Sales Professionals: Learn to Lose, Learn to FailHave you heard the news lately? You know, the story about the parent filing a “bullying” complaint against a rival town because his son’s high school football team got beat badly? The final tally was 91-0.
Woody Allen has said, “Showing up is 80% of life.”
But let’s be real here: Just because you show up doesn’t make you special or deserving of anything. Are we coddling our younger generations to believe that everyone’s a winner and everyone should get some form of positive recognition just for “showing up?” Show up and you’ll get a medal, a nice shiny one so it glistens on your wall from the light of your bedroom window.
What’s so bad about losing anyways? I’ve learned so much more from my downfalls than from any of my proudest accomplishments. Going back to that high school football team, I would hope that they would watch and analyze the tapes from that game and work their tails off to never let that happen again. If they go out and beat the next team they play convincingly, imagine what a boost of confidence that would be for them. That’s learning from failure! That’s growing and that’s how you learn to win!
If you’re reading this, I will tell you straight up – I want you to fail at some point. Yes, that’s right, I want you to fail. Dodging events that could lead to failure is way too easy because it doesn’t require any strenuous effort on your part. As a result, it leaves us basking in the shade of mediocrity and a person never really reaches their full potential acting like that.
I want you to fail because how you react afterwards will truly depict your character.
You know why I think our country in general tends to root for the underdogs? I think it’s because the underdogs usually have a way more interesting back story, a back story that involves a past of losing and consistent failures.
These are the types of people we root for because we see and hear about what they go through to get where they are and that’s what is deserving of recognition. As the picture above shows, you have to make a few mistakes before finally breaking through into success.
In terms of innovations and risk taking, Steve Jobs was probably the most notorious serial failure of our generation. But obviously he was also the most successful individual, arguably, in the world. He had some big time failures throughout his tenure of obscurity and up through the ranks at Apple and NeXT Computer, but it didn’t stop him, it didn’t make him hesitant or gun shy. When allowing yourself to take big risks, failures are bound to happen… but that’s OK. It’s OK! Don’t take it so personally — most of the time it’s not even your fault! I feel like Robin Williams grabbing onto the shoulders of Matt Damon in “Good Will Hunting,” purposefully trying to break Damon down so he can finally accept the past and just move on with his life.
If you have big dreams, you’ll fail along the way. I don’t doubt that. So take losing as a sign that your will is there. Take it as a sign that you’re on the path that will lead you to where you want to be.
But along the way, just remember to be humble, grateful and always maintain good intentions.
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