In case you missed it, Michael Rogers won Stage 16 of this year’s Tour de France. You don’t follow the Tour de France? That’s okay, but I think you’ll be interested in something that was said just before he got those roses in the picture I snapped off my TV.
I’m not a cyclist, I’m a stylist, but what he said after the race is a great lesson for all of us.
He offered an explanation for his win and I related it directly to something I experienced in my career as a style and wardrobe consultant. In fact it’s what turned my career from an okay one into a very successful one.
After he crossed the finish line he was filled with emotion. He broke down in tears. This is his tenth Tour de France and his very first win. The basic question interviewers had was “Why now?”
He said that a lot had changed “up here” and he pointed to his head. He used to spend a lot of time being scared of the outcome and fearing failure. But then he changed his attitude. He just tried his best, laid it there and let things happen. He said, “When you aren’t scared of the outcome, things become a lot clearer and opportunities arise.”
I remember exactly the moment when I decided to stop worrying about failure in my career. If you thought I was confident and sure of myself from the start, you’d be wrong! I worried that I wouldn’t be able to support my three kids on an image consultant’s earnings. I didn’t always have steady work. I’d have busy months and slow months. But the rent needed to be paid EVERY month.
And then something changed. I was thinking about how very much I loved working with clients and how I’d love to do more of it. I worried that I was being pushy if I were to suggest next appointments to them. I could see that they could use more of my help. But in my old way of thinking, I would just keep that information to myself and hope they’d call me.
For example, I could see how a mixing session might be very beneficial to them if I was in their closet a week or so after a shopping trip putting outfits together. Or maybe they could use a better wardrobe for their exercise program–one that would inspire them to get out and run in the mornings. I could suggest we take care of that on a short shopping trip. Or maybe I could imagine how their upcoming travel would be a lot less stressful if I was there to help them plan their travel wardrobe.
I started looking ahead for the things that might be coming up for my clients and instead of keeping it to myself, I offered my services. I actually said it out loud to them! The most important mental adjustment I made was that I didn’t care whether or not they said no. I had no attachment to their answer. If it was yes, great. If it was no, that was okay too.
Well, they said yes. And if it wasn’t “yes” to every suggestion, it was because they came up with a different idea and I was the one saying yes! Suddenly I was booking lots more appointments with clients I already knew and loved. Work got more and more steady. I could count on my income. I finally had peace of mind because I knew my kids could count on me to take care of them. My doubts dried up and I became confident that I could keep working at this job I loved and everything would be okay. I wouldn’t have to give up and go out and get a “real” job somewhere.
Michael Rogers is 36 years old. He said he hoped it wouldn’t be another ten years before he stood on that podium. I bet with his attitude adjustment, he has a good chance of being there again with another bouquet of roses and podium girls to the right and left of him. I hope so!
Do his words speak to you?