I don’t like conflict. So much so that I avoid it by usually not saying anything at difficult times, even if I disagree with what the other person is saying. I stick my head in the sand and will often go weeks avoiding making telephone calls, sending emails, letters, what ever. It’s the fear of rejection or causing upset or anger. I think as I was sheltered from upset and protected when I was little, it led to me fearing it in later life.
Since restarting our business last year, I’ve done lots of networking, been to lots of events, handed out leaflets and sold ourselves through social media. I love meeting new people and finding out about what they do and enjoy. I can talk about what I do, art and design, with passion and enthusiasm with others, and make great connections with people who want me to create art and design for them.
And then I can stall. When it comes to calling people back or following up by email, I put it off. I look for other things to do, work on projects that aren’t as important, do housework, anything rather than contact people about working with them. If it’s someone I know, it’s not an issue and I just get on with it. But new people and potential clients? It’s that fear of rejection or causing upset.
After an excellent Skype yesterday, the conclusion was reached that if I could not overcome this fear and make calls when needed, I might as well give up the business. If I don’t follow up on leads, meetings, what have you, we won’t make any money, and I may as well take up stacking shelves for a living.
I don’t want to do that.
This afternoon, I wrote scripts for the calls I had to make. I also scripted what I would say if it went to answer phone. I read them a few times to get used to the flow, making sure I got what I wanted from the call, then made them. The first call was answered, and I handled it really well. I like the person, as we are both creatives, so the conversation flowed nicely and naturally. We arranged to meet next week to plan the project we are working on, and there is potential for even more work as well. Really happy.
The second call went to answer phone, so I used my scripted response, and will await a reply. Again, what I had written works well for, reassuring the client and ensuring that I get what I need too.
After making the calls, I was buzzing with adrenaline and positivity. I had taken on a big issue that has been with me for years, and the outcome was even better than I had expected. I’m proud of myself, and ready for the next challenge. At the moment I feel like I can do anything…