“Be willing to be uncomfortable. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. It may get tough, but it’s a small price to pay for living a dream.”
“It’s far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help.”
“Character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion.”
Get comfortable with discomfort.
Life is full of red tape, gatekeepers, and bottlenecks. Some of these sticking points are set in stone while others are set in sand. The key to getting ahead is deciphering which decision-makers are real and which decision-makers are fake. Phony gatekeepers can be bypassed quickly and unemotionally. Real gatekeepers; on the other hand, must be dealt with strategically. This is true in academia, medicine, business and entrepreneurship. First, you have to find a way to put yourself face-to-face with these people. Then, you have to melt their faces.
Impress yourself onto important people. Decision-makers are people who make important decisions relevant to your goals. Whether you’re vying for a promotion (or admission), trying to close a sale, or seeking exclusive information, achieving your goal will involve persuading other people. You will have to convince real decision-makers that your product, service, or self is worth their time and energy. Impression drives persuasion. Understand that the best way to persuade people is to impress them in a meaningful way. And in today’s world, the only way to impress people is to get directly in front of them and give them a reason not to forget you. Thanks to the Internet and social media, everyone has access to everything. As a result, no one is impressed with online information anymore, and no one is wowed by second-hand connections. Sending out a sea of keyword-loaded resumes or asking a friend of a friend to put a good word in for you is not impressive. Anyone can click a button or talk to a friend. Nowadays, the only way to impress people in business and entrepreneurship is with presence and clarity. Of course, the goal is not to play up to others or use them to get ahead. Your goal is to reveal your true value to people who can help you fulfill your purpose in life while you help them fulfill theirs.
Gravitate towards discomfort. Your success in life is proportional to the number of uncomfortable situations you’re willing to put yourself in. If you’re having trouble figuring out who the decision-makers in your industry are, or how you should try to impress them, just ask yourself who and what intimidates you the most. Would you rather email your resume to your friend (who promises to give it to his manager), or drive it over to your friend’s office and deliver it to his manager in person? Would you rather attend a local industry meeting and network with the same 10 people you saw at the last meeting, or spend all your money traveling to an international conference so you can network with the leaders of your field? Let discomfort be your guide. Eventually, you’ll be able to thrive in uncomfortable situations. This will help you develop leadership skills and aide in your entrepreneurship development.
How To Melt A Face
Learn the art of melting faces. Melting faces is slang for impressing someone. To say you are going to melt someone’s face is the same as saying you are going to blow someone’s mind, break a leg, or bring it hard. The phrase simply implies having an intense effect on others. To have this kind of an effect, you have to be present and clear. This means doing whatever it takes to get face-to-face with the people who can help you fulfill your purpose in life.
Stop persuading people who don’t matter. Very often, we try to impress people who have no sway over whether or not we fulfill our purpose in life. We do this because it’s safe and comfortable. Telling a colleague or low-level manager that you want a raise may feel rewarding and productive but it probably won’t get you promoted. Writing an email or LinkedIn message to a hiring manager from the safety of your desk may seem smart and bold but it probably won’t get the job. On the other hand, scheduling a 15 minute meeting with the head of your division and melting his face with a well-rehearsed, detailed presentation on how you will make the company more money in 6 months will definitely leave an impression. Likewise, flying yourself to the hiring manager’s corporate office and melting her face with your knowledge of the company and your willingness to work for free to earn the position will put a dent her psyche.
Once you get in front of a real gatekeeper, you’ll only have a few seconds to get his or her attention and deliver your message. The key is to be present and clear. To be present, you have to be face-to-face. Forget about impressing people with a resume, well-written email, or clever Facebook page. These information channels are completely clogged. The only information channel worth pursuing is face-to-face conversation. Oral communication is one of the only skills that will matter in the next 5 years. This is because oral communication is still the best way to exchange ideas. Conversing face-to-face allows you to use your body language, mannerisms and facial expressions, as well as the rate, pitch, and tone of your voice to keep the other person present. And you will have to use all of these things to keep someone else present. Other people are just like you. They are constantly thinking about themselves, their ideas, their jobs, their emails, their to-do lists, their relationship obligations, what they have, what they don’t have, what they need, what they want, on and on. The only way to cut through the noise is to get in front of them, make eye contact, and give them a reason not to tune you out.
Nothing Pays More Than Attention
Ask questions. Show enthusiasm. Repeat. Most often, when you finally get in front of a decision-maker, you won’t have anything to offer them in return except for promises and stories. You will promise to be a hard-worker, to have the knowledge they need, to increase their profits, to deliver sales, or to help them in return down the road. You’ll tell stories of how hard you worked in the past, where you came from, and what you’ve achieved in life so far. The problem is your promises and stories mean nothing to a stranger. Instead of making promises, give them what you have to offer right now – your attention. The best way to keep someone else’s attention is to give them your attention. Hanging on other people’s words makes other people hang on your words. The trick is giving people something to talk about. And the only way to do this is by asking questions.
Don’t smile, nod, and delete. Before getting face-to-face with people who can help you fulfill your purpose in life, study their purposes in life. If you don’t care about their goals, why should they care about yours? Next, ask them as many open-ended questions as you can about their career goals, life goals, and past victories. Finally, give them your abundant attention. Don’t fake it. Be authentic. Find something about them to be interested in. Find something to actually care about. Whatever you do, don’t pretend. Smart people can sense insincerity a mile away.
Give the gift of enthusiasm to every gatekeeper you meet. When was the last time someone else got really excited about one of your ideas. I mean really excited. The truth is, this doesn’t happen that often. But when it does happen, it makes you feel incredible. You feel understood. You feel validated. You feel like you’re making a difference. This is also how other people feel when you show enthusiasm for their ideas. Most people think that the best way to impress someone else is by showing off, or by telling them all about your great ideas. This does not impress people. Listening impresses people. Asking great questions impresses people. Showing enthusiasm impresses people.
Weird people succeed more than cool people. Cool is boring. Everyone is trying to be cool, be a good fit, and be just what decision-makers are looking for. Understand that you can’t stand out by fitting in better than everyone. The only way to differentiate yourself is by doing the opposite of what the herd is doing. You have to be weird. You have to do what’s unusual and uncomfortable. Melting faces is simply a matter of doing what other people feel is unnecessary. This means taking bigger risks to get in front of decision-makers and having the presence of mind to engage them in a way that fulfills them, not you.