I’m a member of a local Toastmasters club, and one of our members gave a talk last week that was so good, I begged him to let me republish the key themes here on the blog. The talk was by Kenny Freeman, a Columbia, Mo.,-based communications specialist. The talk was titled, “The Wrath of the Rainmakers.” I’ve adapted his words for the blog.
So here’s the secret: If you decide to do the work and take on your own dreams and ambitions, you’re going to hit a few walls. Building something from nothing — a song, a book, a company — takes a lot of work and a lot of persistence. If that sounds hard, it’s because it is.
You will run into walls when you’re doing this work. The biggest wall comes in the form of the doubters and the haters. They are out there. And if you’re doing really good work, they will find you. They will come at you with all the hate and negativity that can shut down good work before it even begins.
Call these people The Rainmakers. These are the people who will rain on your parade — if you let them.
There are four types of Rainmakers in our world. They are:
The Pirates: These are the people who exist to steal your dreams. They see what you’re doing and want it for themselves. They’ll try to get to you with their jealousy and their anger. Ward them off. They want what you have — but they’re not willing to do the work themselves to achieve it.
The Guardians: These are your friends and family, who want to protect you from embarrassment or failure. They’re often going to try to keep you from doing things that might be risky. But in the process of protecting you, they’re also keeping you from trying something that might succeed — or at least lead to growth. They’re not rainmakers in the traditional sense — there’s no hate here — but they are holding you back. And they’re an obstacle between you and the work you want to do.
The Gatekeepers: They represent the status quo. (Kenny jokingly referred to them as the “status crows,” and now I’m never going to be able to see the crows from “Dumbo” without thinking of his speech.) They do not want to see anything in their world change. Their life is comfortable, and what you’re trying to do will affect their routine. They want to stop you before that happens.
Yourself: There is no greater hater than the one inside your own mind. It is so easy to convince yourself of the reasons not to do something. You can crush your own dreams with self-doubt and fear.
It takes insane courage to do good work. Believing that you can do it – and do it right — is so crucial. Don’t be afraid to take the first step. It is better than no step at all.
So don’t fear The Rainmakers. They only have as much power as you give them.
Give them nothing. Just do the work you need to do. Go prove them wrong.