What if you are successful?

What if you are successful?  Successful

You have been talking about your goal to set up a business. You have passion. Then some clever guy throws a number of questions at you with “But what if……

  • …you run out of money?”
  • …nobody wants what you offer?”
  • …nobody has any money?”
  • …you’re wrong?”
  • …the planet is invaded by little green men, who make us dance until we collapse?”

You’re expected to have an answer for each of these hypothetical dead ends. Ok maybe not that last one, but if you can’t respond you are being pushed to abandon your goal and run the risk of them saying “I told you so. If only you had listened to me”.

Put your finger in the middle of your forehead

Why you may ask? Because just inside your skull at this point lies your Prefrontal Cortex and this is where we make our decisions. Just behind this resides your Working Memory. This is also where we see ourselves doing things on the ‘Visuo-Spatial Sketch Pad’. No kidding that is what it’s called.

You decide to set up a business (Prefrontal Cortex) and then you start to see all the things you need to do (Visuo-Spatial Sketch Pad). Luckily for us, this is also the part of the brain that coordinates our body (err Coordination of Action). Then BOOM, action. Essentially this is what happens.

So what goes on when there is no BOOM?

Hey where is my explosion of action

Let’s put this into context. This process was designed over millions of years ago when we were cave people. If we came across a nest of eggs, with no mummy dinosaur around, we ran different outcomes in our mind’s eye:

  • We successfully grabbed an egg and ran
  • We were caught and eaten by the dinosaur
  • We sent out Og out to get the egg
  • We threw a rock to distract mummy dinosaur. When she went to the noise we ran and grabbed the egg
  • We went back to cave to eat more green stuff

Some days we would go back to the cave. Other days we had an omelette. This system has been honed for just that right amount of risk. Too much risk and you would be eaten. Too little risk and you would starve.

Both approaches work, for most of the time.

As you think about your business you will see the risk and think it’s worth it.

When the risk is worth it

You have decided to go ahead with your business and you now have a meeting with your first potential client. How can we make sure that you follow through? See it in your mind’s eye and run the scenario in great detail. Consider:

  • What will you look like (and your client if you know)?
  • What will you sound like?
  • Anticipate every question they may have and answer it
  • What emotions do you choose to have?
  • See them signing the contract, shaking your hand and saying “Thank you”

Where the mind continually goes the body follows.

Fred Smith decided the risk was worth it.

Fred’s business was about to grind to a halt. He had just been denied a vital business loan and needed $24,000 to pay the fuel bill for his planes to fly.

His mind began to race as one picture after another flew through his mind. Each was dismissed until the image of a Las Vegas blackjack table appeared. Fred played this picture over and over in his head and this triggered him to take his last $5,000 to that table.

You may now be able to make the analogy with the dinosaur egg above. Yes, it was just like seeing that enticing egg. Even though dinosaur mum was nearby, you were so hungry you just had to risk getting it.

For Fred it paid off. FedEx has over 146,000 worldwide employees and $26.5 billion in revenue.

So next time the doomsayers spout negative comments and exclaim “But what if….?” ….be ready with your positive response…. “But what if it works?” When they then come asking you for a job in your shiny new company you can say, “I told you so.” You won’t of course, because you have too much class.

Next Step:

Talking of class, the next classes for the NLP training are very soon, so click here to book your place now….

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  1. Cindy Howard says:

    I’ve attended a couple of sessions, so I’m always happy to receive further updates.

    This time I have to question the quality of your content and overall message : you appear to be condoning gambling in order to accrue money; albeit as a last resort, but nevertheless you appear to suggest that Feed needd £24,000 and gambled his last £5,000 – with success. This is a high risk strategy to suggest and highly irresponsible of you to suggest it. Just because you have ‘imagined’ a success outcome from gambling, does not make it so. Again, another irresponsible suggestion. Many people get into serious financial difficulties because of gambling, including losing their business, their home and relationships. I am astounded that you would link this strategy within an NLP article.

    Additionally, there are three typing errors in your article. Material made so public should be perfect.

    I would be most interested in your response.

    Cindy Howard

    1. Hi Cindy,

      Thank you taking the time to respond.

      Let me state clearly that I agree with you about gambling and that people do get into financial difficulties.

      This is a well known story that I used and if it upset you I am sorry.

      I was reading a book called Chancing it: the laws of chance and what they mean for you by the award winning scientist and writer Robert Matthews. Which is about how to Understand and even predict coincidences, tell when insurance policies are worth having. He introduced me to something called Bayes’s Theorem.

      Where probability theory showed this was the right course for Fred. This does not mean it is the right course for anybody else. Please do read the book, I would love you insights. (here is the link to the book: http://amzn.to/1RFMRrC)

      Things like stock exchange is a form of gambling and more people lose money then make money according people I know who are involved in it.

      Thank you for letting me know about the mistakes in the article, can you let me know what so I can go ahead and make the changes.

      Cindy, I am lucky enough to be dyslexic which means spelling is not a skill of mine. Each articles goes though a proof-reading process and we pay someone to check them. Normally they are exceptional and I will look into what happened.

      all the best

  2. Ben Anyasodo says:

    Hi John,

    Thanks for another interesting article. Reading from Cindy’s comment made me realize that most people who take interest in NLP do have a genuine passion for change. I couldn’t agree less with both of you on the point of gambling.

    For me, I take more from the article including the ever so powerful visual sketch pad, which for me can be applied to many other things. I have enjoyed, as always the way the article flowed and the story-telling technique.

    There’s so much to learn from these posts.

    Thanks for sharing John


  3. You know, although it’s true (allegedly, I love a good myth myself), it’s just a story. Gambling in oh so many ways is wrong. But it’s a story. I love a good thriller with murders galore. I can’t kill a fly.

    I am finding it interesting, reading about neuroplasticity, that we have got it wrong more than right with brain mapping. I was always taught that these particular parts of the brain correspond to this that and t’other. If you haven’t got that bit of the brain you can’t do etc etc. Now it seems, because ordinary people have done extraordinary things, science is starting to see that it’s not quite so. Different parts of brain do as we used to believe but it gets all muddled up in places and we are able to use different parts of the brain for entirely different things than first we thought. In fact distinct parts of the brain being responsible for specific things is now starting to be thought of as a myth.

    As I said I like a good myth. Thanks, John. The FedEx myth is great….despite the gambling.

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