Business Success - CONFIDENCE IN THE REAL WORLD -Instant Confidence: The Power to Go for Anything You Want by Paul McKenna PH.D. (2016)

Instant Confidence: The Power to Go for Anything You Want by Paul McKenna PH.D. (2016)

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Business Success

The Smell of Desperation

Have you ever been around someone who wanted something from you so badly that it was creepy? Whether it was a salesman in pursuit of your money or someone in pursuit of sex, there is something about neediness that is off-putting to even the most generoushearted people.

In the performing arts, this is often called “the sickly smell of desperation,” and is contrasted with “the sweet smell of success.” Whether this is a metaphor or an actual biochemical event inside the body, the fact is that when you approach people from a place of need, it is much harder for them to respond positively to your request.

The key to dropping desperation is understanding this:

Desperation is a state—and like any state, it can be created or collapsed by the pictures, sounds, and self-talk in your head.

Do this now …


Read through the exercise before you do it for the first time …

1. Think about something you feel needy or desperate about. It could be money, a sale, or even a relationship you would like to have.

2. Notice the pictures, sounds, and self-talk you have associated with this situation. If you are having trouble, make it up!

3. Take charge of your internal world! Take the pictures, push them off into the distance and fade them out. Turn down the volume on the sounds and self-talk until you are feeling relatively calm about whatever it is you were desperate about.

4. Now, create a “success collage” of all the good things you have in your life. Imagine dozens of pictures of the people you like and who like you, times where you have been successful in the past, and anything else you are grateful for having in your life. Replay any positive compliments you have received. Fill your mind with positive words, sounds, and images.

5. Finally, imagine a tiny space opening up somewhere in the bottom half of your success collage. Fill the space with a tiny representation of whatever it is you used to feel needy or desperate about.

6. In the future, you will only think about this thing in the context of all the wonderful things you already have going for you in your life!

For more practice, play the Desperation Destroyer video.

As with any of the exercises you have done thus far in the book, this one becomes easier and easier with practice. The more you are aware of the “big picture” of your life, the less overwhelming or important any one aspect will become.


When Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were trying to build the prototype for the Apple computer, they attempted to get Atari and Hewlett-Packard interested. They even offered to give the companies all the rights in exchange for funding and a nominal salary. Not only were they rejected, Hewlett-Packard actually said, “We don’t need you—you haven’t got through college yet!”

“My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.”


Similarly, FedEx, CNN, and Post-it Notes all failed focus groups simply because they were counterintuitive. The majority of people in the world are not leaders or innovators, so to ask them about ideas that are outside of their normal frames of reference is pointless.

As a leader you must expect resistance and even rejection, because they are the price of innovation. So if you are going to be a leader, you’re going to have to be willing to lead.

In psychologist Dr. Robert Cialdini’s classic book Influence: Science and Practice, he describes an experiment done on the streets of Chicago.

A pristine new car was left in a “bad” neighborhood overnight. When the researchers returned the next morning, the car was still there, pristine and intact. A few weeks later, a similar car was left in the same neighborhood—this time with one window broken. By morning, all four tires had been stolen and the car had been completely demolished.

What happened? Why was one car left alone and the other destroyed?

The answer comes in a principle of influence Cialdini calls “social proof”—the idea that when people do not know what to do or how to behave, they look to someone in their peer group to “teach” them what to do. As soon as one person has established the acceptable pattern of behavior, everyone else follows.

Understanding the power of social proof gives us a valuable insight into our ability to assume a leadership role in nearly any work situation. A large part of the impact we have on our environments and our teams is down to our ability to do one thing—to “go first” with the kind of behavior we want to encourage in others.

Want your team at work to be willing to experiment more, even if they make mistakes?

Go first by openly experimenting, making mistakes, and making it okay.

Want your clients to tell you the truth about what’s going on with them?

Go first by telling them the truth about what’s going on with you, even when the truth makes you look like less than a perfect manager, salesperson, or coach.

There are many examples of mistakes made by leaders who forgot to open their minds to possibility:

In the early 19th century, the scientific authorities of the day tried to stop steam engines from being developed because they believed that a human being who exceeded the incredible speed of 30 mph would suffocate and be crushed by the force of gravity.

In 1899, Charles H. Duell, Commissioner of Patents, recommended closing the patent office because “everything that can be invented has been invented.”

In 1946, Daryl Zanuck Jr., the head of 20th Century Fox, said, “Television won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures in the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.”

Jim Denny, of the Nashville music venue the Grand Ole Opry, fired Elvis Presley after his first performance saying, “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”

Decca Records rejected The Beatles, saying, “We don’t like their sound. Groups of guitars are on their way out.”

Thomas Watson Jr., then president of IBM, predicted there would be a world market for “about five” computers.

And even Bill Gates was not immune, arguing in 1981 that “640K ought to be enough for anyone” …

The Simplest Skill for Success

All the tools you have learned so far come back to four basic skills:

1. Make confident pictures of yourself succeeding.

2. Speak to yourself in a confident, positive tone of voice.

3. Move your body with confidence.

4. Take action before you’re ready.

But in business there’s a fifth skill that is equally if not more important:


So many businesses and business people spend all their time trying to be all things to all people that they are continually off-balance, spinning plate after plate, and hoping the whole lot doesn’t come crashing down around their ears.

Yet if they understood this basic business principle, their lives would be significantly easier and their customers would be considerably happier:

When you’re being who you are, as a business person or a business, some people will want what you’ve got and some won’t. But as Jack Canfield, creator of the billion-dollar “Chicken Soup for the Soul” publishing empire says, “Some will, some won’t, so what … someone’s waiting!”

Someone for Everyone

So here’s a question for you. You can feel free to answer this in relation to any product or service that you are selling, but the question is this:

Do you think there is someone out there who wants what you have on offer?

If your answer is no, then you’ve got some work to do on “product development,” especially if the product is you. But if your answer is “yes,” then I’ve got another question for you …

Where are they?

Perhaps an even better question is:

How can you find them as quickly and easily as possible?

The answer is simple: find out who they are NOT as quickly as possible.

Here’s an exercise from my success coach, Michael Neill …


Read through the exercise before you do it for the first time …

1. Make a list of exactly 20 names of people or companies who might want what you have.

2. The objective of the game is to get rid of anyone on the list who does NOT want to work with or buy from you. Get in touch with each person on the list and get a “yes” or “no” as quickly as possible—don’t take “maybe” for an answer! Remember, the objective of the game is to get the list down to zero as quickly as possible. Enjoy rejecting them for a change!

3. Give yourself a score at the end of the day, based on the number of names left on your list.



You’re obviously not really going for it yet. Take a risk and get started!


This is about average for most people. Does slow and steady really win the race? If you think so, then celebrate! If not, crank up the confidence and get back into action!


You are well on your way to success. (If you’ve accidentally found someone who does want to buy from you, you can take them off the list as well.)


Clearly you’ve gone beyond pleasure into artistry. My compliments to the chef!



Keep track of your scores—if you can get down to zero five working days in a row, you will have transformed your business and become far more confident than before.