News, Insights and Stories from the Australian and New Zealand tech ecosystem.

So you’re just going to let them die?


This blog from Leela written last month to her clients is pretty strong stuff … enjoy!

A good friend of mine works for QLD emergency services as a phone operator, taking the 000 calls.

I was talking to him yesterday and the things he was telling me absolutely shocked me.

I guess I’ve always assumed that no matter how annoying someone is, in a life and death situation they would pull their shit together. But apparently that’s not true.

When someone stops breathing in front of you and you call 000, the operator will dispense the ambulance immediately – but they’ll also walk you through CPR so that you have a chance of keeping that person alive in the meantime.

Apparently, more than 50% of people can NOT bring themselves to follow these instructions – they panic. They become overwhelmed and freak out. And their loved one dies.

This brought up so much stuff for me.

You see, on a daily basis, the job that I and my team face is trying to get people (prospects and clients) to step up and do something that is difficult, in order to make their lives better … and so few people actually manage to do it. One of the prompts we use is to try and get people in the headspace of – if this was life and death … how would you handle it?

Apparently, the answer is that at least half, if not more, would do in a life and death situation exactly what they do in their business – become overwhelmed, freak out and let it die.

This kinda does my head in and I’m not sure what to say about it …

So I got a Facebook message this morning from this chick – over the last 3 years she’s received four or five phone calls from my office, offering her everything from a $67 product to a $6,000 product.

Here’s a part of the email she sent me:

Today I had a lovely phone call from Mark I believe, very nice guy to talk to. However he must of asked me eight times, how would I like to pay for that or what would it mean to my business.

 It was no the first time and the eighth time. I was as polite as I could be.

 Whilst I really appreciate the time Mark took to talk with me I didn’t appreciate having to explain to my 3yr old why I was upset after the conversation or feeling worthless the rest of the day.

 My situation is this, I have no money, no savings and a large debt. My husbands wage keeps roof over our heads and general household bills. I get approximately $300 per fortnight to buy groceries, my medication, keep my car in order, clothes for the kids etc.

 I am trying as hard as I can right now.

 I don’t need to tell you how hard it is when you have nothing, but when it doesn’t just effect me, it’s not that simple.

 You know if it was just me I had to look out for I would sell my car, something to get this happening but I can’t.

And this message made me FUCKING FURIOUS.

YEARS you’ve been on my list. YEARS. And you still don’t have any money. There are people who’ve made thousands of dollars just from implementing my FREE stuff.

If you are still broke, it’s because you’re not doing the work. And if you’re broke and in debt and you feel worthless – this is LIFE AND DEATH. Your business, right now, has stopped breathing. The Ambulance is on it’s way. But in the next 5 minutes you’ve got a choice – pull your shit together and follow instructions or by the time the ambulance gets there it’s going to be too late.

If you’re upset and feeling worthless – if someone offering you help with your business challenges your self-worth – where’s the mirror in that?  How can someone offering you a product possibly have that kind of emotional hold over you?  Do you get depressed and feel worthless when you try a sample at the supermarket and then don’t buy the product? Does it send you into a deep depression?

For me, the most telling part of this message was the “if it was just me I would sell my car” – WHY?!?!? You have a  BUSINESS … if you’re going to sell something, it should be your product / service!!! Frankly, I wouldn’t accept someone into my program who sold their car to get there – too desperate, not enough focus on actually working the business they have to make money. I’ve been stung before by people who’ve sold their houses rather than selling in their business and I won’t do it again.

I guess the lesson here is it’s down to you – who are you going to be? The overwhelmed woman kissing her husband as he lays dying? Or the chick who, although upset, performs CPR and saves her husbands life? The freaked out guy who can’t bring himself to follow instructions to save his partners life? Or the hero who does what he’s told.

It’s completely your choice.

Overwhelm and inaction are LEARNED behaviours – unlearning them is simple. Stop choosing to be overwhelmed and broke – start choosing to work.

It may just save someone you love’s life.



Startup Daily