Just a few years ago, I was sitting on one of those long tables that you often see in the movies. Lawyers on my side.
On the other side of the table? The other party in this deal. Big, bad, scary lawyers on his side too.
The stakes were higher than the Empire State. This deal could make-or-break Jakt’s future. And I had worked tremendously hard to bring it to where we were to just let it slip off my fingertips.
So, I put on my Superman cape and brought the deal home to everyone’s adoration. I was treated like a Rockstar for years. Forbes and Fortune Magazine fought for me to be in their covers…
Nah. Just playin’.
I was actually deadass scared. Nervous. Fearful.
And things were not going well. At all. It looked like keeping Jakt alive would cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars — an amount that I couldn’t afford to spend.
I knew that, if the deal didn’t work out, I’d have to start over. From scratch. Find new clients. New employees. New offices. And everything I had done would be for nothing.
But the thing is, the guys on the other side of the table knew that too. And they knew that I was afraid of having to go through that. Which is exactly why the deal was not working out for me — they had all the leverage.
But there was a moment that I got tired. Tired of being scared. Tired of thinking the world was going to end if this deal fell through.
So I pulled my lawyers apart and said — “You know what? Fuck it. I don’t care anymore. I’ll be fine either way.”
As we sat back on that infinite, wooden table, I remember realizing that something had changed. They didn’t have the leverage anymore. We did.
There was no fear in our eyes. And that scared them. Then I saw a glimpse of… alarm in theirs. The tables had turned.
In the end, we closed the deal. Because of it, Jakt not only remained profitable, but the following years were of extremely rapid growth. I still think of that day as one of my greatest W’s.
Breaking Off Fear’s Chains
This experience was a defining moment for me because it taught me one thing: never make decisions out of fear and lack.
That day, whoever was fearful and had a scarcity mindset would lose. And whoever was abundant in his thinking would win.
Have you ever wondered what fear **really** is?
I think fear is just being scared of the future or some future outcome. Which is funny since, well, none of us have crystal balls at home that let us predict what’s going to happen.
The problem with fear is that it often leads us to make “safe” decisions –which doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best one.
In fact, they might not even be “safe” — they just feel it. Someone said to me that “underneath safety is fear,” and I couldn’t agree more. Be careful to not fall in this trap.
But Fear doesn’t come alone. He brings his brother: Lack. I think of lack as swimming in scarcity. Thinking that there are only “so many” chances, “so many” opportunities, “so many” clients, “so much” money you can make…
Admittedly, this is something I have personally struggled with too. Getting better at this is definitely one of my propositions for this year.
As you can imagine, lack and fear don’t help you make the best decisions.
But, at the same time, you cannot force yourself to not have any emotions. We’re all humans –not Terminators, and I don’t care how “tough” you say you are, we all have them.
It’s what you do with them that really matters. First, you need to accept that they’re a normal part of the human condition. They don’t make you weak. They make you human.
Then, you have to recognize them.
As a business owner, sometimes you’ll be fearful. Other times you’ll be nervous. And then you’ll be overconfident. And then you’ll panic. While I am much more calm now, the early years were a bit of the proverbial “emotional rollercoaster.”
Emotions have a purpose. They let you see how you’re feeling –how your body and mind are reacting to a specific circumstance. Process them. Use them as input. And earn from them. Don’t ride the rollercoaster along with emotions.
But never make decisions on an emotionally-charged state of mind. You can’t let them overtake your mental clarity. They’re there for a reason, but don’t let them dictate your choices at that moment.
How can you rewire that, and what’s the opposite of fear and lack?
The Power Of Abundance In Decision-Making
I was recently sharing the story from the beginning with a business friend of mine who is in a similar situation.
Like me, he is scared. Long story short, he was afraid of losing his biggest customer. They were pressuring him because they knew he needed them. And he was telling me that he felt like he had to do anything they asked for.
It was clear to me that he was coming from a place of lack. “They’re my biggest customers, I can’t go on without them” –he said.
As I said, emotions like these are normal. You can usually uncover valuable insights from them. Later on that call, we uncovered that the real issue was in his marketing/sales system: customer concentration, low prices, no pipeline of leads, etc.
How do I know this?
I’ve been in the same exact position.
At the same time, having an abundant mindset will give you a 180-degrees shift on how you negotiate, make decisions, and recognize situations.
If my friend approached this situation with the belief that, no matter what happens with this customer, he can always go and find 10 more –everything would change. He’d have the leverage. He’d be acting from abundance, and not reacting off fear.
Funnily enough, the Law of Attraction plays a major role here.
If you believe that you cannot find a client to save your life, well, you probably won’t. That’s how it works: you attract what you think about. So you really brought it upon yourself.
But if you walk in the room truly believing that you can figure shit out, you will. Attraction works both ways –so you choose which one you want to lean in.
Do Not Ever Make Decisions Out of Fear or Lack
- Don’t make decisions based on fear or lack. You can’t predict the future, and “safety” is often just perceived. Emotions are normal and a learning experience –but never make a decision in an emotionally-charged state.
- When negotiating, whoever has the most fear usually loses. If you want to gain leverage, make sure your decisions are not coming from a scarcity mindset.
- Abundance is the opposite of fear and lack. When you believe that you can handle things either way –that you are resourceful and that you’ll be fine– your decision-making will improve. There’s plenty of great things out there for you. And you attract what you believe.