One of the reasons that people never take the first step towards achieving the life of their dreams is because they’re afraid to suck. Coming from an entertainment background performing magic and hypnosis, I can completely relate to this. In order to become a great entertainer, you must first be willing to be a lousy one.
This holds true for pretty much any endeavor. The ONLY way to become competent at any skill, including business, is to first be willing to suck. Why? Sticking to the entertainer analogy, mastery of entertainment, or any new undertaking, only happens through experience.
When talking to young magicians, I’m often asked, “But, what do I do if a trick goes wrong or if someone heckles me?” My answer is that it’s going to suck…at least at first but that’s a good thing. You need to put yourself into high-pressure situations so that you can learn how to handle them yourself. With experience, you will develop your character and create personal systems for handling these situations. The same is true for sales and marketing. You have to jump into the water if you want to learn how to swim.
When I wanted to become a professional level magician, I began to perform at every possible situation that came my way. Was I afraid to suck? Yes, but I wanted to put myself into situations that would make me feel as nervous and uncomfortable as possible. I knew that if I could overcome those obstacles everything else would seem easy.
My embarrassing example:
A great example was when I received a phone call from a local comedy club that I had performed at. The club owner had been contacted by an exotic dance nightclub owner who had decided that he wanted to have a comedy night once per month. I needed the money, and the experience at the time, so I took the gig.
I showed up to find one of the dingiest bars in a scary part of town and unloaded my props. When I walked into the club, I saw that it was filled with completely nude women who were being rudely gawked at by what I can only describe as a bunch of scary looking men who looked like part of a biker gang.
My instinct was to turn around and walk right out of that club, but I reminded myself that this experience would only make me a better performer…even if I sucked. Here’s where it got crazy. The DJ killed the music, came over the public announcement system and screamed, “All right, ladies go ahead and get dressed. It’s time for the magic show!” EVERYONE in the club booed and hissed, especially when they realized that the magician was me and not one of the girls! I thought that I was about to have my butt kicked.
It took me about ten minutes to finally win over the crowd, but somehow I did. It went so well that the owner invited me back again the following month. Now, this certainly wasn’t my finest moment in show business but it definitely raised my level of courage. If I could win over a bunch of drunken bikers who had zero interest in seeing my show, then I could certainly handle anything that a corporate audience could throw at me.
Easy is not the answer
It would have been so easy for me be afraid to suck and to turn down the gig, but turning it down wouldn’t have given me a venue to risk failure. Performing time and again in, less than ideal, situations turned me into the busy performer that I am today.
The point that I’m trying to get across is that you cannot be afraid to suck. Not only that but the faster you’re willing to suck, the better. If you wait until the perfect moment to take action, it will never happen. Get started right now and, in time you will look back and wonder how you came so far. So suck it up and start sucking today!
About the author:
Chad Chesmark is a leadership and motivational speaker who combines his skills as a hypnotist and mentalist into his presentations. His interactive programs ignite energy at corporate events and conferences across the globe. Chad can be reached through www.LeadershipMindPower.com