Do You Sound Like Bill Murray’s “What About Bob?” Character (and that’s not a compliment)

By: Bruce Wawrzyniak

I recently bumped into someone that I haven’t seen in probably two years.  Due to the large gap in time, there was not only the usual happy talk to warm ourselves back into conversation, but the requisite catching up took place in short order too.  And then it happened.

The key words above are ‘short order.’  We didn’t speak long at all, but once the person I was speaking with heard about the success and longevity of “Now Hear This Entertainment” I was immediately hit with a guest booking inquiry.  I was caught off guard by the abrupt nature of the request (read as, not entirely professional or cordial).

Even after I’d returned back from the event where I’d had this encounter, I found myself still reflecting back on it, shaking my head at what had transpired.

And this, my friends, is just the most recent example of someone having their hand out!

In the entertainment business, it’s just understood that everyone wants bookings, whether for an interview or for a performance.  No one says it, but it’s clear that this is what you need.  You just make sure that you don’t lead with, “Help me,” “What can you do for me,” and your palm outstretched.

“C’mon, please, please. Gimme, gimme, gimme.  I need, I need, I need, I need.  Gimme, gimme, please, please!”  These are the words that Bill Murray’s character, Bob Wiley, is heard saying in the comedy, “What About Bob?”  And they are what I’m reminded of when I see incidents similar to the one above.

Bill Murray as Bob WileyThere is a Facebook group that I’m a member of as an extension to a business group that I’m a part of that meets every week.  There is someone who can’t ever seem to make it to our meetings but sure can find the time to (always) post in the Facebook group.  “Gimme, gimme, gimme.  I need, I need, I need, I need.”  That’s what I think of when I see those posts – you want to take, but you don’t want to give.  If you did, you would show up to the meetings and give referrals with the idea that it will lead to getting referrals.

I recently witnessed a sales training workshop by Rick and Nancy Monsipapa, who host the “Nail the Sale” podcast.  They told the audience that in sales you really have to have a servant’s heart.  Magical.  The thinking is exactly what I said above.  You help someone out and maybe they’ll help you back, but you’ll feel good knowing that you had the right attitude and posture.  You weren’t staring at a prospect whining, “Gimme, gimme, gimme.  I need, I need, I need, I need.”

Another individual showed up to the aforementioned business group’s meeting to announce a major community initiative he was undertaking.  And he conveniently was absent from the next one, as though he only showed up the week prior for himself.  He wanted to tell everyone what he was doing and what he would – here comes that word again – need from the group.

I write a blog here every week with insights to help individuals who are trying to further their entertainment career.  I hope you will keep up with it each Monday (and go back and read previous entries I’ve written – as well as some guest contributions).  I also hope you will lead with a servant’s hearts and not only be in it to see what someone else can do for you.

Talk about this blog and other related topics in our Facebook group!