Today I want to jump into something that’s slightly controversial. There’s a little known mindset shift that’s used in a few business and personal development fields that I think can really help people with their filmmaking and videography.

Okay, I lie – it’s fairly well known in some circles, most notably the health & fitness industry. In fact, there are multiple apps development around this very idea. One of my favourites is called stickK, which is a play on the phrase about the carrot and the stick.

Apps like this allow users to make small contracts (or wagers) with each other that they will accomplish certain goals like going to the gym.

If they don’t accomplish the goal and follow through? They have to pay the wager. Yes, it involves giving money to other people.

GIVING PEOPLE MONEY? REALLY!?

No, this isn’t me doing an about face turn and instructing you to go give money willy-niley to any snake-oil salesman out there. This is something completely different that may just help you immensely if you’re struggling with improving yourself in the realms of business and filmmaking.

Back when I was trying to improve myself, I was stuck with a significant problem. I knew in order to get better with sales and marketing, I had to get in lots of interactions. Interactions could be anything from approaching potential clients or vendors at parties, right up to cold calling potential prospects.

And in order to get into interactions, I had to strike up the conversation, or make the first call. The problem I had was that I was nervous and my telephone manner needed big time work.

That was exactly the reason why I need to work on it.

It seems so many people that try to improve their lives in this area struggle with finding the confidence within themselves to take action. Some people can take action once or maybe twice. But to do it consistently is tough. Some people are happy just to have taking action (read: made a few calls) once or twice and then they hang up and go and do something else. Or maybe they take action for a whole day, then wake up the next morning and everything is forgotten and it’s back to not taking action.

That wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted to learn to take consistent action.

Now, we’re not going to go into why people struggle with taking action – far too many self-development and business books focus on the whys and the reasons, completely sidestepping the hows. It doesn’t matter why some people struggle with taking action, and focusing on the reasons (the negatives) is not going to get us anywhere – that kind of thinking just keeps us getting the same bad results as before.

Instead, let’s look at a cool way to eliminate the fear of taking action.

THE METHOD TO THE MADNESS

I want to say beforehand that this is just a fun little exercise that you can do with your friends, especially if you’re starting out with taking consistent action. It’s not meant to be something that you’re doing years down the road, because, by its very nature, it gets you out of that kind of thinking.

Firstly, recognise that fear is just F.E.A.R – False Evidence Appearing Real. As we discovered in previous posts here on Filmmaking Lifestyle, all our fears and anxieties are in our heads – there’s truly nothing to fear but fear itself. Also, one of the best ways to eliminate a F.E.A.R is exposure and desensitization to it.

THE GIVING PEOPLE MONEY METHOD

Right, for those who want to add a bit of extra fun to taking consistent action, as well as a bit of competition between their friends, try this:

1. At the start of the day, go to a bank or ATM and promptly withdraw $100 (or something reasonable depending on whatever currency and financials you have).

2. Give the $100 to a friend. I know, it’s a little weird reading that, but stick with me.

3. Tell your friend that you plan on calling at least ten people today, and that he/she is to give you $10 for every call that you make. Now, these calls can be calls to prospects, to vendors, etc. Any kind of sales call where you’re selling your services to something.

4. The rules are that your friend only gives you $10 if you make a call to a prospect/vendor. Any prospect/vendor. Any time, as long as it’s during the time frame (read: working hours) that you set yourself. No matter the result of the call, you get the money if you make the call.

So you only get all the money back if you make ten phone calls. 10 phone calls at $10 each = $100.

Obviously, you should adust the amount you use for this exercise depending on the kind of money you earn.

The key to this is that it’s something tangible that you lose if you don’t take action. What it comes down to is potential rejection or social embarrasment vs. $100 and a measurable improvement in your skills. And, believe me, you will improve your skills (any skills) by taking action.

You get a lot of calls under your belt and, who knows, you might just close a few deals along the way! Sound good?

I’ve even called people up and mentioned that I’m doing the $100 challenge! Still fun! 🙂

Now, this of course is just an example. You can use this technique for any situation where you want to take consistent action.