Shallow End Of The Pool

Over the past few years I’ve really found my mojo when it comes to helping people.

Whether it’s helping someone be a better connector and build a better personal or professional network or helping them find clarity on an idea and take the necessary steps forward to make things happen, I’ve really enjoyed making some positive Ripples for my clients. These unique strategy sessions have propelled my clients to change careers, build companies, make significant strides in their career path and find personal strength and courage to be the person, the leader, the entrepreneur they really want to be. Talk about creating some Ripples. Why am I telling you all this? Because I recently had an Aha Moment, as my good friend Dianna Amorde might say that took even me by surprise. I was working with someone recently who was contemplating a change in career. She had grown stagnant in her position and the “company” had no room for growth. She had a startup she was contemplating, something that has market appeal. She was noodling on it in her spare time and trying to get the courage to launch it “officially” and see where it might go. Her main concern was whether it would be sustainable enough to let her leave her full-time job. She had done a few “test” runs on her offering with positive results. The feedback she received was better than she expected. She was happy with the direction and felt that the offering was “almost” at launch stage. The problem was she simply not pulling the trigger. Aside from her initial test cases, she was not letting people know about what it was she was doing. Despite putting herself in several ideal situations where she could have made some significant progress on her new venture (i.e. attracted new clients), she continually failed to speak up, share her story and ask for the business. When I asked her why she was hesitant she indicated she didn’t feel ready. So I asked her, if not now, when would she? The light bulb went off. She had been feeling really comfortable wading around in the shallow end of the pool where market research, product development and a few friendly fire test customers were floating nearby. It was safe and comfortable. She was ignoring the simple fact that the real opportunity, her real business and it’s future success lie just beyond the shallow water out there in the much deeper end of the pool. She’d need to make some Ripples in order to get there but if she’d do it, her life and her career would inevitably be better for it. A few weeks after this conversation took place she jumped in. She made her splash and launched her business. She felt empowered to leave the safe calm waters and venture out to make some waves of her own. She needed a push. She needed some encouragement. She needed a plan that she could follow to maximize her opportunities. Together we worked all of that and then some. Today she is navigating the waters of her new venture, kicking butt and taking names. Pool Shot     The Aha-Moment came when she asked me, “Why doesn’t everyone utilize you?” To which I smiled and surely said I don’t know. But I do. You see, I myself hang out in the shallow end of the pool more often than I should. Clients and opportunities find me, usually from referrals, and I suppose that has been comfortable up until now. But when I look at that logic, it isn’t much different than what my client was using. Success is not found in the shallow end of the pool. It’s out there creating waves for yourself. Stay tuned as I venture into the deeper end of the pool myself. Ripple On!!!

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Showing 14 comments
  • rippleon
    Reply

    What a great opportunity to thank you for the planning sessions that encouraged me to take a deep dive into the pool of entrepreneurship. As I read your blog, I thought back to our last session in a coffee shop, when you gave me strategic advice that proved to be pivotal, a referral that turned into a presentation, and tactics that were exactly what I needed to move forward. I even remember a person at a nearby table who commented you were “right on”! Looking back, I left each strategy session excited, energized and believing that I can not only create waves… but surf them too! – 
    Patricia Ronzion
    http://www.newparadigmcoaching.com/

  • Maria Gatling
    Reply

    Oh my goodness….Did I need to read this or what! I love the analogy of the shallow end of the pool. Who doesn’t like to laze at that end at one time or another….all is well there. I think I need a diving board! What a great post Steve. So well written.

  • CharlesPestow
    Reply

    So true…there is a real lesson here for those of us currently in career search mode.  The shallow end analogy for me is like spending time constantly cultivating/developing further your 1st level connections rather than trying to grow your network relationships.  Like treading water in the deep end it takes real work to reach out into the 2nd and 3rd level, especially if you want those referrals to continue.

  • mnthomas
    Reply

    Ah, complacency…it’s a killer, isn’t it? I was just discussing this in my mastermind group. I think it’s important to find a balance: complacency *can* keep you from moving forward, but also, what good is ambition if you use it as a club to beat yourself with? We need to find the place where we’re happy with our progress, while still not letting life pass us by as we work too hard. Thought-provoking post as always, my friend.

  • rippleon
    Reply

    rami1346  Wow Rami I am totally speechless. What an amazing post my friend. Thank you so much. We’ve come a long way you and I and I am grateful to have even played a little part in you becoming the entrepreneur and business leader that you are. It has been a honor and a privilege sir!

  • rippleon
    Reply

    mnthomas  Thank you Maura. Love your thoughts as always!

  • rippleon
    Reply

    CharlesPestow  Thank you sir!

  • rippleon
    Reply

    Maria Gatling  Thank you Maria! I’m really glad the post spoke to you.

  • Maria Gatling
    Reply

    This is so relevant to your recent post:
    “We’ve greatly exaggerated the risk of sinking, without celebrating the value of swimming. 
    Once more of us begin to do art, sure, there will be more sinking. But there will be significantly more swimming, more connecting, and more art as well.” Seth Godin from The Icarus Deception

  • rippleon
    Reply

    Maria Gatling  What a great comment from one of my favorite authors. Thank you for sharing that Maria! Makes me what to go back and reread The Icarus Deception

  • DefinitelyLisa
    Reply

    Every time we step in the direction of the deeper waters, it takes courage. Courage to go into the unknown. Courage to give our hopes the chance to be realized. Courage to be who we are meant to be.
    Your gift to generate Ripples goes beyond introductions between people in the traditional networking sense. You also have a calling to help people with their inner journey:  First we think – next we speak – then we DO. So many of us get stuck between speaking and doing…paralyzed by the unknown – staring into the deep end. The little push we get, like you gave your friend, is just what we need to release fear and let the pull of opportunity take us into the deep end. 
    This is me… pushing YOU! Not sure what you are holding back, but I believe in you!

  • writerlulu
    Reply

    My “shallow end of the pool” is based on a question my mom once asked me. She said, “Why is it that you always work to make other people’s dreams and goals come true, but not your own?”
    That question stuck with me for a couple of years, so when push came to shove in my career path and I knew I needed to make a change to support my family, it was nearly instantaneous that I realized NOW IS MY TIME.
    My mom’s words…along with my desperation and drive…pushed me into the deep end. And guess what? I’m swimmin’ JUST FINE!

    Thank you, Steve, for all of your exceptional advice and warmth through the past 2 years.

  • writerlulu
    Reply

    OH! And I love that my company is all about helping others achieve their goals. It’s the culmination of my experience up to now.

  • rippleon
    Reply

    DefinitelyLisa  Wow….I am some honored and humbled by your words Lisa. Thanks for the push!

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