This week I sent out a very informal survey to my list. I asked them the question:What Are The Top 3 Frustrations You Have In Your Business Right Now? One of the responses I got made me sit up and take note.Getting over any issues I have with leveraging friends and old contacts for new work.Why did this attract my attention? Well, firstly, because I can really identify with feeling like this and secondly because this exact same issue has come up with 3 of my Mentoring clients this week.We all know that one of the easiest and most effective ways of getting business is through people you know. In fact one of the Exercises I ask many of my clients to do is to make a list of EVERYONE they know and I mean EVERYONE – especially if they are just starting out as a freelance trainer. It’s amazing how many connections we can come up if we really put our minds to it.But the easy bit is making the list. What is much harder is doing something with it. And this is where the gremliins can start to kick in …..‘I can’t call him, it’s ages since we’ve spoken …..’‘I can’t do that, I’ll come across as desperate …..’‘I don’t want people to think I’m not successful ……’‘I don’t really like asking my friends and family for help …..’I can totally understand those gremlins. I’ve had all of them myself. And on the days when I had them I just stared at my list instead of doing anything productive.About 18 months into my business I was, frankly, desperate for clients. I had just given up all my associate work as I was fed up of being paid peanuts. I had to do something. And fast.So I picked up the phone to a lady who I used to coach before I went freelance. She was now working for a large consulting firm. I got straight to the point and asked her if she could introduce me to her HR Director. And the answer?‘Of course! If I’d have know that’s what you wanted I’d have done it ages ago!’ The reality was she didn’t think any less of me for asking, she didn’t think I was desperate and she was really only too glad to help someone who she considered would do a good job.Result: a 6 month contract to coach senior managers within the organisation.That experience really taught me a lesson that has been invaluable to me ever since.Stop second guessing what people might think. The reality is that whatever you think they are thinking they are not. Get over your embarrassment and the fear of projecting an image of being less than successful.Pick up the phone. Just do it. You may be amazed at the results.Oh – and if you want to add YOUR comments to the survey it’s on myFacebook Page

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