In business and any other activity where you need to interact (call, meet, write to etc) with other people to get things done, there are always those people that you know you should call and yet somehow, you don’t.
They would be good! They have credibility! They have influence! They are resourceful! They have great connections!
Still we don’t call.
Call Your Chicken List!
Why not? How do people end up on our Chicken List anyway!? There are thousands of reasons of course. There may be a different reason for every person on the planet because this is all about our insecurities and everybody is different and view things from a different perspective. What makes one person excited and motivated, makes another person shudder at the thought.
I’d be willing to bet that there are some key reasons not to make THAT call, commonplace in many people’s minds. So I did a bit of reading around. Here’s some of the popular excuses I found:
- You feel inferior or subordinate to that person. Maybe they are your boss or your bosses boss! Why would they listen to you?
- They are important in the community. They are veterans in the industry. They have things. Their life is just great. Surely they don’t want you bothering them?
- Everyone else is calling them. People much better, much more experienced, much more qualified than you. Anyway, their schedule is packed. They wouldn’t have time, even if they were interested.
- You have spoken to them before, they didn’t get back to you or they weren’t interested in the last thing you were talking about.
- They will think it is a stupid idea. They might mock you or tell other people about your pie-in-the-sky ridiculous dreams.
Certainly very familiar to me and I bet for anyone who has tried to make changes and drive an idea forwards. The fact is that causing any change brings up resistance. It just seems to be a law of nature. Whether for good or bad, change is met with challenge.
We’ve all heard the sayings like “Good thing no easy, easy thing no good” and “Nothing good ever comes easily” and “if it comes easily, watch out!” I believe that the chicken list exists because by contacting these people, big change might occur. That might mean big resistance and that is frightening.
So better to push those people to the back of your mind and focus on the easier, small change, low-risk things right?!
Call Your Chicken List, it’s good for you!
So if a big, good thing can come out of an interaction and that in turn might cause some resistance and challenge (which is frightening), then it makes some sense to me that the scary people you don’t want to call, might be the very ones you definitely need to call.
I have heard it said that the thing you are avoiding most right now, is often the thing that will move you forward the most. Put another way, the activity which is most likely to move us towards our goals, is often the activity we most try to avoid. The thing we have all the excuses for not doing.
When I started out in the computer industy, cold calling, I read that picking up the phone and making new connections does five things for you:
- You learn something
- You make friends
- You uncover opportunities
- You might make some money
- You have fun
I agree with all these things. Sure, it can be daunting and you definitely meet some less than perfect people in the process, but mostly, people are generally friendly and at least polite enough to listen for a little while.
An additional benefit to biting the bullet and calling the (supposedly scary) people is the massive confidence boost that comes from overcoming a fear. Achieving something you thought you couldn’t do. As the people on the other end of the phone start to act in different, more appealing ways than you expected, you prove the fear to be irrational. It begins to have a smaller voice and you start to say to yourself “I can do this”.
New possibilities spring up out of connecting with people. New directions that you would not have explored on your own before the call. It seems reasonable to me that the scariest, most experienced, influential people on the chicken list may just have the best opportunities, ideas and other people to refer you to.
So call Your Chicken List! I’m calling mine…
p.s. How about this for a thought….Do you think YOU are on somebody else’s Chicken List?!