I have been on the phone with clients for the last five hours straight. Just like yesterday and the day before, and just like tomorrow. That’s what I do. Today though, I have been having a recurring discussion with different folks about how they can most effectively improve their business is by improving their ability to communicate with customers and potential customers. We then went on to the same topic that I make sure to cover every single week: The most effective tool you have in your tool box to help with this improvement is to Role Play. Same sh!+, different day. If you Role Play, your team will get better at communicating with potential customers, and be able to turn more of them into actual customers. If you Role Play, you will all be more confident having these conversations, and will be less likely to give up during the sales conversation. If you Role Play more, you will make more money. Period.
Why in the hell won’t they, don’t they, Role Play more?
Then the light bulb went on over my head. Because it’s hard. It takes commitment and dedication. It takes the willingness and ability to become comfortable with doing something that makes them uncomfortable. It is inconvenient, and there is never enough time. It’s a lot like losing weight. It’s a lot like staying healthy. It’s a lot like eating right. It’s a lot like running.
People aren’t overweight because they don’t know what it takes to stay in shape. They are overweight because doing those things is hard…. Like running.
I used to write a blog. It was pretty O.K. Then I ran a race, a marathon, and my performance humiliated me. Blank blank blank… blah blah blah. I have not run more than once every two or three months since then. That was over a year and a half ago.
I am very aware of what I need to do to stay in shape. I am very aware of what I need to do to maintain my weight. I am very aware of what I need to do to get back on my horse and run. It is kind of simple. I need to put on my running shoes. I need to lace them up. I need to go outside. And I need to put one foot in front of the other at a fast enough pace to not call it walking. That’s really about it. So why has it been so damn hard?
When Jane and I were training for the Marathon, I was excited to jump out of bed and get down to the street. When we were running three to five times per week, I was happy to kick her out of bed and beg her to get her shoes on and go with me. Now the shoe has been on the other foot. It has been VERY hard to find the motivation and actually do it. Jane has tried to be that force I obviously needed, but she has not been able to find a way to get me back on track.
She got me out about six months ago, and we came close to getting mugged in broad daylight (o.k. it was in a tunnel, which we took a detour around when we watched the guy go in ahead of us hiding a very large rock under a full length parka in 90’ heat). She got me out a few weeks later, and we got attacked by a dog (nope, didn’t get bit, just made me cry like a little girlJ). This was exactly what I needed to keep my but on the couch; having my lack of motivation being reinforced by crappy luck and fear. But the reality of it is that I have been using this as an excuse to be lazy.
When my big brother and his wife came to town this weekend for my dad’s 80th birthday, there was no getting out of going running. They are both in their 50’s and are both still in Marathon shape and run regularly (did someone say Boston?). They rode the Tour De France route last September. The hard part! They are a little intimidating when it comes to how in shape they are. But they are also someone I apparently have no ability to say no to.
We got up on Saturday morning and jumped in the car for a drive up to our favorite park-and-run spot. It is at a gas station right at the corner of 16th Street and the canal, where we can run along the canal that takes us along to the Biltmore, passed the Wrigley Mansion. Our plan was literally to go a mile out and a mile back. I was very happy with the fact that we were too busy talking and catching up to realize we went a little over a mile and a half before we turned for the run back to the car.
It is still hot out here in Phoenix, and this was not really an exception. But it was a sweat that was worth it. Not the kind you get here everyday walking to your car in 115' heat. The kind that we earned. It was different. It was nice. It also made me really look forward to getting back home to the pool :).
In the end, we ran about 3 ½ miles, more than I have run in a year. It felt good, and yes, my legs hurt. But as you runners like to say: It’s a good kind of hurt. Maybe I will go out again, so I can say that like a runner, instead of the guy who has a nice pair of running shoes. It would be good to do a little less Role Playing, and a little more doing. Maybe we will try this again. I kind of hope so. (p.s. Shout out to my Sis-n-LawAmy on her awesome Portland Marathon finish this weekend.)