There was a time when I knew I wanted to play a bigger game.
I longed to be around successful people I could learn from. I longed to be the type of person who would spend this kind of money on their own development and know with certainty that it was no big deal…but was I ready?
I sent an email to Alan Weiss, who is the organizer of a business event called Thought Leadership. I asked if I there was any way I would be able to attend this event, even though it was sold out. Robert Cialdini was speaking, and a colleague of mine suggested I write the organizer to ask if he would permit me to attend based on my colleague’s recommendation.
He replied and said he would make an exception as a courtesy to this woman but I needed to pay for my registration now. Seeking permission to attend was the first step…giving myself permission to invest in myself this way was the next step. This wasn’t your typical event. The fee to attend this event was $11,000 USD for 2.5 days.
Being ready to play a bigger game means playing in a new arena. It means doing things differently than you’re doing right now. And when you decide to do things differently, the first thing that happens is you become afraid.
Sometimes you become afraid that you’re making a mistake. You worry that you’re not good enough and you allow the inner critic to take over and sabotage your desire to play big.
I had to call my credit card company and make arrangements for this payment to go through. The cost of the event, combined with the US dollar exchange exceeded the limit on my card. That meant I needed to make the payment on my card first, call them and let them know that this very large purchase was about to happen and that they should approve the charge.
There were several steps I needed to overcome in order to play a bigger game:
I had to ask for permission to attend and overcome my fear of rejection.
I had to give myself permission to go and overcome my fear of spending that much money.
I had to transfer the money, pick up the phone and call my credit card company and follow through on making this investment.
I had to show up at this event and mingle with 15 other very successful entrepreneurs, most of whom I did not know.
If I am being honest, playing a bigger game was scary, uncomfortable and challenging.
But…by the end of that event, I signed up for next year and hired Alan to be my coach. I’ve chosen to play a bigger game and to step into what that means even though it is often uncomfortable.
Are you ready to play a bigger game too?
You cannot play a bigger game by continuing to do the same old, same old. If you want to play a bigger game you must examine these seven things:
1. Your habits
Do you have the successful habits of a high achiever or do you still embody the habits of an amateur? Have you created the habit of doing what you say you will do? (Especially promises you make to yourself). Or do you make excuses when it comes time to follow through? Think about the habits you have in place for starting your day, exercise and healthy eating, creating content for your business, managing your finances, paying your taxes. Are your habits demonstrative of you being able to play a bigger game?
2. Your skills and abilities
Your skills and abilities are one of the cornerstones of playing a bigger game. You’ve got to have talent, willingness, and ability. Are you investing in your skill level on a regular basis, constantly looking for ways to improve so you can be the best in your industry? If you want to be seen in a bigger arena, you’ve got to stand out from those who are mediocre or average. You need to have the skill, talent, and ability. And the amazing byproduct of having talent, skill, and ability, is you start to build courage and confidence in yourself.
3. How you run your business
If you want to play a bigger game, your business has to be ready for more customers, more sales, better customer service. Are you running your business like someone who is the CEO of your company, or are you behaving like you have a job you’re not that engaged with? You can’t do this alone, you need a team and the architecture to play big otherwise, you won’t be able to keep the increased volume of customers you attract.
4. How you market your business
Are you marketing when you feel like it or are you taking the way you market your business seriously? Do you know what marketing activities work and which fall flat? Are you thinking long-term about your marketing strategy, or are you winging it today? Are you sticking with your marketing strategy, do you even have a strategy or are you trying to play big on a wish and a prayer? Marketing is the activity you do to attract customers to your business. If you can’t stick with your marketing activities, you’re not ready to play big.
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5. How you show up on social media
Do you show up, and if so, do you show up like a professional or an amateur? Are you focused and clear on your message or are you all over the place? You cannot be all things to all people on social media, and the quickest way for someone to form an opinion of who you are is to look at your last five social media posts.
6. The types of people you associate with
Jim Rohn said you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Are the five people you’re hanging around big thinkers who are doing big things and playing a big game themselves or are you hanging out with people who are whiners and complainers, who are broke and playing as small as can be? Now before you think I expect you to ditch all your friends who have their own version of big (and it’s not the same as yours), that’s not what I mean. What I mean is if you really want to play in a bigger arena, you need to be around like-minded people who are doing big things. Their habits, energy, and enthusiasm will rub off on you and will provide you with fuel to play bigger yourself.
One of the women in my coaching program told me flat out “I work with you because you’re the only person I know who has done this and I want to do what you’ve done.” What she said is the hallmark of playing big, you can’t help but emulate and model what you see other people doing when you are around them. You may as well emulate success if you want to play big.
7. How you manage your money and invest in yourself
You can’t play big if you’re broke, you don’t track your sales, pay your bills on time and manage your money. It takes money to make money, it takes money to move into a bigger arena. Start measuring what matters and change your relationship with money. You need to understand what your profit margins are, how many customers you need to reach the next of success in your business, what your sales are this year compared to last year. You can’t measure playing big if you don’t know the score. Stop avoiding this very important part of your business.
I couldn’t have taken that first step if I didn’t have the money to do so. The year after I took that first step, I grew my business by 16% which was equivalent to six-figure growth.
If you want to play big, you’ve got to be able to quantify what that looks like for you, and then figure out exactly how you’re going to do that. Playing big is great, it’s most certainly uncomfortable, and it’s absolutely worth it.
Are you really ready to play a bigger game?