Stop Settling in Business: Make Yourself Heard
“It’s fine.” “No big deal.” “That’s OK.” How often have you settled for something you didn’t really want in business? That’s what today’s blog post is all about. Let 2020 be the year you stop settling, speak up and make yourself heard.
It all started with a couch.
My husband and I finally decided to redecorate the living room. Living with two cats who like to turn furniture into scratching posts, procrastination came easily.
But, after sitting on a “high end” futon bought more than 20 years ago when I lived in a 4th floor walk up in the North End of Boston, we were ready to upgrade.
Didn’t take us long to agree on a sofa style, fabric (supposedly cat scratch resistant) and color (Pinot – a deep purple/eggplant).
By the way, I settled for the futon – a piece of furniture that gets delivered in pieces and requires assembly – when two “regular” sofas wouldn’t fit up my four-floor walk up, even after a pre-measure assured me the couches would fit.
So, given that past experience, I once again insisted on a pre-measure as an insurance policy, you know, just in case.
Once again, they measured and assured me the couch would fit.
And that’s when I knew…
Delivery day came and these guys tried for one hour to get that darn couch in the house. They tried everything: front door, back sliders; unscrewing stairway banisters, removing lights from ceilings; taking the legs and cushions off.
Sweaty and exhausted, they called it quits and, within an hour, I’m back at the furniture store looking for another couch. One that would allow me to keep the color and fabric.
I left the store with possibilities, but no decisions.
The day after Thanksgiving, and a week after the first sofa fiasco, my sister and I drove out to Kripalu Center for Yoga and Wellness – an annual retreat we’ve taken for the last eight years. The more yoga and meditation I practiced, the angrier I became thinking about the couch.
“Why am I getting so angry?”I asked out loud after a pre-lunch yoga session.
My sister didn’t have an answer, nor did I expect her to, although she graciously brainstormed all possible reasons.
“I need to take a walk, get some fresh air,” I said. And so she went to the next seminar and I went outside, while anger and frustration swirled furiously within me like a tornado moving quickly through vast fields with a purpose to cause destruction.
Tired of Settling
After my walk I meditated some more. And that’s when it hit me, like that young guy rear-ending my car on the highway back in October. A nudge I wasn’t expecting yet jolted me from a slumber.
“You’re angry because you’re settling,” I said out loud to myself.
- I didn’t want to give up the color and fabric.
- I didn’t like the alternative being offered – piece together a sectional sofa that oh, by the way, would cost twice as much.
- I also didn’t want this process to drag out any longer.
Suddenly a mental tape of all the times over the years I’ve settled and failed to make myself heard – in business, relationships, vacations, living rooms, car buying and more – played in my mind. Boy, was that a long tape.
In that moment I declared, “No more settling! Speak up and make yourself heard!”
Where in Your Business are you Settling?
- Do you sit quietly in meetings because you don’t want to look foolish sharing your ideas?
- Do you avoid networking events because you don’t like mingling with strangers?
- Do you not stay in touch with employees or prospects because you don’t want to bother people?
- Do you set your fees lower than you should because you don’t want to appear greedy?
- Are you afraid to negotiate a higher salary?
- Do you … insert your favorite way to settle here…
How is settling working for you? Is it time to speak up and make yourself heard?
Speak Up and Make Yourself Heard
After meditating, I immediately emailed my furniture sales person to press pause on the sofa buying process and deal with it when I got home.
And I did. I went back to the store, asked about other collections that would support the color and fabric, and finally found a couch that would fit in the fabric and color I wanted. Did I compromise on size? Yes. But a slightly smaller couch meant a lower price, so we also got a matching chair.
And I didn’t have to settle. Because I spoke up and made myself heard.
Your Turn to Talk to Me
- What color is your sofa?
- Do you meditate on it when you feel angry or emotional?
- Where in your life or business are you settling? How can you speak up and make yourself heard?
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About the blog
Insights & inspiration to make human interactions like speaking, networking, facilitating less awkward & boring and more natural & engaging.
Topics include presence, getting your message across, relationship building, staying poised under pressure, running a meeting, dealing with burnout and more.
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