Nothing will kill your forward movement in life and in business more than a feeling of worthlessness.
You know the feeling…
You just don’t feel that what you are offering is worthy, good enough, or valuable.
And when that happens you just close down. You want to hide.
You certainly don’t want to get out there, market your services, or meet with prospective clients.
Look, you haven’t always felt this way, so what happened?
Perhaps you put yourself out there and nobody was interested.
Or you gave a presentation and got a crappy response.
Or you tried to get a meeting with someone and they ghosted you.
One day you were feeling enthusiastic, excited, hopeful. You had something you felt was valuable and wanted some response.
But nada. Your idea/message/offer went nowhere.
And before you knew it, you were feeling like a piece of s**t.
So, what’s a poor self-employed professional to do when this happens?
A very common response is to want to quit and to have a pity-party.
“Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I’m going to eat some worms,” goes the childhood song. (complete lyrics here)
That song is genius because it was designed to address a child’s feeling of worthlessness by turning it into laughter.
“You feel worthless, let me tell you something much, much worse!”
And that ain’t a bad approach.
“You called someone and they didn’t want to meet with you? Well at least they didn’t send a hit man to take you out!”
“You gave a presentation and everyone dropped off Zoom after 15 minutes? Perfect, you now know how NOT to give a presentation!”
“You shared your brilliant idea for a new service with someone and they start yawning. Well, thankfully they didn’t throw up.”
We take setbacks so personally. We think they mean something about our intrinsic worth. They don’t.
When a client is discouraged about selling their services, I often remind them of Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame.
In the course of his life, he experienced one business failure after another. But he had a great chicken recipe that people liked.
He started a restaurant and tried to franchise it. He was rejected 1,009 times before someone finally accepted it when he was 62 years old! The rest is history.
Surely, if Col. Sanders could keep going after 1,009 rejections, you can keep at it a few more times and survive to tell the tale.
By the way, I promise you, Col. Sanders felt worthless many, many times in the process of selling that famous chicken recipe.
What kept him going? Well, ultimately, he knew he had something of real value.
His intermittent feelings of worthlessness were not as important as his commitment and persistence.
OK, so you’re feeling worthless right now. I get it. I’ve been there more times than I can tell you.
But NOW what are you going to do? Other than eating some worms? Knock on another door. Give another presentation. Remember your value.