, finishing something like that gave me the confidence to try again and now I am training for my first half marathon which will be six weeks from today.
I still get butterflies in my stomach when I sit down to make cold calls for our virtual tour business or before I go into make a presentation. I also know that I will probably be just as scared the morning of the half marathon as I have ever been in my life. Being good at something – whether it’s sales or sports – isn’t about not being afraid. It’s about being afraid and doing it anyway.