NOTE: This was a subscribers-only email that got me my largest number of complaints so far. If you’re not a subscriber yet, just sign up here. I write emails like this one regularly, most days in fact.
So I figure that one of the worst jobs in the world has got to be the job of the fluffer.
A fluffer works on adult film sets. It’s their job (I’m using a gender-neutral pronoun, as both men and women get to do it) to keep the male talent “on form” in between takes.
A fluffer keeps the star of the show excited, but doesn’t give him any satisfaction.
They stroke, but they don’t seal the deal.
… and I’m guessing a lot of your prospects are like that.
When I want a beer, I want one NOW. The instant gratification that comes with the first gulp of gizzard-numbing goodness can’t be kept from me for too long, or I start to get antsy.
Similarly, when you’ve got a yearning for a sugar rush and you’re waiting in line at the Hole Foods Donut Emporium, the line always moves too slowly.
When we’re on hold for customer service, or when we’re drumming our fingers as a YouTube video loads, or when we’re waiting for the lottery results, we can’t get satisfied quickly enough.
Because when we want something … really want something … we want it now.
So here’s my quandary:
Lots of people I meet tell me how badly they want more customers, more clients, more sales, more bling.
But their sales activity belies them.
Just had a conversation that went like this:
Prospect: “So, what do I get for my $97 a month?”
Me: “Used carefully, more clients.”
Him: “OK, but, like, how many calls?”
Him: “That’s not very many.”
Me: “Oh, you can certainly have more.”
Him: “Oh yes?”
Me: “Yes, you can hire me privately and we can talk whenever you want. That starts at $1500 a month.”
Him: “Right, but I was hoping to get more calls for $97 a month.”
Me: “We could arrange that, too, so long as you’re not fussy about WHO you speak with. My three-year-old will sing ‘5 Little Monkeys’ down the phone at you for HOURS if you want. I can let you have that for free.”
Of course, the conversation didn’t go exactly like that. But it should have.
The very concept of “overwhelm” is overwhelming.
It’s a self-fulfilling prophesy, and circuitous. The more I feel I’m likely to be overwhelmed, the more likely I am to be overwhelmed.
I wrote about this a year ago, and I thought it was saved for ignoble posterity somewhere online, but I can’t find it anywhere.
Here’s what I hear often:
- “I’m overwhelmed by everything I need to do get in place to launch my business.”
- “I’m overwhelmed by the technology I need to understand in order to host a webinar.”
- “I’m overwhelmed by the amount of learning I have to do in order to be any good at marketing.”
But here’s the rub:
Overwhelm is not a result of having too much to do, it’s a result of not knowing what to do next.
I don’t know if it’s the same for you, but most of the things that bring me pleasure simultaneously confound me.
Music, for example.
I’m tone-deaf. When, as a kid, I told my dad I was thinking of joining the school choir, he actively discouraged me, telling me that I sounded “like a corn crake” when I sang.
A corn crake is a kind of bird. Not one that sings particularly well, apparently.
But despite the ineptitude, I can get lost for hours in Chopin’s Nocturnes, Handel’s stuff for voice, The Seekers’ back catalog and pretty much anything ever recorded by Dean Martin.
Without the first clue about chromatics, composition or consonance, as a spectator (or a listener), the music brings pure joy.
(And I do a killer “Walking Back To Happiness” at karaoke.)