Three years in a row I’ve gone fishing with my husband and his family during our annual summer vacation together and three years in a row I didn’t catch a single fish. I wrote an article about my experience the first year and related it back to the selling process, stressing the importance of patience, practice and persistence.
The second year, I experienced defeat again and chalked it up to the need to continue to try and stay open to coaching from my family.
And then in the third year, three more family members participated – my brother-in-law and his two daughters, ages 7 and 11. Not only did EVERYONE catch multiple fish, but the young ones also either taunted me or tried to teach me all they knew about their success with their new hobby. It’s important to note that this was their first time fishing and they had quickly become subject matter experts. To add to my embarrassment was the enjoyment of my 16-year-old stepson, who had witnessed every failed attempt.
Once again, I felt like a failure. My husband tried hard to encourage me to keep trying, but I put the pole down and said,
“I’m done. I have other talents. This isn’t one of them.”
I basically declared defeat but without remorse. Keep in mind, I was getting bites. I just couldn’t reel them in. That’s where my weakness or deficit was. The fish would eat my bait and run. I was able to recognize where I needed to improve but decided I had no desire to do so.
Typically, I’ve always been (and still am) a proponent of “law of attraction” and having a winning attitude to achieve goals. So, for those of you whose opinion would be “keep practicing, don’t give up,” I would agree in most cases, except this one. One must have a desire or motivation to win to be successful.
While I love the feeling of accomplishing something, I wasn’t motivated enough to catch a fish for the sake of accomplishment. I was apathetic and not driven. Surely that mindset contributed to my failure.
Why continue to waste my energy on something I don’t care about, when I could invest my time somewhere else?
I have other passions and other talents to focus on and exploit where the probability of winning is much higher. During vacation, my natural talent could be seen in target practice with my police officer family. I could see the progression of my success over three years in that category and the success motivated me to practice even more.
When I think about this mindset in sales, it reminds me of where I’m strongest in the selling process … understanding human psychology, building relationships, presenting solutions and asking for the sale. I’m “just okay” with every other part of the sales cycle. I’ve come to understand my weaknesses, such as anything administrative. Whenever possible I get assistance in my areas of weakness. Unfortunately, I can’t just “cut bait” like I would in my fishing attempts.
I’m curious to hear where YOU continue to expend too much energy on activities that don’t lead to success in a timely manner??? How many attempts does it take for you to realize you need to put your efforts elsewhere???
As a side note, if you’re interested in having me as a keynote speaker to motivate your team on how to win by focusing on their natural talents – let’s chat.