Identifying Your Specific Business Development Baggage

Ok, so now you know you have BD Baggage.  But how do you know what kind?  Here are some questions to help bring to the surface some possible source(s) of resistance:

  • When you think about writing a business plan or setting goals, how do you feel?
  • What thoughts come up when you go to set up a meeting or call with a contact?
  • What runs through your mind when you think about going to a networking event, speaking at a conference or writing an article? How do you feel about going on pitches?

If any of the answers to the above were negative, de-energizing or de-motivating, you’ve likely stumbled upon the type of resistance you’re coming up against. Were there any common themes, perhaps anger, fear, or resentment?

When you set a specific goal and yet fail to take any action to achieve it, or when you consciously or subconsciously sabotage your efforts to move closer to that goal, a few things could be at play.

To discover what those things are, we need to dig deeper. Why? Because somewhere, underneath, is the root cause of your resistance, and it’s essential that we identify what that is. Here are some of the most common themes we see:

  • You don’t really want your goal in the first place.
    That might be because you truly just don’t want to develop business or you think you “should” want your goal or it was a target set for you by someone else.
  • You’ve set your goal but you’re not really willing to do what you’d need to do to reach it.
    For example, you want to increase your originations by 10% but you don’t want to make outreach calls, speak at certain conferences, etc.
  • You either consciously or subconsciously don’t believe your goal is possible.
    Perhaps you don’t really believe your contacts will ever give you business. Or, you don’t really believe any clients will pay your rates.
  • You do want your goal but you have significant fear around it. The four common types of fear that come up around business development are:
    • Fear of failure: The fear that you won’t reach your goals and there will be consequences like a decrease in compensation.
    • Fear of rejection: The fear that you will put yourself out there, make yourself vulnerable to a client or potential client and the answer will be no.
    • Performance anxiety: The fear that you will give a speech, go to a pitch, etc. and it will be a total disaster.
    • Fear of success: This is a sneaky one because it seems counter-intuitive and yet it can often be the most pernicious cause of resistance out there. The fear that you will be successful and as a result there will be unsavory consequences.  For example, success might mean you will get more work when you already feel like you are drowning in the work you have.

Getting clear on your specific BD Baggage and the underlying reasons for it is an important step for setting yourself up for success with overcoming the resistance that is getting in your way.  Stay tuned for the next post in the series to learn strategies to address your baggage.