Avoiding Failure is Too Much Work

Seth GodinI like simple. Easy. Straight-forward. I don’t like to over-think stuff.  So when it comes to chasing the perfect “success” – which requires detailed planning, perfect execution, and no room for error… it all just seems like too much work. I’d never start. And if I did, what are my guarantees? It could take forever!

I much rather enjoy trying stuff as fast as I can, making changes, learning, and then trying again. In some cases, failing over and over and eventually hitting success, in other cases – letting go and trying something else. One of Richard and my heroes is leadership and management “guru” Tom Peters. Tom has said, “Whoever Tries The Most Stuff And Screws The Most Stuff Up The Fastest Wins.”

For us, we’ll just stick to failing our way to success.

Avoiding failure is just too much work.

Comments? Please let me know your thoughts. And if you liked this post, please share! – AW

Have you read Go for No! yet? Pick it up at our store here or on Amazon if you prefer.

Kids Learn to Fear Failure?

 GFN-EinsteinWe get asked all the time… why do people fear failure so much? Well beyond the biological imperative that’s been with us for the thousands of years… we are “evolving” much even now. Especially in school.

Interesting insight into failure from this article in The Sheaf from the University of Saskatchewan made the case that we systematically drill in a fear of failure into children, especially as they move through the school system.

Quote:  “The first thing students look at when a professor returns an exam or assignment is the grade — not the corrections or the suggestions that are scrawled in the margins. There are no marks awarded for doing something new or for caring deeply about what you’re learning. When only the grade is important, students lose any interest in doing work beyond what is necessary to get a good mark.”

Luckily through the work of Carol Dweck (author of Mindset) some of this old way of rewarding kids is starting to change. In her book mindset, Dweck talks about two types of mindset – the fixed and the growth mindset. She details the needs that schools in order to develop children with growth mindsets, we need to rewards attempts not just results. It is only when kids can see that their efforts – regardless of whether they fully succeeded or failed – is really what will get them far in life and that it is not just about proving themselves over and over. That is the fault of the fixed mindset.

I highly encourage you to grab a copy of Mindset today!

Comments? Please let me know your thoughts. And if you liked this post, please share! – AW

Have you read Go for No! yet? Pick it up at our store here or on Amazon if you prefer.

3 Ways to Pull Yourself Out of a Slump

GFN-Comeback-finalEveryone gets into slumps every now and then and if you find yourself in one, here are three things you should do right away to pull out of it.

  1. Stop feeling sorry for yourself.  I know, probably not what you wanted to hear.  I read once, “All depression has its roots in self-pity, and all self-pity is rooted in people taking themselves too seriously.” So stop carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. That said, the other thing you should about self-pity is make a list of the 25 things you are grateful for.  (You have running water? Indoor plumbing? Seriously, it could be worse.) A gratitude list is a magnificent way to get out of self-pity mode.
  2. Stop comparing yourself to others. As they say, happiness is found when you stop comparing yourself to other people. If you are in a slump, comparison only serves to make you feel worse and gets you back in the mode of self-pity. The only time comparison is ever helpful is when it inspires you to take action – otherwise, do not do it.
  3.  And since your results are probably not where you want them to be, get back to focusing on your activities. Avoid getting into constant measurement mode every second. (Graphs, charts, and numbers don’t change the longer you stare at them!) Reward yourself for activities (like hitting a no-goal for example).

Now be patient. Keep reviewing this simple list. The days and weeks will pass and the slump you feel you are in will pass.

Comments?  Please let me know your thoughts. And if you liked this post, please share! – AW

Have you read Go for No! yet? Pick it up at our store here or on Amazon if you prefer.

The Only 2 Things You Absolutely, Positively Must Be Doing To Successfully Close More Sales

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Call it what you will: following up, checking in, touching base – you’re trying to turn invested time into profitable time.  If you are selling a product or a service you cannot assume that your first contact with someone will close a sale.

A statistic (from the Sales & Marketing Management Institute) reads:

  • 87% of all leads are never pursued
  • 48% of all sales leads that are pursued are dropped after the first call/meeting
  • AND YET… 80% of all sales close after the fifth contact/meeting

The only two things you absolutely, positively must be doing to successfully close more sales: Planning and Persisting

1) PLAN. Develop a system and plan for how and when you are going to follow up with your qualified prospective customers.

2) PERSIST.  The systems are only as good as people who have the courage and persistence to use them and follow through on their prompts.

While it’s easy to get overwhelmed with tools and technology,  ultimately the responsibility always comes back to us and we know this.  Persistence can often lead to being rejected. And that can mean having our confidence and belief in ourselves that we are good, smart, and competent people shattered because someone says “no.” Give up having to “look good.” Give up on the facade and put yourself on the line. And when you do this – you’ll become one of those statistics… the good ones.

Comments? Please let me know your thoughts. And if you liked this post, please share! – AW

Have you read Go for No! yet? Pick it up at our store here or on Amazon if you prefer.

Persistence Gets a Workout

SilverDumbBellsYou might not know her by name but you’d probably recognize her in a tight pair of workout pants and tank top. Her name is Denise Austin and she’s sold more than 20 million exercise videos and DVDs, authored over 10 fitness books, and starred in the longest running fitness show in the history of television.

So… what special talent and skills did Denise Austin have to get to the heights of fitness guru-dom?

In a California Sate University Long Beach Alumni newsletter article, (her alma matter and mine!) Denise shared how she got invited to a Washington D.C. (through her CSULB connections) dinner for the President’s Council on Fitness. Just a California-based fitness trainer with a growing business, it was at the dinner that Denise had the good fortune to meet fitness legend Jack LaLanne.

It was right then that Denise says she “gathered the courage” to ask if she could be on his TV exercise show. He gave her a start on his show, and within a month she became his co-host and he, her mentor.  Her entrepreneurial spirit continued and Denise, passionate and driven, continued to grow and build her business.

When she went back to speak to the students at CSULB she told them “Go after it. Don’t wait for people to call you back.” She instructed them to be proactive in their phone calls and to reach out to whatever opportunities may come your way.

When she was proposing a fitness segment for NBC’s Today Show, Denise recounted that she had called the show’s producer 35 times, always having the assistant tell her that the producer would call her back.

He never did. Finally, the 36th time by her count, she called him up in the evening and he happened to answer. Denise was the NBC fitness expert for four years – so it looks like the 36th time was a charm.

Comments? Please let me know your thoughts. And if you liked this post, please share! – AW 

Have you read Go for No! yet? Pick it up at our store here or on Amazon if you prefer. If you like audio books, you can find all of our books including Go for No! and the newest, The Diamond Line on Audible.

The Aladdin Factor Full Circle

PhotoFunia-1462786318In the mid 90’s I came across a book with a title that I could not pass up – it was called The Aladdin Factor by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen.

I flipped the book over and saw this: “Anything is possible… if you dare to ask!”

The only books I had ever bought were fictional. I HAD to know about this and bought it on the spot. I fell in love with this book as I had never considered something so simple and yet so profound – and actually with so much depth.

Months later, Richard Fenton (now my husband and business partner) would share with me the “go for no” philosophy. Although at that time it was just a message that he would share – there was no book, training or business there at all.  The entire idea of “going for no” and “daring to ask” were things that I let drift early on.  When I am honest about it, I really just cared WAY TOO MUCH about what people thought of me, that they would like me, and so the idea of asking for anything had been entirely drummed out of me because I let it.

After embracing ‘go for no’ with a passion and helping Richard write the book, we eventually decided that we were on a mission to change the perception around no, failure, and rejection. The business was born. As with most things it has taken far longer than we thought it would but we have not given up even when things have been slow or tough.

In 2009, we decided to make a movie; a documentary style DVD we called “Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There“. We drove 12,000 miles all over country interviewing top achievers about how they used hearing ‘no’ and failures and rejections to eventually reach their level of great success.

One of the people we interviewed was Jack Canfield, co-author of the book that changed my life and got me to start asking again. Jack’s interview was, of course, amazing. He is clearly one of the great inspirational thought leaders of our time.  When we were about to leave, Jack grabbed a First Edition of “The Aladdin Factor” from his bookcase, one of three remaining, and signed the copy to us.

Comments? Please let me know your thoughts. And if you liked this post, please share! – AW

Have you read Go for No! yet? Pick it up at our store here or on Amazon if you prefer.

The Two Kinds of People to Be Around

casey-memeSaw a wonderful quote while re-reading The Success Principles by Jack Canfield. It was under the heading: ‘Drop Out of the Ain’t it Awful Club.’

The quote is from Wyland, the world renowned marine artist who said:

“There are two types of people – anchors and motors. You want to lose the anchors and get with the motors because the motors are going somewhere and they’re having more fun. The anchors will just drag you down.”

Incidentally we were lucky enough to meet Wyland years ago when we were doing retail sales training. We ended up going to a small gathering at his house/art studio in Laguna Beach – you can imagine how cool the place was looking right out onto the ocean and full of his art!

The point is, if you find being dragged down by anchors… maybe it’s a good time to let them lose and speed away.

Comments? Please let me know your thoughts. And if you liked this post, please share! – AW

Have you read Go for No! yet? Pick it up at our store here or on Amazon if you prefer. If you like audio books, you ca find all of our books including Go for No! and the newest, The Diamond Line on Audible.

Follow Up Creates Trust

GFN-FIITFU-finalIt amazes us how few people these days do what they say they will do. Take follow up.  Following up with people (after getting permission to check back with them) who initially say “no” or “not yet” achieves two things right away…

1) It’s statistically smart. Research shows a huge number of people say “no” when first asked to make a decision. Follow up increases your chances to turn that NO into a YES. Following up multiple times can also play to your advantage. Most people will have gone home long after 1, 2, 3 follow up calls or appointments.

2) It creates trust. Suppose you just told someone that you’ll check back with them in 6 weeks or next Tuesday. Then you don’t. What does that say about you and how seriously you take your business? What does it say about you caring to keeping your word?

Following up when you say you will creates TRUST. This brings us back to point #1. People often say NO the first time because of the FEAR of making a bad decision. When you follow up you are demonstrating that you are someone who is serious and that you can be trusted. So, ask to follow up with those NO’s and then DO IT!

Comments? Please let me know your thoughts. And if you liked this post, please share! – AW

Have you read Go for No! yet? Pick it up at our store here or on Amazon if you prefer.

Doing What You Want

GFN-DREAMJPEGThe other day I read a terrific post from a marketing expert and in the comments, someone posted a “yes, but…” reply with a couple excuses about why she couldn’t do what he was suggesting. In my 15+ years training people on our ‘Go for No’ strategies, I have seen a good amount of excuse-making.  (And I have made plenty of excuses myself in my life, don’t get me wrong!)

But, you know that saying, ‘the truth shall set you free?’ I’ve learned that it does and the faster I have told the truth about what I really want, the better.

Richard and I have learned something over the years and that is, you can never get enough of what you don’t want.

In John Maxwell’s book, The Dream Test, (highly recommend, grab it here) he asks ten questions to help you determine if you can turn your dream into a reality.  The very first question seems odd and yet I am willing to bet, is the root of many excuses, stalls, and procrastination.

Question #1: Is my dream really my dream? If you want to achieve your dream, you must “own” it. It must be yours, not your parents’, teachers’, or anyone else’s. If the achievement of a dream is not of great importance to you, it’s unlikely that you will do what’s required to accomplish it.

It’s okay not to want something. It’s okay not to want what everyone else wants.

But it’s a tragedy to get stuck in the middle.You don’t want what people are telling you to want, but you still care about what they think so you grab onto some good excuses and you don’t move. You don’t do anything.  The faster you tell the truth to yourself the quicker you can get on with living the life you really want.

With no excuses.

Comments? Please let me know your thoughts. And if you liked this post, please share! – AW

Have you read Go for No! yet? Pick it up at our store here or on Amazon if you prefer.

Stop Trying to Look Good!

GFNDVDMovieThere are some core reasons why people do everything within their power to avoid hearing NO’s. One of our favorite quotes is from Lisa Jimenez who was one of the amazing guests we had in our Go for No! DVD docu-movie.

Here’s part of what Lisa had to say…

“It’s an interesting reality that we are more committed to looking good. When you get a “No,” you don’t look good, it doesn’t feel good. So we have to be OK with not looking good. We have to be OK with getting dirty, messing up, falling down.”

Lisa is so right on here. What happens when we think we don’t LOOK good? As she says, then we don’t FEEL good. And now here we are not “looking good” and not “feeling good.” What’s next? Doing everything in our power to keeping looking good. And if that means quitting, then often we just quit.

So what to do? For us, we flipped the model. We’ve decided we look BEST when we’re getting No’s, messing up, and falling down.  How do we look to other people? Probably crazy. Who cares. To the extent that you care how you look to other people will be the extent of what you attempt to achieve. And that will make being successful at anything almost impossible.

Comments? Please let me know your thoughts. And if you liked this post, please share! – AW

Have you read Go for No! yet? Pick it up at our store here or on Amazon if you prefer.