The Goal is the Journey

Today’s post is compliments of Executive Coach Shawn Comboy:

In the corporate world I was known for being the WORST interviewee. I remember a colleague told me once, ‘Shawn, you could interview yourself right out of any job that you were perfect for.’ And he was right. Another colleague asked, ‘What do you think your block is when you’re being interviewed?’ I don’t know. But I can tell you this, my success in the corporate world was NOT the result of my interview skills!

Fast forward to me as an entrepreneur and ‘selling myself’ is a critical element of my success—but wait a minute, that feels like an interview. And here I found myself with that familiar block, that anxiety of being interviewed—and with my track record, you can imagine my concern!

So I worked with my coach—and yes I have a coach! And with him I figured out that there was a big difference for me between the idea of selling myself and selling something else—something else being a service to a client or an idea to my CEO. And the difference was this:

  1. When I was selling something else—an idea to my CEO as example—I was in the moment, I was present, I was enjoying the chase. The outcome was important, but it wasn’t the goal. The GOAL was the here and now.

  2. When I was selling myself—when I was interviewing—I wasn’t in the moment. My eyes were set firmly on the outcome. The outcome, not the here and now, was not only important, it was critical, it was the GOAL.

Now that’s a lot of pressure. So much so it was distracting. Not only was I not enjoying myself, I COULDN’T be in the moment. And if I wasn’t in the moment, I couldn’t communicate as effectively as I was capable of. And if I wasn’t communicating effectively, it was affecting my OUTCOMES.

So, what did I do with that?

I realized that being in the moment was what made me successful selling other things. So in order to effectively sell myself—or interview—I had to change my focus to the here and now. Instead of my goal being focused on the outcome, my GOAL had to be focused on the JOURNEY.

The goal is the journey.

That became my mantra.

Now I have to admit, I wasn’t big on mantras before, but whenever I started to get even a little nervous about a sales meeting or an interview, I said it to myself.

‘Remember Shawn, the goal is the journey.’

That was big.

Because here’s the thing—if the goal is the journey, then I’ve already made it. I’ve arrived.

Think about that.

I’ve arrived.

I’ve already won.

And if I’ve already won, I should be enjoying myself, right?

So that’s what I did. Not only was I able to stay in the moment, I started having fun, started enjoying the conversation, enjoying the CHASE.

My best self started showing up to these conversations, I was communicating much more effectively—and the OUTCOMES were becoming more and more interesting!

The outcomes weren’t the goal—they were a product of the goal…a product of the JOURNEY.

It’s funny, I look back now and realize that, if I would have had this mantra back in my corporate days—the goal is the journey—I would have had to relinquish my title as the WORST interviewee!

-Coach Shawn

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