As only the young can, when it comes to putting yourself out there in wild stunts that require zero concern for your physical well-being, there’s very little fear. Embracing the illusion of immortality, they are game for pretty much anything that requires physicality. Gotta love ‘em.
I saw this up close this summer, spending time at our family lake house. We love boating and the kids love tubing. The boys especially, are dare-devils and come up with all kinds of hair raising (for the adults) stunts. One of their favorite games is hooking up two tubes, so they are able to “swap” places with each other, by either crawling or jumping into the other tube, mid boat pull, at a fast speed, in a series of bumpy, watery, strategic maneuvers. I’m not sure who squeals louder; the adults in the boat from shock or the boys from hilarity. (You can check out a picture of them on the left).
While observing, I noticed that the boys had an innate understanding that certain things had to happen in order to be successful with their antics. There was definitely strategy, communication and a willingness to implement taking place. But the biggest thing I noticed was that they were always conscious of how far out from the boat the inner tubes were, and how close to the boat they were. That sounds like one and the same but they’re actually different.
To enjoy their few moments of superhero status, they knew the tubes had to be far away enough from the boat so they had the space and the maneuvering freedom to do what they needed to do. The ropes that pull the tubes have to have enough “give” and plenty of range of motion in order for the tubes to come together and apart with enough speed to make things fun. Too close and it’s too tight since the actual movement of the tubes is too controlled. Staying far from the boat is a bit scary since you can’t control the tubes as much; there’s a great deal of swing. But without the distance, it’s a much calmer ride.
On the flip side, the boys were also aware that they couldn’t have unlimited slack in the ropes. This required staying just close enough to the boat to have some control. Too far out would get dangerous, not only because of the overabundance of slack in the ropes but also because if they missed their target and landed in the water, the boat would take longer to reach them.
So naturally, I saw the business and life lesson in this. Your business is much like that crazy tube jumping, thrill seeking experience. If you are on the tube and the boat is ground zero for all things known and safe, you need to stay far and stay close.
You have to “stay far” so you have the room and flexibility to do what you need and want to do, and yes, it will put you out of your comfort zone, which by the way, is one of the best ways to get the good ride.
You also need to “stay close” because too much slack can get dangerous or distracting, and you don’t want to be so far away from your familiar and safe anchor that that’s all you can think about.
If you want a business that grows, provides you with good challenges and big rewards, stay far. And if you want a business that has some grounding, provides a safe harbor and comfort when you need it, you’ll need to stay close.
Stay far and stay close. That’s the surest way to achieve your own version of screaming, hilarious, “I’m so glad I did that” kind of success.
p.s. If you’re feeling down about sales, sick of contacts who don’t turn into clients and are ready to just have more fun (not to mention success) with the selling process, then click here to schedule a strategy session with me. Together, we’ll take a look at what’s keeping you from being the Sales Rockstar I know you can be!