Clutching your head in two hands?
As part of the general start-of-summer-fandangle that goes on here in New Zealand, my kids’ school runs ‘The Gala’.
It’s an epic event.
The Gala raises more than $30,000 each year.
Local families diligently declutter their homes, gather their cast offs and bring them to the school.
Parents spend hundreds of hours sorting and packaging these treasures. And on the day itself they are displayed for sale on stalls such as Bric-a-Brac, Linen, Clothes, Toys and Electrical.
At the big event, our children rush around spending up large on all of this (often broken or delapitated) stuff…and then they bring it back to our houses again.
It’s an interesting ritual.
Anyway, today’s message is about something I realised as I went about collecting items for the Silent Auction.
I rang around and emailed businesses and asked them to donate things.
Some very generous souls gave us amazing things to sell for our school coffers.
But actually, almost everybody I contacted said No.
There were various reasons like no budget left / we already support charities or quite simply ignoring my contact completely.
This reminded me a lot of home based business.
But did I at any point in this process hold my head in my hands and question the validity of Silent Auctions?
Did I question whether I was sane for reaching out in the first place or whether I’d made a terrible fool of myself?
Because I didn’t do anything embarrassing or insane.
We got some great donations and felt pleased. I didn’t focus on the people who said No, or about what that meant about ME. Not even slightly.
Because it’s normal for most people to say No. Even if you’re asking a lot of people if they’d like a cup of coffee for free, plenty of them will still say No.
I know it can feel different when you’re reaching out to people about your business.
But does it really need to?
If you’re professional, respectful and honest then you’re doing just fine.
It’s hard enough sometimes doing the actual work, without making yourself climb over an enormous wall of self doubt every time you take action.
Give yourself a break. Accept the stats. Be a pleasure to deal with. And get on with it.
PS Climbing over that wall of self doubt is why I wrote The Networker…but you knew that already :o) Below you can get two free chapters and see what I mean.
See you on the road,
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