“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”–Ayn Rand
No matter how powerful or high-performing your car is, it won’t go anywhere until you put the key in the ignition and start your engine.
Just having the key isn’t enough, and neither is putting it into the ignition and then waiting for something to happen. You have to turn the key.
In my experience as a coach, many smart and talented people have the key in the ignition, but they don’t know how to turn the engine on, or lack the confidence that they can control the engine once it starts.
My job, as I see it, is to be the ignition starter. Once you’ve got gas in your car and you know where you want to go, you have your map and your itinerary, I’m the one who helps you take the risk to turn on your “car” and move forward.
Sometimes, people are afraid of failure. Other people fear success. Some just are uncomfortable with change. Turning on the ignition to your life, career and dreams does involve risk because you’ll be moving forward, out of your comfort zone. The outcome is always uncertain, and nothing is guaranteed. But if you can view the journey as a great adventure, you’ll already have taken a big step forward in overcoming your fears, and made progress toward achieving your dream.
Here are my favorite ways to turn the key and move forward:
- Get perspective. Ask a coach or respected friend to help you identify what you need to do next to shake things loose. Sometimes, what people really need is acknowledgement or a stamp of approval from a trusted source to have the courage to take the next step.
- Ask for a nudge. Ever have a car with a weak battery that needed to have a push in order to turn over? People sometimes need a “designated nudger” to hold them accountable for making progress.
- Be validated. Often, we doubt our own beliefs, especially about our own skills and talents. Get a coach, a supportive business associate or a respected friend to confirm what you’re good at, to give you permission to move forward, to validate what you already know to be true.
- Charge more. Nearly all my clients took a first step forward by increasing the fees they were charging for the service or product they provide. All were undercharging out of fear that they couldn’t get people to pay them that much or that they would lose existing customers. Deep down, they were really afraid that they might not be worth that much. Be bold. Charge more.
- Help people value your work more. Charging in line with industry standards is a first step. If you’re undercharging, people are undervaluing what you provide, because if you were really that good, you’d charge more, right? Investigate what the leaders in your industry charge and bring your fees into alignment.
- Research the competition. Many people have never taken a good look at what their competitors offer and compared those offerings to their own products or services. How do you know what differentiates you from the competition if you never do the research?
- Look for gaps. While you’re researching the competition, look for holes in what is being offered. These gaps present opportunities for you to create new products or services to satisfy needs that aren’t being met.
- Repaint, don’t bulldoze. Many people are certain their business needs a complete overhaul, when really all they need is a slight tweak or a refresh to update their offerings and get a fresh new look.
- Refresh your attitude. It’s amazing what a coat of paint will do for a room, and what a fresh new look for your website, social media pages or printed materials can do for your attitude. Once you have refreshed your look, take a moment to let that newness sink into your outlook and go forward with a spring in your step.
- Confidence pays off. For many clients, the only thing standing between them and a bigger paycheck is their confidence. Just by radiating security, confidence and a positive outlook, it’s quite possible to attract new clients, get more business from existing customers and take your business to a whole new level.
Don’t wait another day? Turn the key in your ignition and get started on your journey to opportunity!
“Progress always involves risk; you can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.”— Frederick Wilcox