Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but nobody wanna lift no heavy ass weight.
Ronnie Coleman’s quote about bodybuilding, on its surface, might not seem applicable to the business world, but when we dig deeper, we find that it is. Phrased another way, everyone wants to be successful, but not everyone wants to do the unpleasant things that success requires, and a lot of times, that unpleasant thing, is working for free. One of the questions I get asked a lot is, “how can I get paid to speak?” My answer is boring, and a lot of people dismiss it, but the answer is to get really good at speaking. To get really good at speaking, you have to speak a lot. This means speaking for free, a lot. Once we’re really good at speaking, people will pay us for it, but we have to build the skill first. We have to lift the heavy ass weight. I have some friends that dream of being paid writers. Do you know how many of them write every day for free? That’s right, the answer is zero. If they would simply put 500 words on the screen every day, they would within a year, develop the skills to be paid to write. They’re bright, and gifted people, but they haven’t developed the discipline and skill required to collect. They haven’t lifted their heavy ass weight. If you’re working in sales, how much of your after-hours time to you spend studying your products, your company, and your industry? How much time do you spend off the clock developing your communication skills, learning to better use language and understanding persuasion? The best I know put in a lot of work when they aren’t getting paid to make themselves better. They read the books, they take the classes and they go to Toastmasters meetings because they see the time they spend doing these things as an investment that pays dividends when the time comes to use the skills. These people lift the heavy ass weight. There is a pervasive attitude that only suckers work for free. This is a real shame because a lot of opportunities are missed due to this worldview. I can’t tell you how any opportunities have come my way because I spoke even though the group couldn’t pay me.  Those opportunities all more than paid for work that I put in for free, but the bigger payoff came from the habits that I developed and skills that I honed. When I lifted the heavy ass weight, good things happened and weight got lighter. You may not want to be a bodybuilder, but I would still urge you to lift the heavy ass weight. Do the unpleasant things like working for free, because the results are more than worth the price you pay when your skills are good enough to collect.]]>