A few days ago, I had the privilege of judging a contest in Baltimore City. The competition provided an opportunity for one winner to become the CEO for a day with a top company in the city. The competitors were all aspiring women entrepreneurs, most of whom were in other careers but aspiring to build a company and leave their current 9 to 5 position
The experience was extremely fun and yet, very eye opening. I walked away with two new philosophies I want to share.
1. Treat every opportunity as if it is “the” opportunity: Too often, we bypass great opportunities because we are waiting for something better. Or, because we don’t feel ready. Guess what? You will never be 100% ready…and if you feel you are, that only means you waited too late. You need to train yourself to pull the trigger before you think it is time.
Example: Several women from the program decided at the last minute not to present because they didn’t feel ready. However, by not doing so, they passed up an incredible opportunity to get expert feedback that could have been game-changing to their organization. Furthermore, they missed out on an opportunity to win money because one of the judges brought his checkbook and was prepared to invest in his next opportunity that very day.
Moral: Get off the sideline and into the game…now!
2. Act like you like what you do, or don’t do it: If you aren’t excited about what it is you do, how do you suppose others are going to be able to muster that excitement? When it comes to your product or service, your energy should be palpable. I should look to whomever I am with and say, “I’ll have what she’s having.”
Example: One of the participants was extremely knowledgeable about her service. She knew every detail and as much as I wanted to give her a high score, I couldn’t because she had absolutely no enthusiasm during her delivery. At All. She didn’t smile once. It was so bad that we were all stunned into asking, do you even like your own product?
Moral: You must make people want to jump on your bandwagon and the easiest way to do that is to act as if you are happy to be on the bandwagon yourself.
The bottom line is if you expect others to believe in your brand or product then you must be prepared to be your own brand cheerleader first.