As someone who loves to write and seems to have a gift for connecting dots in a few short paragraphs, I utilize my talent by creating marketing copy for some of our clients. It’s a great way to keep my skills sharp – and, as I like to say, pays the lease on our college student’s car.
Earlier today I received an email from one client regarding the e-newsletter proof I sent him last week. Over the previous 30 issues, only once has he said, ‘This one doesn’t work for us,’ and I quickly had to turnaround a rewrite from scratch. So when today’s message was: ‘Let’s talk about the newsletter this morning,’ my first thought was, ‘Guess I missed the mark again. Now I’m going to have to make time I don’t have today to redo it.’
I called him and the first thing he said was, “I’m sorry, my knee flared up last week and I haven’t had a chance to take a look at your copy. I just wanted you to know I hadn’t forgotten about it.’ There’s a good chance he felt my sigh of relief, even though he’s 1,800 miles away.
The psychological term for thinking the worst before knowing the facts is negative anticipation… and it’s something I have to continually remind myself to avoid. While I am typically a positive ‘glass half full’ guy, when it comes to my children being out at night or Texas football games or cryptic emails, my amygdala sometimes runs away from me, and I have to tell it to keep quiet. That part of the brain is a tricky one… and if you’re not careful it will convincingly lead you down the wrong path.
One of the announcers I worked with back in my television days told me, ‘Kid, you’re like a quarterback who’s afraid to throw an interception. If you’re not willing to fling it downfield, you’re never going to throw a touchdown pass.’ That’s wisdom worth always remembering.