A common issue I have discovered amongst non-entrepreneurs (and those whose teeter in their entrepreneurial pursuits) is their thought to count someone else’s capacity or better yet their limits.
As a traditional 9-5′er and even as a forced freelancer your mind has learned to work within limits. You see opportunities, and sometimes even the work day, as a set of moments that begin and end. After the billable hours are gone, what are you left with? You have decided that you are at capacity and inevitable you make a decision that if you are overwhelmed so might the next person.
I was at an event recently and overheard person A mention to person B that they had stopped referring them business because they thought they were at their capacity. I wear my feelings on my face so I’m certain the look I gave was of priceless astonishment. I couldn’t believe how someone could impose such limits on someone else. I was actually appalled that in a time where we are so free to “move about the country” (in my Southwest voice) or our own digital playground and have become so loving of entrepreneurs & intrapreneurs that this conversation was happening. But then I remembered…I was once Person A and had heard the same thing; scarily, from other entrepreneurs too.
The real bother was that you may be willing to skip over someone for an opportunity at their greatness because you limited them without knowing what they can handle. How often does that happen? Every day. I believe that people work within their own level of understanding and experience. I have had people say to me and my colleagues (on my behalf), ‘I didn’t call you because I thought you were busy’ or “I thought you would charge too much!” or “I thought the project was too small for you”. Huh? I’m amazed at how people have imposed a limit before a conversation has happened. But this happens because that is the limit they put on themselves. Before they start to implement an idea, before they take one step closer to a dream, before they press send on that email, they stop themselves.
We all encounter successful people but it seems so unattainable that we find the flaw to the system…a limit. They have this because of that, they know this person so they get more work, their home life must be suffering, etc. It is hard for us to get out of our own way and think of what would happen if we kept working for another hour, if we placed that one extra call, or if we actually crossed a sizeable task off the to-do list. Is the fear that we might actually accomplish something great?
Remember, you limit you. The limit begins and ends with Y-O-U. Stretch yourself beyond your own comfort and open yourself to the possibility of opportunities. You may just find an unlimited outcome.
Kia Jarmon is a PR strategist and brand coach with boutique public relations firm, The MEPR Agency. She speaks, blogs, mentors, and is soon to be an author. You can find more information at her personal brand site, www.KiaJarmon.com.