Don’t Be Delusional

Having delusions is a mental disorder.

If you tell your audience that something you do is considered the best in the world because other people who aren’t qualified to adjudicate that situation say you are, then you’re delusional.

People that are great at things don’t need to tell other people how great they are because their reputation generally precedes them.  People that are exceptional end up with followers who “spread the word” willfully, they don’t need to shamelessly self-promote.

There’s a fair bit to unpack in this and it’s helpful to understand this when you’re selling.

Let me start by saying that promoting yourself and even tooting your own horn a bit isn’t a bad thing by any means.  I think way too many people don’t give themselves enough credit and sometimes they even play down their own accomplishments to their detriment.

This lack of self-confidence is a limiting factor for some people, but generally, if you’re really exceptional, people almost always discover it.

But that cuts both ways…

When you tell everyone how exceptional you are and you’re not really exceptional at all, people start to see through that as well.

That’s where the delusions come into play because some people just simply believe they are “that good” without having put the effort in or garnered the experience.

I talk a fair bit about becoming a student of the game.  When you listen to people talk about great athletes now they always mention two things:

1) Player X has a high <insert sport name> IQ
2) Player X is a real student of the game

To become exceptional, you need to hone your craft.  It’s a combination of study, practice and experience-based learning over time.

What you find with the delusional people who run around telling everyone how great they are is that they tend to have taken the shortcut – rather than become the expert practitioner they instead just say that they’re an expert.

It’s much easier to say you’re an expert rather than to actually become an expert.

I’m often reminded of the carnival barker when I see these people, “Step right up ladies and gentlemen and I will show you how to increase your leads and triple your conversions all while sipping cocktails on the beach and working just four, count’em four, hours per week.”

Then when you step inside the tent they spend the next twenty minutes telling you how awesome they are, how what they are going to show you is revolutionary and people the world over are hailing it as nothing short of wizardry.

After pumping their tires for twenty minutes and selling the dream they switch to the sale, “Ok, folks… There’s a limited supply of what I have to share and unless you’re touched in the head or you’re happy being poor, then I suggest you hustle to the back of the room right now and sign up for what will be a life-altering experience for you.”

Most people leave the tent at this point smelling a con job when they see it, but some people really want to look behind the curtain and others just believe the hype because the person selling it told them that it’s “big in Europe” so these people buy.

Then it comes time to get the all-singing, all-dancing solution to every single one of their problems and the Carnival Barker does to things:

1) Tells them that they are lucky to have him because on their own they’re not good enough to succeed
2) Starts delivering the “solution” in generalities and 30,000ft “ideas” that are not original and can’t really be implemented.

Most of the punters realize they’ve been duped, they feel shame and leave quietly but some of them feel that they just aren’t getting it but that must be on them because remember, “it’s big in Europe” and there must be a reason for that!

It would be easy to call the Carnival Barker a confidence trickster and in the vast majority of cases, they are.

But to go back to my original point, what many of them are is just delusional.  They genuinely believe their own hype.  They think that they have a certain level of expertise that they’ve magically acquired without study, effort or experience.  It would be wasteful of them to hone their craft when they already know everything there is to know – they need to get out and sell that stuff.

Don’t fall for it.  Find people you trust over time, look to work with people who are focused on sharing the successes that other people have had rather than just constantly pumping their own tires.

These people want you to believe that you can be successful without putting the work in and when you buy into that, you’re confirming their delusions which are predicated not on the results YOU might get, but on the fact that you believed them enough to buy!

When you spot people with this mental disorder, run the other way!

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