I’m sitting outside of my in-laws’ house, enjoying the fresh air of a beautiful California evening, thinking and dreaming about the year ahead. As so many others have these last few weeks of the year, I’ve been busy setting personal and professional goals for the year.
I have a decision to make: either get over my fears and go for it, or settle for mediocrity.
One of these goals is an ambitious one to build my client base, specifically those clients who will provide recurring revenue streams for months, if not years…
…but building this client base will require quite a bit of outreach, and every time I think of it, I’m filled with dread.
It’s not that I don’t want it – if I were to achieve this goal, it would be a huge professional and financial success. It’s not that I don’t believe in what I can offer their businesses – I genuinely believe that I can help others grow their businesses with what I have to offer.
But if I’m honest, I’m scared of putting myself out there. I’m scared of picking up the phone, dialing prospects, and engaging in a dialogue with them. I’m scared of rejection.
Like so many others, I’m resistant to doing the hard work it’s going to take to get me there. I’m impatient. I‘m tempted by the appeal instant success without having to work for it.
But that’s not how the world works, so I have a decision to make: either get over my fears, pick up the phone and go for it, or settle for mediocrity.
Ask Why: The 10/10/10 Rule
When I’m faced with a fight-or-flight decision like this, the first thing I do is apply the 10/10/10 Rule.
The 10/10/10 Rule is a mental framework that asks 3 important questions:
- How will you feel about this 10 minutes from now?
- How will you feel about this 10 months from now?
- How will you feel about this 10 years from now?
By framing my decision in this way, I take all emotion out of the picture and process the situation rationally:
- 10 minutes from now, I’ll still be scared and uncomfortable as I pick up the phone to dial.
- 10 months from now (with perseverance), I’ll likely have a new client or two, and I’ll be thanking myself. Future me will thank present me for the extra recurring income and the chance to use that income to automate other parts of my business and make my life easier.
- 10 years from now, I will thank myself…not for the income per se (who knows what opportunities that will afford), but for the discipline, the self-determination, and the skills I learned from the process that bettered myself and helped me grow as a person.
See how easy it is? It takes 30 seconds to think through the answers to these questions, but it’s an easy way to reframe your thoughts on a problem, remove all emotion, and clarify the decision you’re going to commit to.
So I’m going to do it. I’m going to buckle down, do the hard work, and get over myself. 10 minutes from now, my voice will be shaking as I embark on this journey, but 10 years from now, I’m trusting that it will pay huge dividends.