Eeyore Or Steve Jobs Who Would You Rather Buy From?

“End of the road. Nothing to do, and no hope of things getting better.” That’s one of Eeyore’s better known laments. Don’t get me wrong; I love Eeyore. In fact, I think I do a pretty good impression—in fact I’m sure we all do a good impression of him at times. As much as we all love Eeyore, I don’t think I would be tempted to buy anything from him.

Let’s face it; we want the person selling us something to be enthusiastic about their product. If they can’t be, why the heck should we? Granted, if Eeyore were selling fire extinguishers and I was on fire, I’d buy one; other than that, probably not.

Steve Jobs famously said, “We’re just enthusiastic about what we do.” That enthusiasm showed through in the products they sold and how they sold them. I believe that one of the best things about Steve Jobs was that he never lost his enthusiasm. It is what made him a great innovator and CEO.

Most of us were enthusiastic when we first started our businesses or our new jobs, but something often happens along the way. The daily grind of our businesses wears us down and we find our excitement waning. Unfortunately, this exhibits itself during our interactions with clients and potential customers. Even more so with people we meet that don’t seem to fall into one of those two groups. Then we really let our guard down, and that’s dangerous because pretty much anyone we meet can turn out to be a potential client.

So, how do we avoid becoming one of the “enthusiasm challenged”? First, let’s remember what Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Think about it—can you think of one truly great man-made achievement that was achieved without enthusiasm?

I hear you asking, “Okay Rich, so how do I make myself enthusiastic?” Dale Carnegie said, “Act enthusiastic and you will be enthusiastic.” Notice that he didn’t say you will seem enthusiastic. He said you will be enthusiastic. This is an important distinction. People will pick up on fakery pretty quickly, and when they do, you’re done for.

You can take this idea a step further. H. Jackson Brown, Jr., author of the New York Times bestseller “Life’s Little Instruction Book,” said, “Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.” Again, notice he used the word “become,” not “act like.”

Your final question might be, “Rich, I can’t be on a constant high, so what do you suggest?” Well, I’m glad you asked. Here are a few tips:
1. Use positive language
2. Use descriptive action words and colorful nouns
3. Use shorter sentences
4. Practice vocal techniques (pausing for effect, alternating tone, pitch and speed)
5. Did I say practice?
6. Demonstrate expertise (remember: Confidence + Enthusiasm = Expertise)
7. Tell a story—we all sound enthusiastic when we’re telling a story

One last thing—you can’t be enthusiastic by yourself. Go out there, mix it up, get involved. I’ll leave you with one final quote, this one from piglet: “You can’t stay in your corner of the forest, waiting for others to come to you; you have to go to them sometimes.” Go out there and do it with enthusiasm!

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