In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!
Did you know that human beings are the only creatures that really think about the future? You might have owned cats, dogs, hamsters, goldfish, even chinchillas and while they all give the illusion that they are thinking about the future (their next meal normally!), they don’t have the same ability to create positive futures for themselves.
A squirrel will bury food as winter approaches but this is triggered by the shortening days and less sunlight, which causes the squirrel to gather nuts. However, a squirrel never thinks about its summer holidays, it never thinks ‘I’ll eat one less nut because I’m getting fat’, and it doesn’t wonder would it would be like to live alone in the tree at the age of 60, or whatever age squirrels live until.
We as humans have a unique gift. We are able to think about the future and the impact our actions will have on that future.
Now I know it sounds obvious, but before you walk into a room full of strangers, you can spend 2 hours worrying about it, wondering if they will like you, if they’ll be friendly, and who you are going to talk to. Or, you could spend those 2 hours thinking about how wonderfully charming you will be, how lovely everyone will be, and how they will all be clamouring to talk to you.
So are you going to enter that room with clammy hands and your head down as you head straight for the bar? Or are you going to think about the last time that you went out and had a good time, put your best smile on, give yourself a wink in the mirror, take a deep breath and then walk in and knock them dead?
Positive beliefs can produce positive actions.
Sounds like common sense doesn’t it? But having worked with thousands of people you’d be amazed how sense isn’t that common!
So, how should you apply this? Well, before you go into every meeting, take a few minutes to think about meetings that have gone well before. Or if you are telling me that you have never had a good meeting in your life, you need to just imagine the meeting going well and people smiling and agreeing with your all your points and you achieving your goals for the meeting.
One trick that TV presenters use is to pretend the person they are interviewing (who they’ve never met before!) is a really good friend they’ve not seen for a while. So before they even meet that person they are thinking positively about them. Then when they shake hands they carry that positive energy with them, they smile, they maintain eye contact, they have open body language and they are genuinely interested in what that person has to say.
So, let’s say that the networking event is the upcoming Autumn event. Are you going to be like the squirrel running around aimlessly, collecting names, collecting business cards but with no real thought as to how they are going to help you? Or, are you going to walk into the room with your best foot forward, your biggest smile and perhaps even with your specific strategy of how you are going to circulate around the room, collect business cards from the key people and even how you are going to follow those contacts up?
Can you see how with a little preparation and positive thought you can make that event really work for you?
Cute as they may be, you are not a squirrel.