The Price You Pay for Playing It Safe

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I have a lot of respect for fellow marketer Robert Middleton, author of The InfoGuru’s Marketing Manual. He is truly a marketing master and small business growth expert. I read his weekly newsletters with interest. This week he wrote about a subject that I think we all have dealt with–playing it safe.

How many times have you made a decision based on what was most comfortable instead of challenging yourself to do something incredible even though it was scary? Those who do are the ones who get what they want from their business and life.

Here’s an excerpt from Robert’s newsletter:

” Please don’t read if you don’t like being challenged. You have been warned.

If I lined up ten of your friends and associates, would they all report that you are passionate, even fanatical about the work you do and the difference you make?

My observation is quite the opposite.

Most business owners may love what they do, but more often than not, they come across as tepid, hesitant, and uncommitted. When they talk about their business they are about as inspiring as a wet sponge.

Look, I’m not out to insult you, but to challenge you.

If you are not passionate about what you do, excited by the difference you make, eager to share with others, inspired by your clients and moved by the abundance of opportunities and possibilities afforded by your business, you are missing the boat.

And what’s perplexing to me is that this is the very last thing that business owners focus on.

Many people will do very little to nothing. Others will study everything they can about marketing. Still others will work hard to make external changes to their marketing. But very few will do the thing that makes the biggest difference of all:

Expressing Authentic Excitement About Their Business!

Excitement, enthusiasm and passion are contagious. Certainly more contagious than “knowing it all” or having a perfect marketing message or even a beautiful web site.

Those things (and many more) will emerge naturally out of your enthusiasm and passion. You don’t do all of that stuff and hope that it adds up to excitement. You come from excitement and all your marketing will come together effortlessly.

But you say:

“But I can’t act excited, Robert, if I don’t feel excited! You might be enthusiastic and passionate about your business. That’s great, but my business is not inherently exciting. And besides, that’s not my style. When you talk about having marketing breakthroughs, I just can’t relate.”

I hear this kind of thing a lot. And it sounds very reasonable. In fact, most people would nod in agreement: “Yes, don’t get too excited, you might be disappointed and you’ll probably turn people off. Better to be low-key and play it safe.”

Ah yes, the mantra of the mediocre: “Play it Safe.”

What you may not realize is that playing it safe is killing your business, eliminating your future, suffocating your soul. Playing it safe has become more important than being fully alive.

When you are fully alive, you don’t think about yourself much or how good you look. You think of those you can serve, those you can make a difference with, those whom you can contribute to. And what more natural outlet to do this than through your business?

Ask yourself, “What is the deadly cost of playing it safe?”

And then ask, “What’s really the worst thing that could happen if I let myself be excited, enthusiastic and passionate about my business?”

Finally, ask, “What breakthroughs might happen in my business if I allowed myself to express this excitement, enthusiasm and passion?”

Are you ready for this kind of breakthrough?”

Kudos to Robert Middleton for making us thinking honestly about what we need to do to breakthrough to a whole new level.


1 Comment
  • Chip
    Posted at 15:39h, 16 April Reply

    Nice blog Janis. I look forward meeting you.

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