pulling-a-mule

What to do when your community’s members are “too busy” to participate in anything

The conversation has played out literally millions of times:

Hey, [member]! Are you coming to [event]? It would be perfect for you!

Oh gosh, thanks! I’m just too busy!

But this event is all about helping you not be too busy!

I know! But I just have so much client work, email, errands…I just need to focus on work every waking moment until I drop dead!*

…okay, so maybe it doesn’t go quite that far, but that’s what I hear sometimes when I hear people talking this way.

So, how do you get members to show up to an event that you know they would benefit from when they all seem to be too busy or full of excuses?

The simple answer is, you start by doing what you should always do when you find yourself trying to get people to do anything:

Stop.

People are already being bombarded with stuff left and right. Email, social media, client work… I can’t finish this sentence without having a little panic attack myself.

The last thing anyone wants is another thing to pack their schedule even tighter.

Coming at someone with a request for their time and attention straight away is a surefire way to meet resistance.

So, what do you do instead? For this, I direct you to a few slightly rearranged chapter headers in Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People:

8. Talk In Terms Of The Other Person’s Interests.
15. Let The Other Person Do A Great Deal Of The Talking.
3. Arouse In The Other Person An Eager Want.
14. Get The Other Person Saying “Yes, Yes.”
16. Let The Other Person Feel That The Idea Is His Or Hers.

Quit pulling the mule. Stop making things harder on yourself. If you’re struggling, try taking a different approach and practice just listening.

Who knows what might happen?