"Only By Risking Failure Can We Accomplish Anything" - DH Sandler
You can only perform to the level your self-concept will allow
Along with your customers, failure is your best teacher. Generally we learn to win not by getting yeses but by getting no's. I can remember little of my great victories and how I got there, but I remember with full glorious techicolor, HD clarity my cock ups and mistakes.
Over the years I have learned to learn from my mistakes ins tead fo complain, gripe, bitch, moan, blame others, hide behind excuses and others wimp out. But it is a tough lessons to take on because it requires you to put your ego aside and focus on improving intentionally.
Our parents, teachers and peers have rpobably been quick to tell us about our faults, failings, gaps in our intelligence, skills and knowledge. Our bosses and teachers have spent a llifetime trying to help us improve on our deficiencies but have you ever stopped to ask yourself, "Why?" and "Is this really the best way for either them or me to spend my time and energy?"
Working on your weaknesses is generally an unsatisfying slog pushing rope up hill. Why? Because we learn the most about what we already know the most.
I'm not saying don't work on areas of weakness, but if you can, it makes more sense to find someone whose strengths make your weaknesses irrelevant and vice versa so you become interdependent. Recognising your shortcomings and limiations is a magnificently liberating experience when you accept that working directly to prevent these failures recurring is often futile.
If I fail in my areas of strength I am overjoyed by the opportunity it presents for me to grow and improve. I don't mind failure because it means I can definitely take control of my circumstances and fix them.
But failure isn't enough. Failure requires us to commit completely to the intended outcome and practice deliberately with the intention of improving. Received wisdon currently tells us that to master a subject or skill typically takes 10,000 hours of practice.
It requires 10,000 of deep practice where the intention is to improve and you treat the practice as if matters. Hacking around the golf course, slicing and slashing at my ball without doing the requisite set up, mental dialogue, slowing down my tendency to thwack the ball, lift my head, stick my buttocks out and think about the obstacles I want to avoid will result in me remaining a terrible golfer.
Pushing ourselves, challenging ourselves, doing stuff we are afraid of means we stretch our self-imposed limits. I was once told that "If you're green you grow and if you're ripe, you rot!"
Well, which are you? Green or ripe?
What will you do today to put yourself into an uncomfortable situation which offers you the chance to fail and to learn?
For most of us, we fear rejection in the sale. I'm throwing down the gauntlet to you. I dare you to do something today that is a risk (you can go from lower to higher value but you may lose some or all of what you have already got if it doesn't work out as planned) in yoru selling.
Perhaps it's telling someone "no", or you tell an existing client why his expectations are unrealistic or his demands unreasonable, and set a boundary that youa re comfortable with without ending up in a fight or insulting them. Perhaps it's asking for 10%,30%, 50% 100% more money than they are offering or have in their budget; perhaps it's walking away from bad business when you want the cashflow.
Document your expectations before you start. Plan out what you want to happen. Plan how you intend to make that happen. What resources do you need? What scenarios might arise and how will you RESPOND (not react) to them. What if they say yes, say no or offer another suggestion; how will you respond?
Let me know how you risked failure today and what you learned from the lesson.