What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Rev. Robert Schuller asks, “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” It’s one of my favorite quotes.

I’ve often asked myself this question. When I found my confidence lacking, when a project got stalled because I didn’t know what to do next, or when I was faced with a major career decision, I would stop and think about the “best case scenario” and it helped me move forward.

I think it’s because of the word “if”. “What would do if. . .” is a hypothetical question. We can answer it because we’re not promising anything, we’re speculating. The question allows us to bypass our critical mind and find the answers.

We may still have fears and doubts but now we know what we would do if we didn’t.

If you are procrastinating on updating your web site, imagine that in 90 days that web site is bringing you four or five or ten new clients a month. If God Himself whispered in your ear and told you that your web site will be massively successful, what would you do today?

You’d make a list of tasks that need to be done and you’d start working on them, wouldn’t you? If you don’t know what those tasks might be, your first task would be to find someone who does know and ask them what to do.

If you knew for certain that things would work out exactly the way you wanted (or better), what would you attempt? If you knew that your project would be a success, what would you do today to move it forward?

Whatever it is that you would do if you knew you could not fail, that’s what you should do.

“What if it doesn’t work?” you ask.

“What if it does?”

If you’re already earning as much as you want, you don’t need to read this

“Who the hell are you and why are you contacting me?”

Begin rant. . .

I got this voice mail message the other day: “Hi David, this is Joe Blow. Please give me a call at [telephone number]. . .”.

He didn’t say who he was (other than his name, which I did not recognize) or why he was calling. He didn’t give me any reason to call him back.

Guess who I didn’t call back?

I shouldn’t have to tell anyone this but it happens often enough so I guess I do: when you leave a message, tell people who you are and why you are calling.

Are you a client? A colleague? A fan? Do you want to hire me? Is there an issue I need to look into? Do you have something to propose?

When you leave a voice message, give them a good reason to call you back.

And. . .

State your name clearly. Spell it (unless it’s very common). Say your number slowly so they can write it down. Repeat the number so they don’t have to listen to the message again. Give them your time zone and the best time(s) to reach you. Say please and thank you.

Common courtesy and common sense.

And. . .

The same goes for email.

Tell people who you are and why you’re writing. What do you want them to know or do? Give them a web site so they can find out more. Use correct grammar and spelling. Format your email so it doesn’t look like a DECLARATION OF WAR! And get to the friggin point!

When you contact someone for the first time, you’re making that proverbial first impression. The only thing they have to go on is that email or voice mail message. Make it professional. Show them you care. Because if you don’t care, why should they?

Rant over. . .

If you’d like to “Crush It!”

I wrote this brief review of “Crush It!” by Gary Vaynerchuck on another blog more than a year ago. My knowledge and use of social media has come a long way since then. I’ll post reviews of other books I’ve read that have more of the “how to’s” but this is the book to read if you want to know “why to”.

I’d heard a lot of good things about “Crush It!” and finally downloaded it (kindle for PC, in case you’re curious). I’m fairly new to the world of social media marketing so I was surprised at how much I already knew and how much I was already doing.

After reading Crush It!, I now know (a) social media marketing is not a passing fad, (b) properly implemented, it’s an incredibly powerful way to build almost any kind of business, and (c) it’s not that complicated. In other words, if you market something on the Internet, or you want to, you need to add social media marketing to your marketing mix and it’s a lot easier than you may have thought.

Now, if you’re looking for a detailed manifesto on social media marketing, this isn’t it. It’s a great story and a compelling look at the power of social media marketing and worth it for that alone. Where it really shines, however, is in driving home the importance of finding your passion, your DNA as Vaynerchuk calls it, and building your brand, and your business, around that.

Vaynerchuk makes you think about who you are and what drives you. If you’re going to “crush” anything, it’s going to have to be something you are passionate about, or you won’t do it enough, or well enough, to cut through the noise and clutter that competes for the eyes and ears of your target market. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you aren’t going to make it; if you do, the journey will be as rewarding as the destination.

A friend of mine often says, “if you do what you love and you love what you do, you’ll never work another day in your life.”  No doubt Gary Vaynerchuk would agree.