Just 30 more minutes….
I’ll just take care of this one last thing…
Then thats it…
I’m done for the day.
It was already 10:27 p.m.
Another night spent trying to keep up with my business.
Once again, my “work day” had turned into all day.
And this wasn't the first time.
Most of my days started at 7am and wouldn’t end till 1 o’clock in the morning.
Trying to assemble all these pieces of the jigsaw puzzle…
· Creating my website
· Doing the marketing
· Writing mails
· Social Media
· Customer Service
I felt like a pinball bouncing from one thing to another, reacting to whatever seemed urgent.
By the time I dragged myself to bed and looked back on the day, I realized I didn't get much of anything important done
All my time was spent just trying to keep up.
Just adding to my overwhelm, stress and fatigue.
I finally realized I had no choice.
I had to get some help.
I just couldn’t put it off any longer….
I had to hire someone.
I decided to start with Craigslist.
I knew I wanted to work with someone local, and posting a simple notice seemed like a pretty easy way to begin the process.
All at once I got like 50 responses.
Great! MORE work to do!
As I read through a few, I realized that almost all of them were sent by unqualified people who simply saw that there was a paying job, so they wanted to email about it.
Then I found one that looked promising.
His name was Ben.
He included his resume, along with a link to his personal website that revealed his skills, interest and talents.
So I gave him a call and we decided to meet.
I arrived at Starbucks at 2 PM and there he was, right on time.
It's always a bit uncomfortable meeting someone you’ve never seen before – especially when you're interviewing someone.
But immediately Ben seemed like such a nice guy – someone I could see myself working with.
We seemed to connect right away.
We discovered we both went to the same church. And as we talked, I could see how he thought about things before he spoke, and that he was sensitive towards other people's feelings.
He was doing a good job of interviewing me too….
“Some of the companies I’ve been meeting with just don’t come across as having integrity,” he said.“I’m looking for something better.”
I was a bit surprised by that, but I thought it was pretty cool for him to say – expecially since that’s one of my core values as well.
The more we continued talking, the more I liked him for the position.
But then something happened….
Towards the end of our conversation,I started feeling my chest get tight…
This wave of uneasiness flooded over me.
I hadn’t planned on hiring anyone on the spot…
But it seemed like that's where this was headed.
I had to stop myself from making some rash decision….
I can’t just rush into this!
I’ve got to think this over first…
I have to be absolutely certain this is the right guy...
Then I can make my final decision and finally get the help that I need!
So I told Ben it was great meeting him, and I would be in touch soon.
And 3 months later I still hadn't hired him.
Or anyone else.
I just kept putting it off and putting it off.
Now don't get me wrong – I had reasons for not hiring Ben right away...
What if he doesn't turn out to be as good and trustworthy as he seems to be?
What if nothing changes and I'm just wasting money?
What if revenue decreases and I have to go in debt just to afford him?
What if I'm just really not ready to manage people yet?
But of course, the longer I waited, the worse things got.
Three months passed….
Three months of 15 hour days…
Three months of overwhelm, stress and anxiety…
Three months of my business not moving forward the way I knew it should…
And now I was further in the hole then I was before I interviewed Ben.
It was about that time that I signed up for Bob Proctor’s Paradigm Shift personal development event.
And one of his messages hit me hard….
“When your have to make important decisions in your life, one of the greatest stumbling blocks you will ever encounter is circumstance.”
“More dreams are shattered and goals lost because of circumstance than any other factor,” Bob said. “We let circumstance get us off the hook, when we should be giving our desires everything we’ve got.”
“How often,” Bob continued, “have you caught yourself saying, ‘I’d like to do this, or I’d like to have this, but I can’t because ____________.’
“Whatever follows the word BECAUSE is the circumstance. And even though circumstances may cause a detour in your life, you must never permit them to stop you from making important decisions.”
That’s when I realized…
All my excuses we're just circumstances.
My inexperience with hiring, my uncertainty about the outcome, my concern about money – these were just circumstances that I had turned into excuses.
But if that was the case, what was the real issue?
This wasn't really about revenue.
It wasn’t about going in debt.
It wasn't about trust.
It wasn't about management.
This was about FEAR.
So what was I so afraid of?
What was I really telling myself?
And when I was willing to look deeper inside, I realized the belief I had been trying to cover up.
If Ben does all this busy work for me…
If I really do have more time for important work...
Then I will have to run my operation like a real business.
And I know I’m not good enough to do that.
As long as I had no help, everything I'd have to do to grow my business stayed in the future.
But once I hired Ben, I'd have no excuse for my failure…
And people would know I was a fraud.
No more pretending.
No more avoiding.
I'd have to step into the unknown.
So all these excuses were just made up circumstances..
I didn't really know I'd fail….
I had no proof I couldn't do it….
I was just afraid.
Afraid I'd fail…
Afraid of the unknown…
Afraid I wasn't good enough...
So I had to make a choice.
I could keep going on like this…
And let my business - and my dreams - just die.
Or I could forget all the excuses and the invented circumstances…
Accept that I was afraid…
And step into the unknown.
But once I confronted that choice honestly, and stopped hiding from my real fears…
I made my decision.
I emailed Ben to see if there was any chance he was still available. Or even interested after waiting so long to even hear from me.
Lucky for me, he told me he was ready to go.
We got on the phone to discuss the details, and I immediately said, “Welcome aboard!”
In that moment I knew it was the right decision.
I felt relieved…
I felt hopeful...
And sure enough, as soon as we started working together, my load started to diminish…
I started to feel like my to do list was manageable…
I started doing the work that needed to get done...
I started to focus on the things that were important to growing my business, and not chasing shiny objects all over the place and reacting to everything…
I was actually able to create some structure in my day, and manage my time more effectively!
And from then on, things just got better and better.
Looking back on all this a year later, I asked myself why it took me so long to take such an obvious step - and what finally made me do it.
And I discovered something I hadn't realized..
My hesitation, my refusal to act, came from the same issue that arose when I gave up drinking…
And when I would push people away instead of letting them into my life…
I didn't think I was good enough.
But I realized something else….
In the 4 months between interviewing Ben at Starbucks and actually hiring him, I had been doing a lot of other things that were outside of my comfort zone…
Bob Proctor’s Paradigm Shift Conference…
Reading self help books…
Creating a clear picture in my mind of who i want to be…
The kind of qualities I will have…
And Vividly visualizing or imagining my goals as if they were real.
So during that time I had been growing, taking little steps into the unknown, and unknowingly changing my self concept.
And once my self concept changed and I started to become more confident, my actions reflected this…
Until I was able to take this major step for my business.
Ben has been with me now for more than 2 years. And I have to tell you…
Hiring him and working with him has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my business.
I now have 3 more people working with me as well. And I love working with my team!
I get to share my experience and wisdom with these guys and see them grow into their talents and their potential.
And because of them, I can focus on the things I love about my work, the things that can help others grow and succeed.
But even now I think back about how many times I have fallen into the same trap…
Stopping myself from going after something I really wanted because I didn’t think I was good enough…
Didn’t think I was ready…
Didn’t think I belonged there.
And I wonder how many times you’ve let your circumstances or excuses stop you?
How many times have you let the picture you have of yourself stop you from going after the things you really want?
You might ask yourself, “What's the real payoff for this?”
Fear of failure?
Fear that you're a fraud?
Fear that you simply don’t know what you're doing?
Then ask yourself, “Do I really have any evidence to support these beliefs?
“Any evidence that I really am a fraud?
“Or am I just using my past experiences to protect me from trying again?
“And might it be worth taking a shot – just to see how good I really might be?”