Overcoming Your Fears in Politics CW 72- transcript

overcoming your fears in politicsJohn Tsarpalas: I was just thinking back to the first political event I ever went to. I was nervous. I didn’t know anybody there. I didn’t have any friends in politics. I just knew I was interested and had a burning desire to change the world and I wanted to find out more.

So I remember calling up and then they invited me to something. And I went. I was nervous. And just about everything that I have done in politics (in a campaign, in organizations), just before I did it, I was nervous. So let’s talk about that today because this is big. There is tremendous fear related to politics.

This is Commonwealthy #72, Overcoming Your Fears in Politics.

One day as I was coaching a candidate it dawned on me that the majority of my work has to do with overcoming fear. The majority of what I help people with with their campaigns is their issues about doing something because they are scared. And I get it.

I was scared before I did just about absolutely everything in politics and in a campaign. That’s because I hadn’t done it before and I am worried about what people are thinking about me and what they are going to say.

So I thought today we should pick apart most of the areas where there is fear. Some people are afraid of different things then I am, so I might miss some. But I think I get the big ones. And most of them have to do with not looking good or being rejected. Most fear revolves around that.

So the first thing you have to do when you get involved in politics is you have to step up and you got to show up to something. You’ve got to go to a political event that is a candidate hosting something. Or you want to volunteer. Or you just want to go hear a speech and someone is putting that on, some group, and you don’t know anybody there.

So the first way to overcome that fear is to find somebody you know to go with you. There is always safety in numbers. It is always better to go to something with someone you do know. However, in my case, I literally called an 800 number for the Libertarian candidate for president in 1980, a guy named Ed Clark, and I volunteered. Then someone called me and they invited me to a meeting. Then I went to that meeting.

I remember I was nervous before I went to that meeting. But I am an extrovert, so I can get through these things. If you are not as outgoing as I am, I imagine this is difficult. I think I took my wife with, so I think that was part of my support system. So perhaps you can bring a friend with or somebody else like a spouse or whatever.

Often you get involved in politics because you know somebody. A friend recruits you. A friend is going to something political and you tag along. That is a great way to get in because you’ve got someone there that is going to support you.

I think one of my first fears was “What if they talk about issues? I don’t know a lot.” I knew that I was Libertarian because I believed in less government, limited government. But I hadn’t read a lot. I wasn’t articulate in it. I just sort of felt it. So I went anyway, pushed through that fear, hung around, and started to realize that I could articulate things.

I listened to things that people were reading, the books that people recommended. I started reading some of those things and talking to those people about them. That gave me some background and gave me some confidence that I had something to draw upon.

But I also came up with this idea I remember early on in Libertarian Party at a meeting that I am just a Libertarian in my gut. I don’t have to know the rational reasons why I believe in freedom and liberty. I just feel it.

And you know what? People accepted that thought. So I didn’t have to get into “We need to cut the deficits because they have expanded blah blah blah percentages.” I didn’t have to learn any of those numbers. I could just throw that out. And that worked. And you know what? It’s true. I love liberty. I love my country. I love freedom.

So if you’ve got an interest in politics, show up to some things. And you’ll find people to talk to. You’ll find other people there who are nervous, people who are in the corner who are worried that they don’t know enough or they are shy or they introverts. And you start talking to them. You listen to their thoughts and their opinions and they help build yours. And some of them can give you resources on where to go to find information and find out more. And that’s important.

So I felt my way through the Libertarian Party and I actually ended up on the state central committee of the Illinois Libertarian Party. I became a treasurer for a campaign. That was my first foray into campaigns. That was a lot of paperwork and it was boring. It was not my personality because I am not a paperwork kind of a guy; I am much more of a people person.

However, I did the job and I learned how to do it. I was nervous about it. I didn’t want to mess up the paperwork. I kept thinking, “Oh, there will be all of these repercussions if I mess up the paperwork. Perhaps there will be fines and penalties. We’ll go to jail. Oh, oh, oh.”

Eh, nothing happens to most people. If they mess it up, they just fix it, pay the fines, and keep going. I didn’t mess it up. It wasn’t that hard. It is all pretty well explained on board of elections sites or back in those days it was on paper. You’d get the paperwork and you’d figure it out. I had to go down to the board of elections to pick up a packet back in those days.

So then I sort of evolved and I got involved in political campaigns because a friend of mine who was active in Libertarian circles was going to back a Republican candidate who was very much limited government free market. And I got involved in his campaign. This was 1996. A guy named Joe Walsh who was later elected to Congress twenty years later. Perhaps some of you know him from his talk radio show as well.

But anyway, I got involved in Joe Walsh’s campaign. What a great experience! I met people that I really liked, really bonded with, and became friends with and am still friends with. Some you know Paul Miller from some of the podcasts. Paulie and I are best buddies and it was from the Walsh campaign that that relationship started. Well, actually we met at Forbes just before that, but it got cemented at the Walsh campaign.

One way to overcome fears is to make friends and surround yourself with people you know or someone you know to help protect yourself. So then it evolves in a campaign. What do you do in a campaign? Well, you make phone calls and you knock doors.

Guess what? I get nervous even to this day on the first couple of phone calls and the first couple of door knocks any time we are starting up, every time, no matter how many times I have done it. And I have made thousands and thousands of phone calls and knocked on literally thousands of doors.

I have knocked on doors all over the Chicago area. I have knocked on doors in Michigan. I have knocked on doors in Iowa. I made calls in Iowa. I have made calls all over the country. It doesn’t matter. I still get nervous. Why? Because I don’t know what it is going to be like on the other end. And you never know what your script is like until you try it. And you never know your own delivery until you practice it and you do it a few times.

But how do you overcome it? You jump in and you remember what is the worst that can happen. Probably the worst that can happen is what happened to me. There are some neighborhoods in Chicago that are liberal Democrat and extremely hostile to Republicans. And I’ve worked some of those precincts.

I know one in particular, a town called Glencoe, that people literally slam the door in my face, call me a racist bigoted Nazi and other horrible slurs. And I am out knocking the door for one of our congressional candidates who by most Republican standards would be considered a rhino, a very moderate candidate. But in these neighborhoods where they are so brainwashed and bigoted, it is hard and hostile to go knock on those doors.

But you get past a couple of those and you say to yourself, “Screw them. I am going to keep knocking doors. I am going to get in their face. I am going to let them know I am here.” So there is that hostile pushback for motivation.

And then you get to a house and there is a Republican or someone who likes your candidate. And they are thrilled you are there. They are like, “Oh, my gosh! I didn’t know there was any Republican organization around here. This is fantastic.” That just makes you feel so good.

You say, “You know, if you would like to help, we would love to have you come down and help us make some phone calls or knock some doors.” I always try to recruit these people. They are gun shy because their neighbors are so hostile. They know how bad it is.

If you live in a fairly homogenous community, one that believes what you believe, you are lucky because it is hostile around here. We do not put bumper stickers on our cars for our candidates because our cars will be keyed. I had a brand new truck and I had a Bush bumper sticker on the back of that truck. It was keyed. Someone threw paint on it.

I have people write the word Nazi on Bush yard signs in my front yard. And of course people tear them down. They destroy them. They steal them. They do all kinds of little hostile acts. I have had notes put in my mailbox, “How can you be a racist bigot Republican?”

Now, these people are sick and there is a lot of intimation out there. And I am here to talk you into doing this! But that’s the truth. These are things that happened to me. You have to think about this and you have to say to yourself, “I am not going to be intimidated by these people.”

We think about the founding fathers. Think about signing the Declaration of Independence. They pledged their lives, their sacred honor, their estates. They would have been hung if they were captured by the British. Everything they owned would have been taken away. Their families would have lived in poverty if they had lost.

And I am worried because some ass puts a letter in my mailbox anonymously that says mean and evil things? Unfortunately I can’t put bumper stickers on my car because I don’t want it keyed. So I don’t go there. That’s just a reality in certain areas. You’ve got to suck it up and preserve and not let them shut you down.

But if you live in a fairly normal neighborhood and you live in a neighborhood that is fifty-fifty and you live in an area that is civil… Part of the problem is we have lost civility in a lot of the Chicago area, in Chicago suburbs. And that’s sad. But I think rural areas are still civil.

So you go out and you knock doors and you talk to people. Now, how do you get over the fear of knocking that first door? Well, it is always best to go out on your very first door knock with someone else who has done it before. Let them model for you how they’ve done it.

And please go back in the archives in Commonwealthy. Go to Commonwealthy.com and put in the search bar “door to door.” Go back to Commonwealthy podcast #10, Door to Door. That’s how to knock doors. It will give you scripts. It will give you ideas. Go through it very thoroughly.

That will help. Knoweldge is power. When you understand how something works and how you are going to do it, you are going to be able to try it and adapt it and make it work for you. But also, go out with someone who has done it before. That is the best way.

And if you have done it before, take someone with you- a friend, spouse, someone else who is interested. There is safety in numbers. And once you get comfortable, you can split up. Now, I don’t recommend knocking doors all alone, especially at night because you never know what kind of door or some creepy place you are going to be at.

However, I don’t mind splitting up where one side of the street is worked by one person and the other side is worked by another. You keep an eye on each other and keep tabs on each other so that you know that you are safe and they are safe. You have kind of a buddy system going versus two of you at the door at one time. In mind, that is kind of a waste of manpower unless the person isn’t comfortable and they want to learn how to do it and they want to learn by listening and watching you or tag teaming with you. I understand that. So safety in numbers is the best way to do that.

The other thing I get nervous about that is similar to door knocking is making phone calls. Usually the worst that can happen is they go click. Or they will say something angrily. You will just say, “Sorry, I am sorry I bothered you.”

Often they are mad that they got a cold call. “This is a Do Not Call number.” I always say, “I am sorry, sir, that doesn’t relate to politics and therefore we get your number. I am sorry. Goodnight.” And I hang up and move on because you are going to get grumps. You never know what kind of people you are going to hit. They are having a bad day. Whatever.

But then you are going to hit somebody that is excited to talk to you. And that just makes your day. It makes your night. It is so fun to find somebody that is excited to hear from you.

Something you can do to make it easier when you first door knock and you first make phone calls, and usually this is happening early on in a campaign in a primary, is you are calling on your fellow Republicans or you are calling on people that you know support your issue. You are calling on them to let them know about the campaign, about the candidate, or the issue, or the referendum, or whatever you are working on.

You are telling them about what is going on and you are trying to recruit them to be a supporter, to show up to help make calls with you, to go door to door, to donate. To at least get on a mailing list. To put a yard sign up. Those kind of calls are fun calls. Those kinds of people are fun to talk to because usually they are interested.

Those are a good place to start. Usually when I have new volunteers, I start them with calls to their fellow Republicans or calls to people we know are on our side. Then, once they are better at that, I move them over after a night or two of those soft calls onto the harder calls, which are independents or even perhaps you are calling the other side. Those can be really rough. But it is worth trying and worth doing.

But as I said, I still get nervous just before I dial or turn on the automatic dialing machine with the new automated phone calling system if I am using Voter Gravity or CallFire. But I still get nervous and that’s okay. Nervous is okay. It is part of it. And you just push through it.

Those are little nervousness. Let’s talk about something a little bit bigger. You want to be a candidate. Well, candidacy takes some guts. It takes motivation. It takes real desire. It takes a passion. You want to do something. You want to make something better. And that’s great. Bless you for doing it. It is not only a higher calling, but I think that you are a person who is about to grow. You are going to learn a lot about the world, about other people, and yourself. That can be scary.

So what is one of the first things you’ve got to do if you are candidate? Well, you’ve got to go ask some people for support. If you are running on a party ticket, you are going to go talk to some people in the party. If you are running in a nonpartisan race, you’ve got to go find some people that might want to support you or you want to work with. You might want to reach out to members of an existing school board if you are in sympathy with them and you want to join that school board race. Or you might want to find people in some kind of local groups such as Chamber of Commerce groups, etc.

You kind of go knock on doors and you’ve got to have a little bit of an elevator pitch about yourself. It is nerve wracking to go in. You are going in to sell yourself. So let’s talk about that elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a little one to three minutes of why you want to do this and why they want to support you.

You always want to make every presentation about your candidacy or your campaign, whatever it may be, about why it is important to that person that you are talking to. Why should they vote for you? Why should they write a check? Why should they support you? What is in it for them?

And often that starts with a conversation and you listening and asking questions. “I am seriously considering running for school board. I’d like your thoughts on the topic. What do you consider important issues?” Okay. As you hear some of those and something you are in sympathy with, you can articulate some of that back to them.

You can ask them how they would go about running. You can ask them what they think is important to the community. What is the best way to approach this? Who else should you talk to?

Sit down and make a list of questions a few days in advance. Think about who you are talking to, what you know about them. Google them. Find out what they have said publicly, what they do for a business, what they do for a living. Find out who they are.

Know your audience, just like a speech. When you make a speech to a group, you want to know what the group is about. Well, you are making a speech to an individual, an elevator pitch. It is a conversation, but there is one or two minutes of you telling them about you and why it is important they support you. But you can maybe create that after you have talked to them for a little bit.

The more people you talk to, the easier this gets. It is scary to go talk to these people. You are opening yourself up. You don’t know what they think really, unless you know them well. If you know them well, it is less scary. You might want to bring somebody with you if it feels appropriate (you’ve got someone you’ve titled your campaign advisor or manager or something like) if that helps give you a little strength and backbone.

But the other thing you can do is you can practice before you go make that first call. Get some friends together or a friend one on one and pretend. Let them pretend to be who you think you are about to talk to and how they are going to react. And they can react in a number of different ways. You can role play this in a bunch of ways. Oh, they are a supporter. Oh, they are a skeptical. Oh, they hate you. So you get used to it.

Practice the number one way to get over your fear in any of this stuff. If you are worried about it, figure out how to practice it. Practice it with someone you know. You can pretend to door knock a friend’s door and let him or her pretend to be a different type of voter every time they answer. Get some practice in.

This is true before you go talk to people. Get some practice in. Rehearse. Often what I do as a coach is I pretend to be these different people and I help in the role playing in the rehearsal. And I have been on enough asks, especially for money, that I know what people say in a money ask and how they push back on it or dance around it. And I can pretend to be those different roles. But you can think about that and come up with that. You’ve had some experiences in your life. I am sure you can come up with some of this.

So let’s move over to asking for money, because that is hard one for lots of people. And I have in Commonwealthy #35, which was back on December 8th of 2015, Asking for Money in a Political Campaign, I talked about how I best approach it. My favorite way to ask for money in a campaign is to ask for something specific to be purchased for the campaign. I don’t like to go in and say, “Hi, I am running for school board. Could you write me a check for $10,000?” Well, that is a big ask first of all. How about $1,000?

By the way, I have been in asks for a million dollars, so at this point not much scares me. However, I rehearsed. We practiced asking and we practice what some of the different responses that person might give us when we asked for that one million dollars. What were going to be the objections? What do we need to overcome? What information do we need with us to be ready to deal with that one million dollar ask? And by the way, we got the one million dollar check.

So back to asking for money. As I said, ask for specifics. You want to ask for them to buy your yard signs and it is going to cost a thousand dollars or twelve hundred or the exact amount, $1,194.72, because it is real tangible. It is real. If you just ask for some nebulous money, it doesn’t work. You can go in and say, “I need to rent an office for my campaign and it is going to cost five hundred dollars a month.” Or “The landlord is paying for the office, but I need to pay for the electric. I got him to donate the office.”

And a lot of your asks can be for in kinds. Go to a landlord and say, “I see you’ve got an empty space there. Would you mind donating that to my campaign?” Why not? It doesn’t cost them any money out of pocket. And perhaps winter is coming and I know as a landlord I’ve got some buildings. I am kind of happy if someone is going to run the heat in there over the winter and I don’t have to.

So then you go ask for someone else to donate to pay the gas bill. “It is going to be about a hundred dollars in the dead of winter months for the gas and another fifty dollars a month for the electric. Could you support the utilities for my campaign? It is going to be for four months and that is going to be a hundred and fifty times four, or six hundred dollars?”

I like to ask for that because it gives me tangible specifics and people can relate to that. When you just say, “I need money for my campaign. Write me a check for five hundred dollars.” Eh, that one doesn’t work so well.

But back to practicing. A lot of what I do with coaching people is we set up different scenarios who they are going to go talk to, what they are going to ask for, the dollar amount and why, and what it is for. And then we practice. I pretend to be that person. And they say they are comfortable with it after a few tries or they say they are not comfortable and we try some more.

And then we also say, “What do you need?” Now, when I live near someone I am coaching, I often go out on their first few asks for money with them. I get introduced as a campaign consultant or as a coach. It is not usually a problem. The person will have their little discussion and their talk with the person they are talking to for money.

Then they will come to the ask and sometimes they will choke. If they choke, I nudge them literally with my knee or something, kick them under the table. And if they don’t seem to perk up, I’ll make the ask for them. Then when we go outside, we will talk about why they didn’t do it. “Did you see how I did it and that it worked?” Or it didn’t work. Usually it works. So you might take somebody with you who is going to nudge you at that moment if you think you are going to choke, so you don’t choke.

Remember with rehearsing and practicing, it gets easier and better. The other thing to do is to start with the smaller dollar amounts first. You know, ask people for twenty-five dollars, fifty dollars, a hundred dollars, dollar amounts that don’t make you nervous and don’t intimidate you or them. And then, as you work your way up to the bigger dollar amounts, rehearse more. Practice more.

But you’ve also had practice by asking others. So your confidence grows. And asking for money is just a matter of confidence building. It is like anything else; the more you do it, the easier it gets. But people who are good at fundraising, you’ve just overcome that fear and you just do it.

Something else that has helped me perhaps is age. The older I got, the more I thought, “I don’t have time not to ask! I’ve got to get this done.” If I am going to ignore this or I am going to put this off. I am not going to make my phone calls for money. I am not going to make the calls I need to make. I am not going to get to my goal. How important is that goal to me? Do I just want to blow it off? And what is left in time in my life?

So think about that. Think about the urgency of time, the urgency in that campaign because a campaign happens quickly. You don’t have time to put off asking for money. It needs to get done. And then there is that urgency in life. Okay, you lose this campaign; then what? Well, you are going to run again, but you are also four years older or two years older. How many more times can you do this? There is urgency. Let that fear of time, that fear of your mortality, that fear of your losing push you past your fear of asking that person that is in front of you for money.

The other big fear that I coach a lot is getting over the fear of public speaking. And I get it. I used to be afraid of it. Now I love it. It used to scare me. And I still get nervous, but I love the adrenaline rush of it. I’ve turned it into a positive addiction instead of a negative. But how do you get there?

Well, I think the number one way to get over public speaking is practice. You start by practicing yourself. Literally standing in front of a mirror and practicing your speech helps. I don’t know what it is about a mirror. It just seems to add pressure to me and it works.

Now you can go back again in the archives of Commonwealthy. In this case it is Commonwealthy #20, Public Speaking Basics for the Candidate. That was way back on August 20th of 2015. It will go through in great detail on how to do public speaking. I also have a short video on the side of Commonwealthy right on the homepage called Stump Speech 101. And it is good. It is three minutes I think, five minutes at the most. It goes through a stump speech and it gives you the basics.

So let’s talk about public speaking and that fear. First of all, your stump speech needs to be short. It needs to have a call to action at the end of it. You want something from them. Sign up on a mailing list. Volunteer. Do something. Vote for you. You are going to ask for that at the end.

And you need to know who you are talking to and you need to make it about the audience. Why does this group want to support you? If this is a group about ethanol subsidies, are you for ethanol subsidies? Talk about that then. If you are not, which I hope you are not, talk about why it would be better for them not to be in favor of ethanol subsidies and perhaps a couple of them will come out of the woodwork and support you.

But know your audience. And then practice. As I said, get up in front of a mirror and rehearse. Then get up in front of somebody in your family and rehearse. And then get up in front of a room of friends that you’ve put together to rehearse. And do it again. And video tape yourself.

And you’ll hate it. You’ll hate the way your voice sounds. You’ll hate the way you look. You’ll hate the way you dressed. So what? Change it and start to accept it. And where you can, improve it. But the best way is to get up and do it again and practice.

Every time you give your stump speech, it will get easier. Every time you get up, you will be less nervous and you will enjoy it more. And every time you enjoy your speech, you will be able to add a little something to it- a little more eye contact, more gestures, more confidence. Perhaps you are a little more articulate and a little less tongue-tied. Maybe with time you found a good story that relates to why you believe what you believe and what you are trying to do in this local election. Perhaps you have met someone out there and you can relate their story.

There are things you can always add to your stump speech and make it better. And it will get better with time. And you will become stronger and stronger as a speaker. But it is about trying. It is about overcoming that initial fear. And it is about practice.

And yes, you will be nervous. It is okay. That means you are growing. That means you are doing something new. That means you are living! It doesn’t mean you are hiding somewhere. You are not home just watching a TV screen and getting upset. You are doing something! You are actually out there doing something. You are talking to people. You are changing minds. You are making a difference. That is more important than the fear. Get over the fear.

Well, another one that I have felt myself is talking to the press. That can be scary. Let’s face it they are professionals. They know how to ask people questions. And of course being that we are limited government, free market kind of people, we know for the most part the press is not on our side.

And we are always worried they are going to get that gotcha moment that they are going to try to catch you in something and twist your words. Well, they might. But for the most part, if you are in a local race, it isn’t quite that bad. They need a story. They have a job to do, limited time to get it done, and the easier you make it for them, the happier they are to get that story out, get done, and go on to the next one. It makes their job easier.

So how do you do that? Well, again you practice. You sit down and you write some questions you think they are going to ask you. And if you should get called by the press, and it is always best if you’ve got a little bit of a campaign if your press calls can go to somebody else and that person asks, “What is the deadline on this and what is the issue about?” so they don’t catch you cold on the issue.

We talked about that in Commonwealthy #16, Media Relations with Paul Miller. That was back on July 28th, 2015. We talked about how you can set it up so someone else takes the calls. Or you never answer the phone directly; you always let it go to voicemail so they leave a message. That gives you a few minutes to think about it.

For the most part, you are going to have some basic questions the press is going to ask you. So why not practice them well in advance? Make some questions up. Write them down. Think about the answers. And then ask some friends to pretend they are the newspaper. What would they ask? And rehearse with them and practice those questions. Think about it. And change your answer, improve it, and work on it. So you’ve got a way to get ahead of it by just thinking about it in advance and rehearsing it.

The other thing is with the press that I’ve learned is relax a little bit. I mean, I smile. I say, “Hmm, I don’t know. I am going to think about it” if I don’t have an answer. And if I have an answer, I give it to them. And often I try to dissect their question right up front because often questions are ask that so pro-government and so one way in their thinking and we don’t think like that that these questions are terrible.

So how do you rewrite the question into something that fits your way of thinking? I will often say, “I think the question needs to be improved. I don’t buy premise that using more money is the only way to solve this problem.” And then give your answer from there. And again, that comes with practice.

I have been lucky. I have had some professional media training. I have had it on two separate occasions where I had professional journalists drill me and I was video taped and then critiqued on how I could improve. And you can do with that nonprofessionals. People can pretend to be a journalist. We kind of get it. So again, it is a matter of rehearsing.

And the same thing is true for debate prep and town halls. Get some friends together and have them grill you. Have them write some questions and write questions. Have your friends rehearse. And then it is best if you record that whole thing so that you can go home, think about it for a week, and then do it again because the second time you will be so much better because then you’ve had a chance to think about the questions and how you would have liked to have said it.

The second time is always better. If you do it twice or sometimes three times, you will go into a real town hall or a real debate or an editorial board (like a newspaper endorsement session) feeling so much more confident than if you didn’t do it at all or even always once. It seems like twice is the magic number for being prepared on those things. So do it. I think it is really worthwhile. I think it is great.

You know, there is also something else that makes me nervous and that is social media. Part of the problem is I don’t understand. I mean, I am getting better at Twitter and tweeting and putting things on Facebook. I am always leery of what I am putting up on Facebook because it is up there forever.

And there is always some jerk (I will use a nicer word) that is going to push back and write something mean and miserable and snarky. You know what? They are just going to. If you can delete their comments, great. If not, just keep going.

And you’ve got to do it. The problem with the world is you’ve got to use social media and you can’t avoid it. Now you can get help. You can find people to teach it to you. You can google it and learn a lot about it pretty quickly. That’s how I learned most of what I know about social media. That’s how I learned how to podcast, just googling it and learning. Actually I signed up for some lessons. And there are lessons you can take in just about anything including how to run for office. Just contact me at john@commonwealthy.com.

And then I get there is the biggest fear of all in politics and that is that people are going to say things about you that aren’t true, brand you, tarnish you, and you will become a pariah in your community because you don’t go along with the liberal mainstream thinking in your area. And that is why they do it. They are trying to keep people from stepping up. They want people to live in fear if people aren’t accepting what they believe is true.

It is your choice. Live in fear. Cower. Or speak up. Speak up. Speak up! Now if you’ve got kids in school and you are running for school board, I know of teachers that have taken crap out on the kids of school board candidates that they don’t like. That is a reality. Maybe you don’t run for school board until your kids are out of that school because that is just not fair. But that garbage goes on.

However, there are lots of boards where they can’t retaliate. There are lots of things you could do where they are not going to be able to push back. You know what? You learn who your real friends are. People who accept you for you are, for what you believe. And a leader steps up to that challenge to be who they are.

So are you going to live a life of fear or are you going to come out and do what you think is right? You are going to speak up and talk about those issues that are important to you and your community, to your family, to the world. There is always fear. There is fear in everything.

Heck, I get nervous before I get a haircut sometimes. And you get nervous about anything. But you can push through it, you can ignore it, or you can rehearse and practice so that you have less fear and you feel more confident before you do something.

If you need help, I am here at john@commonwealty.com. Feel free to email me. I am happy to give you a free one hour session. If you need more help than that, I do charge, but we will figure that out at the time. I can do a lot in an hour with you. I want you to run and face that fear and get out what is inside of you.

There is something in there that you want to do, you want to accomplish, you want to say. You want to be heard and the world needs to hear it! The world needs you to do something about it. Let’s not let fear limit our lives. Our lives are too short. They are passing quickly. Our kids’ lives are passing. You’ve got to step up.

You’ve got to stem the tide on this ridiculous political climate that we live in. This world were every day they erode more freedoms and force us to pay for more and more. They don’t care how they enslave us with debt. You can do something about it. I’m doing something about it. I am training people like you to run for office.

Let’s stop talking. The only way we are going to change anything is to win some elections. Let’s win some elections.

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