July 27, 2011

Dive In

I enjoyed a relaxing evening at our pool last night. I had taught in the morning and then attended a class in the afternoon before driving back to Columbus, so it was a welcome respite from a long day to sit back, enjoy a cold drink and have pizza with the family and then watch the kids play in the pool and jump off the diving boards.

It was on those diving boards where I saw a little girl who inspired this blog post.

I don't know her but she seemed like a pretty cool kid. Her name was Reese and I am guessing she is about 7 or 8 years old, maybe 9. She was standing on the high dive getting ready to dive for her first time from that height.

She stretched out her arms, bent at the waist and then...straightened up and walked back to the end of the board.

She walked back to the edge, repeated the process and then...chickened out. She jumped feet first.

This process repeated itself a few times and each time, more and more people were looking on, including the lifeguard and her older brother who were each encouraging her to "just do it" with calls of "it'll be easy" and "just trust yourself, lean and fall forward."

"I'm scared," yelled Reese as she jumped feet first again. "I'll do it next time," she said at least three times.

And then, she summoned up the guts and did it. She dove off the high dive. A perfect entry with minimal splash. Even the Russian judge would have scored her well (once you factored in the degree of difficulty and her age, it was quite impressive).

Reese emerged from the depths with a smile on her face almost bigger than her cheeks could hold. She proudly swam to the ladder, climbed out of the pool and you know what she did next? She walked right back to the high dive to do it again.

Up the ladder she went. She walked... no she strutted to the end of the board, yelled to her mother at the other end of the pool to "watch me dive, Mom" and did it again. Another perfect dive.

Her fear completely vanished, Reese had determined that she was now ready to move on to a front flip. Seriously, after a few more trips up the ladder and off the board head first, she almost seemed bored with diving from the high dive and, since she realized her fear wasn't as strong as she imagined just fifteen minutes earlier, she figured she could do a front flip just like she does easily off the low board.

And she did.

I am sure by now, you know where I am going with this story, don't you?

What are you afraid of when it comes to your business? Have you done anything today that involves business development activities or are you staying in the shallow end of the pool focused on the easier, safer business support activities? Working with those first time buyers might be in your comfort zone but trying to break in to the high end market of $500K and higher seems a bit "above your level" of confidence, huh? Making that tough call to a Seller who needs a drastic repositioning of his asking price in order to generate some buyer traffic isn't going to be easy so perhaps you should just wait until the listing expires and blame the "tough market" as the reason the house didn't sell.

Take it from Reese. It's just the first one that seemed hard. After that, it starts getting fun.

Rest period is over. Get up there and stretch out your arms, bend at the waist.

No one is going to push you. You've just got to dive in.