Be Brave Enough To Suck at Something New

I saw this quote on LinkedIn and immediately felt connected.  Some people have a fear of change, I have never really had that.  I think I actually have a fear of sameness. 

What that means is, I try new things a lot, so I spend a fair amount of time sucking!  And believe me when I tell you, it’s not that big of a deal.  Because if you persevere, you get over it.  And that feels FABULOUS! 

That feeling of fabulous lasts much longer than the suckiness feeling. 

I have a friend who is determined to learn Capoeira which is a Brazilian martial art that combines dance kicks and music.  When she started, she was mortified to be in the class.  It was really painful for her to just show up.  But show up she did and now, she has learned something completely new, and made some great friends along the way.  Who knows what she will try next? I am excited to hear about it.

That desire for a challenge is what led me to create my newest sales training program – Influencer Sales –  18 months ago.  And it is also what has now led me to try a bold new way of training – a bootcamp for your sales brain!

What is bootcamp style learning?  I learned this concept firsthand two years ago when I went to a six month coding bootcamp. 

I sucked at coding almost every day.  Everyone else was younger and their brains worked faster, and truthfully I hated them.  I am also not a natural coder.  I wasn’t born to code. I was born to tell stories, a different skill set really. 

 But during that bootcamp, I would suck until I learned something, then I was overjoyed.  It was exhilarating the first time I wrote something.  If you want, you can see it here – Hangman  It took me about 25 hours to build that the first time!

 And then we had to learn something new so I sucked again.  Until I didn’t.  And today, I know how to code and honestly, you have no idea how helpful that is and how pleased with myself I am for having graduated. 

Not only did I learn to code, I learned I could struggle and feel sucky and survive.  

My modified definition of bootcamp training is, frequent, short bursts of learning activities, that you can do when you want, when you have 15 or 20 minutes to focus on growing your brain.  And then once a week, a small group gets together via the web to practice what they have learned.   

Is it easy to make time every day learning?  No, it is not easy.  Will you fail sometimes?  Likely.  Will that feel sucky?  Definitely.  

But how will it feel when you finish?  When you force yourself to find the time and work on you?  I guarantee it will feel really rewarding.  

I spent the last six months sucking as I developed this class.  I had to learn a new application to take my in person class and put it online.  I tried one software app, spent many nights and weekends building the whole thing, had people test it and the feedback was not good.  They loved the content but the sound quality was horrible, the system was clunky and just didn’t work.

I went back to the drawing board and learned two more systems.  

Finally I found one (Articulate 360 – big fan!) and I started to build the class again.  I also went to an actual sound studio and felt like a bit of a rock star recording the audio, and then put it all together (again!) and had more people test it.  

The response was much better but I realized, unless I bugged my testers, they didn’t do the lessons.  If I nudged them lightly, sure enough, they would do it and enjoy it, but left to their own devices, they were busy and had to do other things. 

That is when my bootcamp coding experience came back to me.

People are busy,  And attention spans are short!  I needed a way to gently nudge people easily, track their efforts, celebrate their wins and make sure they learned new skills.  And so, I present to you, my version of bootcamp learning!

Every day, Monday through Friday, you come in to an email from me.  There is a link to learning environment where you will do a short – 15 to 20 minute activity.  You might watch a video, or answer some questions, walk through a scenario, it varies based on the topic.  

And then once a week, everyone gets together via a web meeting and we actually practice what we learned that week.  In the first week, we build out our buyer personas.  In week two we update our LinkedIn profile.  Week three, we craft prospecting emails.  And in week four, we tell our story. 

This weekly session, along with some other motivating and tracking I do, will help to keep you progressing.

It is both fun and painful for people.  They are learning new stuff and that is fun.  But when they try to do it, at first they suck.  But we work on it and they get better, some get great.  And the more they practice it, the better they get. 

If this style of learning sounds interesting to you – you can take a closer look here – https://influencer-sales.com/web-series/bootcamp/  I keep the groups small – no more than 20 people.  You can sign up for an open enrollment class – I offer them almost every month. 

Or you can sign up your whole company and have a private bootcamp which works both to grow your sales and build up your team.

For me, it is time to find another new thing to suck at. What about you?

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