Part 14: S-T-R-E-T-C-H Yourself
If you are going to achieve goals you have never achieved before, you must be willing to do what you have never done before.
One of those things is to allow, no actually push, yourself to FAIL. And if you want to succeed big, you have to fail big. There is no way around it.
When I was only 20 years old, I got into residential real estate sales. It was the early ’90s, and the real estate market was as tough as it is right now. I knew nothing about the real estate business; I had no prior experience, clientele or even credibility—I wasn’t even old enough to drink! But in just 90 days, I was outselling (new listings and pending escrows) an entire office of 44 veteran agents—combined!
The strategy I am going to reveal to you made that possible and is one of my personal-achievement secret weapons. I now offer it to you…
When I went to my first real estate seminar, I asked the lecturer to lunch. I asked him for his best tip on being successful in real estate. His answer was, “Go fail—a lot.”
“What?!” I said. “I thought the whole idea of success was to avoid failure.” “Quite the opposite,” he said. Then he told me a quote from Tom Watson of IBM: “The key to success is massive failure.” He said, “Your goal is to out-fail your competition. Whoever can fail the most, the fastest and the biggest wins.”
I was still perplexed.
Then he drew this analogy out on a cocktail napkin. He said, “Life, growth and achievement work like a pendulum.
On the other side, you have success, acceptance, victory, joy and happiness.
If you stand still in life, you won’t experience either side of life, neither the failure and pain nor the success and happiness.
Over time, most people figure out how to operate in a narrow comfort zone. They can only accept a certain amount of pain, rejection and failure. But then they also only experience the same degree of joy, connection and success.”
The key is that you cannot experience one side without an equal proportion of the other. This is the mistake most people make: They think they can have success without failure, love without heartache, and happiness without sadness. As sure as we have gravity, we have the duality and pendulum of success and failure.
The only way to achieve more success is to experience more failure. Once you know this you are no longer afraid of failure, you accept it as necessary, part of the process.
Now, if you want to drive your success, here is what you do…
You cannot necessarily control the amount of success you get. Like Jim Rohn said, “What you pursue can elude you—it can be like chasing butterflies.” What you can control, though, is the amount of failure you get.
Your job is to push the pendulum as hard and as fast as you possibly can on the side of failure. Remember, “The key to success is massive failure.” Go get massive failure.
In real estate sales, there are a few ways:
One is calling on expired listings. These are people who had their house on the market with another agent and it didn’t sell. The minute it shows as “expired” on the computer, 100-plus agents call immediately. Sellers quickly learn to hate Realtors.
Another is “for sale by owners” (FSBOs). They hate Realtors so much, they wouldn’t even list with one. There’s lots of great failure to be had there.
Then there is just walking up and down the street knocking on doors—lots of slammed doors, angry jeers, barking and biting dogs, and kids throwing rocks at you from across the street. Tons-o-fun!
Lastly, there is cold-calling. The best time to do this is when you know people are home, which is usually around dinnertime. People love that!
I set ambitious goals each day for the number of nos and rejection I wanted. Each day, I’d push for more and more and more. And boy, did I fail—big time!
Some of those expired listings listed with me.
Some of those FSBOs ended up converting and listing with me.
And some of those cold doors and cold-calls were looking to sell and list with me.
That is how I ended up outselling an office of 44 agents, combined. I was willing to be a massive failure, and I ended up LOVING failure. In fact, it became quite addictive because I knew it was the controlling factor in my greater success.
To this day, if I get to the end of the week or month and I have not failed significantly at something, I know I also didn’t get the pendulum higher on the side of success, and I am mad at myself.
So, as you go for your big goals the rest of this year and decade, don’t just embrace failure, go for it—and go for it massively.
Measure your success by your failure. Create contests with yourself and others to see who can get more nos, who can get rejected more and be the bigger failure. And then celebrate your failures. It will be those needed failures that will cause the pendulum to swing on the side of success, thus letting you achieve your big, hairy, audacious goals.
If you have audacious goals, you have to be willing to be audacious.
Suggestion: Strategize on where and how you can increase your rate of failure. Set your monthly, weekly and daily failure goals. Don’t worry about the success; the pendulum will swing on that side without you having to think about it. How big of a failure can you become? Go big!
Thoughts, questions, supporting ideas to share with the group? Leave your comments in the section below.