If you’ve never seen the film “Swingers”, I highly recommend it. It came out in the mid-nineties and struck a chord with many in the Gen-X and Gen-Y crowd. To get a great feel for the kind of movie this is, check out the short clip below from Youtube (it is an R rated movie and contains profanity):
The characters from the movie have taken the words “money” and “baby” and given them wholly new meaning within the context of their group of friends. Vince Vaughn’s character paints a great picture of what kind of attitude Jon Favreau’s character should have about himself. It’s not just about self-esteem, its about what kinds of actions he should take if he’s really going to act like a bear with this bunny!
Now, it’s tricky to draw a metaphor from a theme in a movie that is being made by another metaphor, so I’ll try to distill the truth that I believe the metaphors point to.
Let’s say that you are looking for a job (here is my metaphor), and you are frustrated at a lack of opportunities. Now, even a cursory knowledge of successful thinking strategies will remind you to stay positive, but it still doesn’t seem to be enough. You’re right. It is not enough.
You need to think through both sides of the transaction. In this case, the transaction is a business looking for a new employee and vice versa. Now, even referring to the former as a “business” may be the wrong word to use. Chances are (depending on the size of the company), that it is a human resources director or some specific manager that is looking to fill a position. Now, if you were looking to fill a position with your company, and you knew that the new employee’s success (or lack thereof) would have some sort of repercussion with you, what would you do?
Would you look in a phonebook and choose the people with the three best ads? How is this different from having a well put together resume?
In all actuality, you would probably rack your brain to think of somebody whom you already know that would be a good fit, whether they are currently looking for a job or not. Next, you would probably look to the people whom you trust and ask them who they might recommend for the position in question. Only then would you put out a listing for a new employee in some sort of job-finder service.
So, what does this tell us? If you are looking for jobs that are listed online, it’s either because the business could not find anyone else who was qualified, or all of the people they have already talked to about it are not interested in taking it. Its not the prettiest picture, but it is closer to accurate than you might think.
Without a strong, but healthy belief in yourself, you will either stand still and achieve nothing, or stand still and unwisely wait for success to find you.
So why do I encourage you to be a bad man from the rated R movie and not the guy from the PG-13 movie who everyone really hopes makes it happen? Because we live in an R rated world, and great opportunities are MADE and not handed out.
If you think too highly of yourself, you will expect the winning lottery ticket to be mailed to you, even if you don’t play the lottery! You believe that you are destined for greatness, but immune to the preparation and effort that goes before it. Even if you are handed a baton (let’s throw another metaphor in, shall we?), and you haven’t prepared yourself with effort and determination, you will falter. You may get the digits, but by waiting too long to call, you will blow the opportunity.
The other extreme is to be meek, and to look at opportunities with fear and trembling. You can see 10 ways in which the endeavor will fail, so you abort before launch. Even if you see one or two ways in which it could succeed, you stand still to avoid the possibility of failure. The truth is that standing still is a failure all by itself.
The key is to be balanced and healthy. Get out there and talk to the people you already know. Let them know that you are serious about finding something new and you value their opinion. They may just refer you to someone else, but it is highly unlikely that they will ignore you. In fact, the only way to guarantee that you will end up with nothing is to venture nothing with your current contacts.
Whether you want digits, a job, a relationship, or a new chapter in your life, it takes belief in your mind before you can go safely in your body. Don’t just think “money”…. BE “MONEY”!