My irrational fear: talking on phones. Yes, I have trouble communicating by phone and avoid it as much as possible. Can’t understand why? Congratulations. That must be nice for you. For me, phones take away most of what I rely on to gauge people: facial expressions and body language. Couple that with difficulty timing comments and phones are a nightmare.
So when I was asked to be available for a phone conversation, I was hesitant. But, this client is 10 times my usual and willing to pay for the work, and I couldn’t turn that down. And the last time I missed a call I lost most of my shot at designing a standup surf board. And so I reluctantly scheduled a call for 3AM. Yes, that’s the 3 when normal people sleep.
But I was nervous. I’d just read Ramit Sethi’s post on barriers being good in that they filter out the others competing for what you want. But this call looked like it could filter me out.
I woke at 3:00 and told myself repeatedly that I wanted this job and could deliver. When I hadn’t heard from the client by 3:25, I chocked it up to experience, felt glad about not having to speak on the phone, wrote a message to reschedule and went back to bed.
Getting a call ten minutes later was not a thrilling surprise. I told myself I didn’t want to work with inconsiderate clients, that if they can’t keep a schedule I would pass, that I could afford to let them go because I’d already met my ramen profitability for the month. I silenced the phone and went to bed.
And felt like a coward. I really just was afraid of failing, being rejected, sounding stupid. Knowing that, I picked up when it rang again, and looked for pants to buckle on after I answered and discovered I was having a business conversation completely naked.
The chat was surprisingly pleasant. Most exciting was them telling me that they liked my proposal best, and would go with me as long as I hit the same ballpark as the competitors. They wanted me for the job.
They want me for the job. A $3,000 project, and they want me to do it. I haven’t landed it yet, but things look good.
I’m too excited to sleep.