These days I’m reflecting on how much creating anything, be it a business, writing and promoting a book or learning to generate more visibility for your brand is like working out. Once the idea and the overall vision presents itself, it’s exciting and that momentum has us off and running. But then something happens…the energy and momentum begin to ebb and flow. Somewhere along the way, you’re going to run into obstacles. When working out, whether it’s running, lifting weights, or doing a boot camp or Crossfit workout, there comes a point where you wonder why on Earth you decided to do this. And that is a very critical time. It’s when things get real. It’s called choice point.
Are you going to quit? Are you going to allow your body to rest because your mind says it’s too hard, when it most likely doesn’t need to rest yet? Are you going to distract yourself by posting on Facebook rather than getting that next chapter done? If you’re promoting your book, do you start complaining that your publicist isn’t getting enough coverage for you? Following our dreams isn’t easy. It take persistence, hard work, and a willingness to fail. That’s right. I said fail. In fact, when working out, success is taking your muscles to total failure. Failure = success. The ultimate paradox.
So my curiosity was piqued when my friend Ana Melikian shared with me about a new book called Go for No! Yes is the destination, No is how you get there, by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz. In it, the authors claim that you will have more success if you set failure goals rather than success goals. Sounds counter intuitive , doesn’t it? Failure goals? Are you kidding me? But hang in there….The book centers around a salesman who learns to focus on getting lots of nos, rather than a few yeses. You see, what some refer to as failure is really feedback, and that allows us to make the necessary adjustments to go forward again. “OK, that didn’t work, what now? I’ll try this.”
Being OK with failure and seeing it as feedback is critical for your success. It allows you to try new things and try them quickly. If you know that for every 20 nos, you’ll get a yes, then get through the nos. Make the calls. Send the emails. Set up the meetings. Go for it and remember to have some fun along the way. Just like an adventure run (The picture above is after a run in the Cascade Mountain range.), in the middle of it you might want to stop, but that’s exactly when you keep on going! You can do it!