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Don’t Promise What You Can’t Deliver

Don’t Promise What You Can’t Deliver


    Last week, I took a sales class for female business owners.  The first thing the instructor did was ask if anyone had been the victim of a bad sales experience.  Every person in the room raised her hand.

    When she probed for details, we learned that the negative situations had one thing in common.  It seemed that whenever a class member had a bad sales experience, it involved the seller promising something he wouldn’t or couldn’t deliver.

    The example I shared with the class was a current one.  I bought a summer membership at our community pool precisely because it advertised a lovely baby pool to which I could escape with my active one and four year-olds. However, every time I’ve used the pool this summer, the baby area has been closed.  Too much chlorine, claimed one manager.  Debris from the storm, cited another.

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    I’m sure the pool director was very apologetic that his customers had been inconvenienced, and that’s nice, but the point is that I did not get what I paid for.  When the baby pool was closed, I had to swim with my kids in the adult pool, which did not afford me the control I wanted and as such, was quite stressful.  I would have rather stayed home.

    The pool has lost a customer.  I will not be buying a pass next summer.

    In work and in life, it is really important not to promise something you can’t deliver, because at best, it will mar your relationships.  At worse, you could lose your job.  Here are some things to think through in advance to avoid this scenario.

    Consider Whether You Have the Authority To Make the Promise

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    Before you assure a co-worker or customer that you can get something done, make sure that your boss or someone higher-up isn’t going to step in and force you to abandon your plan.

    Consider If It Depends On Fate

    You don’t want your reputation to depend on if the weather holds up or traffic is light.  You are not God, so don’t lead people to believe that you control the universe.

    Consider If You Have Been Set Up To Fail

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    Pay attention to rules or policies you are asked to enforce or deals you are asked to make.  Do not allow yourself to be put into a situation in which you have to sell an item worth 99 cents for 99 dollars.  You will let the customer down every time.

    Consider a History of Biting Off More Than You Can Chew

    In the interest of pleasing others, do you consistently overextend yourself and agree to more than you are capable of doing or deadlines you can’t possibly make?   Recognize that leaving people in a lurch is much worse than declining to help in the first place.

    Consider If You Could Use An Extra Push

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    The most critical step in solving any problem is to admit that there is a problem.  Maybe you are just one of those people who mean well but needs to be constantly reminded of commitments.  If this is the case, consider a real or virtual assistant or a more detailed e-calendar that ensures timely follow up on promised items.

    (Photo credit: Guarantee via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on September 23, 2020

    Do What You Love and Love What You Do to Achieve More

    Do What You Love and Love What You Do to Achieve More

    Are you waking up each day looking for that perfect thing, activity, or job that will make your life work? Or, maybe you are looking for that perfect relationship. Once you “get” this new thing that will allow you to do what you love, you are sure that you will be happy forever.

    In reality, life doesn’t work like that, and we would probably get bored if it did. There is likely no one thing, experience, or activity that will keep you feeling passionate and engaged all the time. What’s important is staying connected to what you love and continuing to grow in the process.

    Here, we’ll talk about how to get started doing what you love and achieving more in life through the motivation it brings. Doing this doesn’t have to take a long time; it just takes determination and energy.

    Most People Already Know Their Passion

    So many people walk around in life “looking for” their passion. They look for it as if true passion is some mysterious thing that is difficult to find and runs away once you find it. However, the problem is rarely lack of passion.

    Most of us already know what we love to do. We know what excites us, even if we haven’t done it for years. Instead, we focus on what we think we “must” do.

    For example, maybe you love building model cars or painting pet portraits. Yet, each day you work a completely unrelated job and make no time for the activity you already know you love. The truth is you probably don’t need to find your passion; you just need to start doing what you already know you’re passionate about[1].

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    No Activity Is Exciting All the Time

    Even people who are living their dream lifestyle or working their dream job don’t love it all the time. Every job or lifestyle has parts of it that we won’t like.

    Let’s say your dream is to become an actress, and you succeed. You may not enjoy the process of auditioning and facing rejection. You may experience moments of boredom when you practice your lines over and over again. But the overall experience is totally worth it.

    Most of life is like that. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by demanding that life be perfect all the time. If things were perfect and easy, you would ultimately stop learning and growing, and life would begin to lack even more meaning in that case.

    Be grateful for both the good and bad moments as they are both entirely necessary if you genuinely want to do what you love and love what you do.

    Doing What You Love May Not Be Easy

    Living a life you love is unlikely to be easy. If it was, you would not grow very much as a person. And, if you think about a great book or movie, the growth of the main character is what matters most.

    What if the challenges you meet along your path to living a life you love were designed to make you grow as a person? You may actually start looking forward to challenges instead of dreading them. An easy life hardly ever makes a compelling story.

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    If you struggle to overcome challenges, try writing them down each time you encounter one. Then, write down three ways you could tackle it. Try one, and if it doesn’t work, try another. This way, you’ll learn what does and doesn’t work for you.

    How to Do What You Love

    There are many small steps you can take to ensure you are making time to do the things you love. Start with these, and you’ll likely find that you’re already on the right track.

    1. Choose Your Priorities Wisely

    Many people claim they want to do something, yet they don’t do it. The truth is they might not really want to do it in the first place[2].

    We all end up following through on what matters most to us. We make decisions moment by moment about what we need to focus on. What we choose to do is what we deem most important in our lives.

    If there is something you claim you want to do but you don’t do it, try asking yourself how much you really want it or where it’s currently placed on priority list. Are there other things you want more?

    Be honest with yourself: what you currently do each day is a reflection of your priorities. Recognize that you can change your priorities at any time.

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    Make a list of your priorities. Really take the time to think this through. Then, ask yourself if what you are doing each day reflects them. For example, if you believe your top priority is spending more time with your family, but you consistently take on extra hours at work, you’re not really prioritizing things in the way you think you are.

    If this is happening, it’s time to make a change.

    2. Do One Small Thing Each Day

    As stated above, doing what you love doesn’t have to mean finding that perfect job that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning. If you want to do what you love, start with one small thing each day.

    Maybe you love reading a good book. Take ten minutes before bed to read.

    Maybe you love swimming. Get a membership at the local YMCA, and go there for thirty minutes after work each day.

    Dedicating even a short amount of time to something that brings you joy each day will improve your life overall. You may find that, over time, a career path related to what you love to do pops up. After doing the thing you love each day, you’ll be more than prepared to take it on when the opportunity arises.

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    If you need help making time for your passions, check out this article to get started.

    3. Prepare to Make Sacrifices

    If you are an exceptionally busy person (aren’t we all?), you may have to make sacrifices in order to make space for the things you are passionate about. Maybe you take on less extra hours at the office or take thirty minutes away from another hobby in order to develop another that you enjoy.

    Looking at your priority list will help you decide what can get put on the back burner and what can’t. Remember, do this thinking about what will help you feel good about how you’re spending your time. 

    For example, if you love writing but rarely make time for it, consider getting up 30 minutes earlier than normal. Or instead of browsing your phone for 30 minutes before bed, you can write instead. There is always a way to find time for what you love.

    Final Thoughts

    If you love what you do, each day becomes a joyful adventure. If you don’t love what you are doing, life feels like a chore. The best way to achieve success is to design a life you love and live it every day.

    Remember, doing something you love doesn’t have to include big gestures or time-consuming projects. Start small and grow from there.

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    Featured photo credit: William Recinos via unsplash.com

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