Do you want to be liked?

This powerful question rocked my entrepreneurial world.  I had a visceral reaction to it.  Before I knew it my fingers were flying and the words poured out like steamed crabs onto kraft paper, hot and a little spicy. (I’m totally jonesing for this delish treat. I make the best  roasted chili crab ever- yum. Sorry, I did it again.)

Cool thing about me is, I know my purpose. My purpose to be your  sherpa, a trusted guide who shows you the twisty path to growing yourself as a business person and growing your confidence communicating with clients, coworkers, partners, vendors, anyone you want to work with better. That’s what I’ve worked on for almost 20 years now.

A few steps ahead of you, I point out the fastest route to peace of mind and how to avoid getting stuck the quicksand of faulty thinking that holds you down.   Sometimes, I’m besides you, though.  To quote that famous commercial, I’m not just the Hair Club President, I’m a member, too.   I have a lot to teach you and a lot to learn about, too.

I am a former please-aholic

I was a please-aholic years ago and under the right circumstances I still get stuck. (hello, product creation).  I let the fear of being disliked or not accepted drive a lot of my earlier motivation to achieve– lawyer, senior Vice President Corporate Ombudsman, award-winning solopreneur.   Achievement is it’s own reward.  Back then though, I had my own personal version of that Sally Field Oscar gem, You like me, your really like me.

I believed I  had to be the best or give the most  otherwise people wouldn’t like me.  And, if people didn’t like me I wouldn’t be successful.  You see what I’m saying, crazy faulty thinking.  Crazy like the time I took a gig 3 hours drive from my home for a 7 am start for the grand total of….drumroll please….$100  Why?   Because I wanted them to like me enough to give me a good recommendation.  It validated me.

I know I’m not the only solopreneur who has given away my time, energy, expertise and more for free to keep customers. I see plenty of virtual assistants, coaches and freelancers who are doing the same stinkin’ thinkin’ right now.  The message to the client is: you matter so much more than me.

I remember deciding that if I wanted to give my children their own home after my divorce I’d have to be a different kind of person.  Someone who cared for me as much as I cared for the thoughts and feelings of those around me.  My best day was the day I realized I already had everything I needed.  The communication skills, conflict techniques and power mindsets that I taught to managers and entrepreneurs could help me to get better at asking for what I want and setting boundaries with clients.

Although it was scary, I was ready to share a new message: We both matter and deserve respect and attention.   We’re partners in whatever it is, and if you can help me, I can create great results for you.

 Emotional smarts rock!

I’m grateful for the time I invested in learning about conflict management and emotional intelligence, what I call emotional smarts.  These lifeskills offer  business-changing ROI.  It’s a blessing to be aware of my  faulty thinking patterns and behaviors so I can cut them off before I get myself into (too much) trouble.  What would it mean to your business if you erased just one negative thought pattern or asked for more one time/

For instance, when there are 5 simultaneous ongoing projects  and each one like 85% done, I know there’s a project or idea in the bunch that might really work.  You know, the BIG idea that propels my business skyward. My lizard brain worries, people won’t like you unless it’s perfect. Better wait for more knowledge, a better time, more reassurance.    By then I’ve  distract myself just enough that  I give up the base  hit because, well,  it’s not gonna be a homerun.  Have you had that self-defeating experience, too?

I’ve learned that when the pattern shows up I gotta act fast to contradict that bad message otherwise I get stuck. It’s great to have a list of positive distractions that set your faulty thinking on the right track again.  I find doing these things extremely helpful to rebuild my confidence with compassion:

  • Reviewing my Happy Folder filled with client emails and testimonials
  • Polling to see how interesting an idea is to my tribe.  Responses feel like votes of confidence.
  • Talking with my mastermind friends to get their trusted opinions
  • Reviewing fabulous flops that eventually made great (see Free Smith of Fedex)
  • Remember that grit is an essential part of my nature. I don’t quit til I figure it out.
  • Saying my fear out loud. They sound sillier out loud somehow.

I’d love to hear what you do toput the wind beneath your wings (Ok, a little Bette Midler never hurt. She’s the mother of big b…s)

Why this is important to you.

You will be happier, more connected, more satisfied and, heck yeah, more profitable when you increase the strength of your emotional intelligence muscles.  That’s what I did to become a former please-aholic. I focused on understanding me, the clients I want to attract and created systems to support that.

My best advice: become an be emotionally smart thought leader.

An Emotionally  Smart Thought Leader….

  • knows her own feelings and triggers
  • can give herself compassion and permission
  • understands the feelings of her customers, their fears, joys and secret desires
  • finely tunes her listening, questioning and attending skills
  • balances practical thinking and  reasoning with caring and customer service
  • makes decisions for the good of both partners
  • leads by showing clients an example of how to be likeable and powerful

Did this resonate with you?  Have you sometimes given away your power because you wanted to be liked?  Inquiring minds want to know…leave a comment!

If you’re ready to transform into a thought leader or want to chat, feel free to borrow my brain

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