Expectations will ruin your business and your life
Updated: Dec 21, 2020
Welcome back to the Alex Makes VR podcast. In today's episode, it’s day number 3 of my 10 Day Challenge, where every single day I'm releasing a podcast in the hopes that I encourage you to take five minutes for the next few days to make progress towards something that you want to achieve. To take five minutes to do something that you've been saying you wanted to do all year, and you've just not found the time for it. It's been a crazy year. No one blames you. But the year is not over. You can spend five minutes working on being the kind of person that you want to be. You can take five minutes on the bog for all I care to do something, whether it's sitting in silence, because all year has been chaos, and you just need a mindfulness practice or you want to take five minutes to just think because you can't think straight, five minutes to write five minutes of script, five minutes to research that audience that you really want to tap into for a project, five minutes to watch a YouTube video about how to boot up unity, whatever it is. Take five minutes today, and feel proud of yourself for doing those five minutes. Let me know what they are. Let me know what your challenges. Obviously mine is releasing a podcast daily, but let me know what you're up to. You can let me know over on social media, it's @alexmakesvr on Instagram and Twitter.
This is a full transcription of the podcast episode, alternatively you can listen to it here:
So, day number 3 I want to talk about expectations. Expectations are a killer and they're gonna get you. If you don't get those expectations in check, you are going to have a very unhappy life my friend. It took me a long, long, long time to realise the expectations were the root evil of everything in my life. The expectations that I had of what a project should look like, the expectations I had of people, how people should pay attention to what I was doing, the expectations I had of friends to be there for me at certain times, the expectations that I had of clients to respond to emails faster, the expectations that I had of myself, of what I wanted to achieve, expectations that society puts on you, all expectations. They are not helpful. Someone emailed me the other day about feeling very, very frustrated, because they send out their brilliant templated email, if I don't say so myself, because it was based on a template that I had given out in episode number two of the podcast (you should go check that out). So, they’d sent this email out and even though they sent out to 20 people, they only received five replies. Only five out of 20, God, what are all these other 15 people doing? Don't they know that I'm a very important person? They should be responding to me! Don't they know that I want money from them and they should be giving it to me?! Hah. What's wrong with these people? How wild? I mean…I did reply to this person tell them they were being ridiculous and don't worry, it's not like this podcast episode is going to come to a shop as a shock to them to hear. I was like, firstly, let's focus on the fact that five people responded out of 20. That’s 25%. That's a huge achievement. That's massive. No other marketing that you could do would have that kind of rate. So you must have been doing something right? You must have got your target audience right, you must have got your title right - 25% that's huge. People that don't even know you. Do you open a random email from someone trying to sell you services and actually reply to it? Five people, that's amazing, five times! That’s five opportunities for you to win business. That's five opportunities for you to help a company during a really bad time. That's five opportunities for you to show up and do amazing work and get referrals in the long term. That's five opportunities for you to change your life. Have you considered that mail can go to spam? They don't check their spam because who checks their spam? FYI, I check my spam actually just to be very truthful, I check my spam every single day because so many of my important emails over the last four years of building a company have gone to spam. So just FYI, I do check your spam occasionally, guys. Maybe it's gone to spam though and maybe they don't have the time? Maybe they're too busy working out, you know how to apply for a loan to the bank to keep the doors open? Or maybe they're having a really tough time learning to let an employee go or maybe not, maybe they're doing amazing and this year actually picked up for them. Maybe they've had to replace someone who's left for another job…like you have absolutely no idea what's going on in those 15 people's lives. Why should you have the expectation that they should reply to you? If you can live your life without expectation, if you can go into a job interview without the expectation of getting the job, you might want the job but without expecting to get it, if you can go into a client scenario, and pitch them your services without any expectation that they should buy your services. If you can go into any situation with a friend, the biggest one is when friends come at me for not replying to messages sooner. And I'm like, why do you have expectations of me? I have no expectations of you. It makes me laugh when friends apologise for taking a week to reply… I’m like, mate, take as long as you want. I have no expectations of you. If you can get everything in your life into balance, where you have no expectations of anyone, and they have no expectations of you. Oh friends, you are going to live such a happy life. And don't get me wrong, I’m not a Buddhist, I'm not claiming to be like the best at this. I'm not claiming that I don't ever let my expectations creep in but the key is to recognise it. The key is to stop them in their tracks. Ah, why am I annoyed? Why am I in a bad mood? After I've ordered this curry, why am I in bad mood? You know what, it's because I had this expectation of wanting a really nice takeaway curry and this is actually a bit naff but that's not you know, that's no reason to be in an ass for the rest of the day. There's no reason to get upset. There's no reason to waste 10 minutes in my life sulking about the fact that I've spent 10 pound on a crap curry like, you know what I mean?
All of a sudden, when you start to realise how ridiculous it is to have expectations, especially when they involve other people, other people with their own lives. You know, how ridiculous is it that you would then mandate that, that your life and your needs are more important than their own? Because the truth is, you so are the centre of your own universe. So why would you expect to be the centre of someone else’s? This applies to everything in life but specifically, make sure that you're keeping your expectations in check when it comes to business. If you can go into a situation genuinely without expectations, then you are not going to fall into the trap of hard selling, of being pushy, of being overly arrogant. It makes me laugh so much whenever I'm in a networking situation and you just can smell the desperation coming off people that are pitching desperately, and they'd hammer over the head telling you all their experience and they're desperately trying to make a sale and. Listen, I was never going to be the person to buy your services, because actually if you took a second to chat to me, you will understand that I'm not in the market for what you're selling. I have no interest in, you know, paying for your dog bones because I don't own a dog. Do you know what I mean? This is getting out of hand, these analogies, I'm sorry. I hope that you've enjoyed them because they've been all over the place.
If you can go into a situation with a client and have no expectations and be like - I'm just genuinely curious if my services can help you, I'm genuinely curious if my social media skills could help you get more customers but absolutely no worries If you've got other priorities, that’s not a problem. If you can go in this, with that mindset, every time you go into a client situation, you are going to be so much more better off.
Okay, I'm going to stop there, but because I feel like you've got the gist and these five minute episodes are quickly turning into just normal podcast episodes, which I was trying to steer away from, but I hope you're enjoying them. Reach out to me, let me know if you're enjoying the series so far, and expectations, don't let them get the better. Don't let them get hold of you. Please try your hardest to not let expectations murder your soul because they really can and I see so many people fall into this trap and I just think you're destined to be unhappy if you let expectations of other people control your life. Because it's just, it's just never gonna be good. You know? And you just can't ever have expectations of other people because you have no idea what's going on in their lives. Okay, stopping there. I love you all so much. Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to these episodes and like said, let me know what you're up to for the next few days on this 10 day challenge and I'll speak to you tomorrow.
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