Nope. It’s not about you!
I hope you find that liberating.
Whether you’re striving to discern your purpose in life or the purpose and vision for your business… it’s not about you.
Whether you’re preparing to speak at your daughter’s athletic banquet or your local Chamber of Commerce… it’s not about you.
And whether you’re calling your neighbor on behalf of a community blood drive or having coffee with a prospective client… it’s not about you.
Are you relieved?
Yesterday I read a powerful story in one of my favorite magazines, The Week (April 10, 2015 edition):
A former Navy SEAL is still fighting for his fellow soldiers. Mike Day was shot 27 times by al Qaida gunmen in Iraq in 2007, but the Silver Star recipient didn’t quit. After a long recovery, Day will compete in his first triathlon — a 1.2 mile swim, 56-mile bike rid, and 13.1 mile run — later this month, and he has used his training to raise nearly $80,000 for Carrick Brain Centers, a Dallas hospital specializing in treating vets suffering from PTSD. “My life’s mission is now not about me,” Day said. “It is to care for and lead my wounded brothers and sisters.”
Bless you, Mike Day. And bless all of us as we come to understand that life is not about us!
Some people learn this precious nugget of wisdom at an early age, even in the bleakest of circumstances.
“How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment, we can start now, start slowly changing the world! How lovely that everyone, great and small, can make their contribution toward introducing justice straightaway… And you can always, always give something, even if it is only kindness!” ~Anne Frank from the Diary of Anne Frank
Others of us take years to understand, if we ever do, that we’re here on earth for a purpose bigger than ourselves.
And you know what’s fascinating? We may think we’ve “arrived” — we may think we’ve learned the secret to living a life full of meaning and significance. And then something happens. Wham! We’re right back to focusing on ourselves. I’ll give you an example.
Fellow entrepreneurs, fellow coaches, see if you can relate.
You’d love to work with Alyson. She seems like she’d be the perfect client for you. You resonate with her vision and purpose, and you would enjoy helping her achieve her goals. Problem? You don’t know how to engage her in a meaningful “sales conversation.”
- You’re worried she’ll say no.
- You’re worried she’ll think less of you.
- You’re worried she’ll think your price is too high. Or your program too sketchy.
- You’re worried that when she says she needs to think about it, you won’t know what to say.
- You’re worried that her rejection of your offer means she’s rejecting you and that you’ll never, ever, ever be a successful business owner.
Guess what. Your worries? They’re all about you!
What if instead of worrying about you, you thought about engaging Alyson in a “discovery conversation”? What if instead of fretting over the “what ifs,” you simply called or visited with Alyson to find out whether:
- She needs help.
- She’s aware she needs help.
- She needs the kind of help you offer. And wants it.
- She’s able to pay for the kind of help she needs.
- She’s ready to make a decision.
Take the emphasis off of you and focus instead on what Alyson needs and wants. If it’s a good fit, great. If not, then discover whether Alyson would like you to make a referral for her or if you can help her in some other way.
Once we stop thinking so much about ourselves and focus more on the people we’re meant to serve, we’re en route to becoming the person, business owner, parent, and/or CEO we’re meant to be.
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” ~1 Peter 4:10
Questions to Ponder
1. In what areas of your life are you thinking more about yourself than the people you’re meant to serve?
2. What, exactly, are you afraid of?
3. What steps can you take right now to become the leader, person, friend, parent, CEO, and/or business owner you’re meant to be?
Dear Lord, help us to glorify You by decreasing our focus on self and increasing our focus on You. Help us serve those we’re meant to serve with courage not fear. Help us trust You to guide us each and every step of the way, even in “discovery conversations.” Thank You for shaping us into the person — the business owner — the parent — the CEO — we’re uniquely designed to be. Amen.
Photo by Flickr Web4CamGuy
Photo by Flickr EdYourdon