Those of us who have ever waited for someone else to select us — whether for a team, a job, or even a relationship — will know that it is not a happy state of being. My most recent waiting game (for a publisher to choose to publish my book) only serves to reinforce what I have known from many other experiences: this kind of powerless waiting has little redeeming value. In fact, it is the opposite of energizing and reaffirming. Unless, of course, you take matters into your own hands and change the game.
As one example, I recently read (in The Sunday Times, courtesy of People Magazine) that Sandra Bullock formed her own movie production company so that she could pursue her own projects rather than waiting to be offered a script. I love it! Why wait around?
Of course, Sandra Bullock already is a mega star, but for the rest of us, there are similar versions of game changing behavior that we can successfully tap into. It requires that you adopt the mindset of turning the situation on its head, and then execute on your ideas with guts, determination, and plenty of networking. With all of the new social media tools, there has never been a better time for individuals, or a small group of individuals, to have a voice, build a brand and create a new way of doing things.
You can still keep your hat in the traditional ring, but if you have other options and actions to take “while you are waiting” or better yet, instead of just waiting, then you are likely to feel more energized, empowered and creative. And all of this positive glow will likely make you even more attractive to your audience. So in the Sandra Bullock example, she is in control of her own destiny through her production company, but if a fabulous script is offered through traditional channels, she can still chose to take it. She wins either way.
On the way to finding your own version of “winning either way,” it may be necessary to change some restrictive ways of thinking. My limiting belief was that I could only achieve success through the prestige and conferred status of being published by a traditional publishing house (never mind that authors only get around 10% of the economics and still have to do their own marketing). I have since discovered that there are many routes to getting my message out there, each with its own set of tradeoffs in terms of time to market, monetary outcome, and breadth of exposure.
By relaxing that initial self-imposed constraint, I now have multiple ways to get my message out “while I wait,” and enjoy a greater control over my destiny. Creating options is incredibly empowering. It’s like freeing yourself from the equivalent of sitting at home, staring at a single closed door day after day waiting for someone else to open it for you.
So, rather than wait around to be chosen, get up and open some doors: form your own team, create your own business, make the first move with that person you like. Get out there and change the game in your favor.
And who knows, that person you were waiting for might even apply to be added to your list of options.