Throughout history, the most successful people failed and they usually failed a lot. Thomas Edison, for example, failed 1,000 times before discovering how to make a light bulb on the 1,001 attempt. So what does that actually mean? It means to be successful you have to have a willingness to fail. If you want to have success in your sales career, then you have to make incremental improvement from your mistakes. And the only way you’re doing that is if you’re willing to fail.
I recently watched this video of Denzel Washington giving a speech to college graduates. It talks about not being afraid to fail big. I couldn’t help but think about selling and what it takes to be successful. To find the right prospects, you have to be willing to fail more times than you’ll succeed. Selling is putting yourself out there in hopes to gain interest for your product or service.
The other big takeaway I got from this video was about goals. He states dreams without goals are just dreams. And, he’s right. If you don’t have a goal for each day, week, month or year then what are you really accomplishing? How do you know when you’ve accomplished your dream? I’m certainly guilty of having a big dream but forgetting that every dream starts with a small step. A small step that if applied with discipline and consistency will get us closer to our dream.
Once you’ve established a goal then it’s time to make a plan on how you’re going to execute on it. This is where my hold up usually is. I want the perfect plan and that simply doesn’t exist. I have to think in terms of progress not perfection. It’s best to make a plan then start taking action. Once you’ve been executing on your plan, you’ll see what’s working and what’s not. That’s when you can make adjustments to help improve on your plan. The next thing you know, you’re moving forward.
Do you have the guts to fail? Personally, I struggle with this but not because it doesn’t make sense. I struggle with it because failing might make you look ridiculous. And people might look at you differently. But, other than an occasional mishap, most people don’t care. They’re focused on themselves. The concept of falling forward gives us an opportunity to realize that its okay to fall as long as you get back up. What’s not okay is to fall and stay down.
Unfortunately, we tend to think that the most successful people just “got lucky.” Are those people out there? Absolutely, but success comes from a willingness to fail. How else are you going to know if something is even possible? You have to try, and try often. Growth happens after failure as long as you have a willingness to fail and you fall forward.
Please take a few minutes to watch the video below. I’d be curious to know what you think of it.
If you’re not convinced yet then check out the quick read from Stephen Guise.