Success Unfiltered Podcast

24-hour Whiplash: The Gap Between Expectations and What Actually Happens in Business

It doesn’t matter who I talk to, one common theme runs through everyone… STRESS!

Sales people are dealing with stress from business, home, finances, you name it, there is some sort of stress people are experiencing.

In addition to the talk about stress, people are frequently trying to find ways to alleviate their perceived stress through exercise or meditation. However, one thing I feel most people avoid, is actually getting to the root cause of the problem.

For me, that root problem is the gap between people’s business expectations versus what actually happens.

  • The best way to deal with this, in my opinion, is to look at the whole picture. What has actually happened?
  • What are you thinking *might* happen?
  • Are you assuming that a business deal is going to end horribly, even though you have NO proof of that?
  • What can you do to help alleviate some of the stress from the perceived negative situation?

I want to remind you that as entrepreneurs, we’ve signed up for these 24/7 sales careers. One of the most important things is to just jump in and work towards your goals and dreams, even if you don’t know what the outcome is going to be.

Frequently, the individuals that I speak with tell me they haven’t finished this program, or the work tied to the program, and that they don’t want to get started or take any risks until they’ve taken the time to complete that course work. I think they believe that if they finish the course work, the stress that comes with taking a scary leap in business will go away, but I can assure you that it does not.

Not too long ago, I started my 8-week sales course for accountants. The goal is to teach accountants how to sell without selling and to come from a place of confidence and abundance. Do you know that I had NOTHING created before I launched the course? Not a single slide was made when I decided to go ahead and start pre-selling my course.

Each week, before that week’s class would go live, I would be working on the slides. I wanted to listen to my students and hear about their needs, and then address those needs within my course.

Sure there was stress involved, but in order to combat that and remove any of my expectations, and focus on the reality, I hosted a BETA class.  This allowed me to take the student feedback and use it to create a bigger and better course for my future students.

I could have frozen up, and decided to not launch the course. I could have assumed that the students would hate my course and it would never go anywhere, but I knew those were expectations that would likely not happen.

So, while I cannot tell you that you can remove all of the stress in your life, I can share a way to manage it by basing your views on reality, and not on the expectations that you have.

The Gap Between Your Business Expectations and Reality

A guest on Success Unfiltered, Brandon Bruce, shared a tough experience when his expectations of what would happen, and the reality that actually occurred was very frustrating.

Brandon and his co-founder Ryan, had been approached by an investor. The investor loved Brandon and Ryan’s business plan, and wanted to invest a half million dollars. When they spoke on the phone, the investor verbally agreed to invest this money.

Brandon and Ryan were of course SO excited about this investor. To them it meant that they could start scaling up. They would be able to hire their initial team, and invest in some of the key operation areas that would take them and their business to the next level.

However, the next day, Dell acquired the company that the investor was from, froze all of the mergers, acquisitions and investments. Which meant that Brandon’s company would not be receiving the half million dollar investment.

Brandon referred to it as a “24-hour whiplash of disappointment.” Within 24 hours of being told YES, they were immediately hearing NO.

This situation would be devastating to so many of us entrepreneurs. Just think of what it would be like to lose $500K in just 24 hours?

Despite this tough turn events, Brandon didn’t waste time dwelling on what his business expectations were, he focused on the reality of the situation. He had technically lost $500K, but it had only been in a 24 hour period. He and Ryan had not had the chance to go out and pre-spend the money, make any big plans, or sign any contracts, that would have left them in hot water.

They were in no worse of a situation than they were before. Sure, they need to cool their jets and go back to hustling and selling to their customers but nothing had changed.

They were still working hard, which paid off, when a new investor came along and agreed to the same terms as the previous one. Within just six months, they went from getting a NO, to receiving a huge YES.

Those are the facts! No need for Brandon and Ryan to stress over the “what ifs” or the “should haves.”

Emotional Stability

I know that many of you who read my blog are solopreneurs. You don’t always have a business partner, or someone who you can rely on if things get tough, but I want to encourage you to find someone that you can communicate with when you need a reality check.

Brandon and Ryan are fortunate to have each other to lean on. In any given situation, they’re able to think and look at all different sides, and see the different perspectives.

If one of them is feeling low or disappointed about something, the other is able to step in and bolster their spirits. Alternatively, if one of them gets to excited and hyped up about about something, the other can bring them back to reality and remind them to slow down, and pay attention to what’s real, and build a business that is sustainable.

In one of Warren Buffet’s interviews, he was asked what the most important trait that helped lead him to success.

People expected him to say things like, the ability to take a risk and persevere, but that isn’t the direction that Buffet went.

Instead, his answer was, emotional stability.

In sales this is so important. One moment you’re being told NO. It’s a crushing defeat, but the next you may get the most amazing YES of your career.

You just have to get used to riding that wave, and understand that even in the lowest, most stressful moments things will turn around and you will get your YES.

In Conclusion

Stop worrying about things that you can’t control, and try your best to keep yourself in the reality that is happening all around you. Learn to manage your business expectations and don’t allow worry and stress to hold you back.

When have you allowed your stress about business expectations to dictate your decisions? I’d love if you shared in the comments!

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