So, I’m sittin’ at my local grocery store the other day, pumping gas for the ol’ jalopy (and meanwhile being extremely thankful that little price dial ain’t whirrin’ around like a fan, like it was a few months ago), when I happened to look up and noticed this little fellah up there in the tree above me.
Just before I managed to drag out my cell phone and snap this shot, he was waaaay out there on the very end of that limb. Although the little guy couldn’t have weighed more than a whiffle ball, that skinny little branch he’s on was bent over like a bow.
What could he have been thinkin’, I wondered?
I mean, there he was out there on that tiny little twig, risking life and limb, and for what? There weren’t any nuts out there (except, of course, himself).
I’m always amazed at the apparent fearlessness of these little critters; risking it all (like that little character, Scrap, from the Ice Age animated movies) for the Holy Grail of squirreldom, that one last juicy nut.
What makes ‘em that way, anyway? What is it that makes them – or anyone, for that matter – willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish what they have in mind?
The Wake-Up Call
The question is no longer an idle one. You may remember a couple of weeks ago I somewhat unexpectedly had to change companies due to cutbacks (sound of big surprise). More than once during these last few weeks, Mrs. MZM and I looked at each other and realized the hard truth: We had no Plan B!
Well… that’s not really true. To be more accurate, there actually IS a Plan B – and it’s been in place for well over a year – but we came face to face with the fact that we had failed miserably to do anything with it, if you get my meanin’.
See, here’s the thing.
I run a completely different business on the side. Not really that unusual, I know; lots of folks do something for a little extra cash, too. It’s just that to be successful in this business, it requires me to do things I’ve never done before. Like any business, in order to grow it, I have to… search for leads (not really all that hard), network my way into opportunitites (a little harder), and market myself like crazy (something I find very, very difficult).
Unfortunately, I haven’t been doing these essential things like I should have been – and thus, the business essentially languished. The result: now, when having that second income should have been a welcome safety net, well, it simply ain’t there – yet!
Hoo-eee! You wanna talk about your wake-up call!
Busy as… a Squirrel
OK, so for the last few weeks, I’ve really been doing what I should have been doing all along – all those, y’know, icky things I mentioned above – and more. But it ain’t easy, I’ll tell ya. Why? Because it requires me to kinda go out on that limb, so to speak, just like our little fuzzy friend up there.
See, the thing is, I’m an introvert by nature. And it’s dang hard for me to up and market myself like that. It ain’t something that just comes natural to me. Besides, it’s a scary world out there, y’know?
I mean, what if folks don’t want what I have to offer? (Of course you do, I tell myself. I mean, who wouldn’t want to pay less for something they’re already paying for every month?) What if they think I’m nuts? (So what’s your point, I say. That ship already sailed a while back, I’m afraid.) What if they look at me and think Just who the heck do I think I am, anyway? (Hey, I’m nobody special; I’m just like you, I’d say.) What if… Hey, you know how it is, right?
But to be successful at this business – or any business, or any endeavor worth pursuing, for that matter – you pretty much have to get out there anyway, right? C’mon, nod your head with me here. (Sound of heads nodding) The difference between then and now, of course, is that little thing called motivation. And that’s the key element.
It’s actually easy to do the tough things – when you’re motivated.
Motivation Makes the Difference
So, now that I’m, y’know, finally motivated, it’s time for me to go out on a limb, folks. Time for me to willingly – and with a remarkable sense of growing enthusiasm – do things I’ve never done before! Yep; time to take the risk! That’s right, y’all – it’s time to spit into the wind! To (swelling sound of inspirational music) go forth where no man has gone before! To dang the torpedoes and go full speed ahead! To – ouch… (sound of dull thud as blunt object hits back of head)…
Er, sorry; got a little carried away there.
I mean, sure, it’s scary; especially at first. But I tell myself (there’s a lot of self-talk involved in this, don’cha know… which is perfect, since as you know, I talk to my Self a lot anyway) it’s the only way.
What About You?
So what is it that gets YOU motivated to do that thing you want to do? ARE you doing what you want to do? What will it take for you to DO the thing you, y’know, love to do?
Tough questions, I know. Think about it, won’t you? In the meantime…
Onward, through the fog! (sound of inspirational music, fading into the distance…)
Photo: Out on a Limb, by Robert Hruzek