I never see failure as failure, but only ________________ (by Tom Hopkins)

The key to success is handling failure.

Handling success does not come naturally to most people. It is an acquired skill. Some of your emotions tell you to sulk and avoid any situations in the future that are likely to put you in line to feel the pain of rejection again. Other emotions tell you to get more out of life for yourself and your loved ones. Concentrate on what you have to gain, and learn how to change your attitude toward rejection.

There are five concepts that have helped me move forward in all areas of my life.

Memorize them and recall them when you’re rejected or have failed to achieve what you wanted.

1. I never see failure as failure, but only as a learning experience. Every sale that doesn’t close is a learning experience; every challenge you face is a learning experience. Look at failure and rejection in a different light — as a learning experience.

2. I never see failure as failure, but only as the negative feedback I need to change course in my direction. Outside a restaurant, I once saw a gentleman who’d had too much to drink to try to unlock his car with the wrong key. No matter how many times he tried, the key didn’t work. After I’d talked to him into taking a taxi home, it occurred to me that sometimes we keep trying to make the wrong key unlock the door to success; keep using techniques that don’t work in our selling endeavors.

It takes some stick-to-it stamina to keep calling the hundred potential clients you have to go through to get your next sale. And, while you’re doing it, you’ll have plenty of learning experiences, plenty of chances to change course in your direction to make your technique more effective.

3. I never see failure as failure, but only as the opportunity to develop my sense of humor. Have you ever had a traumatic experience involving a selling opportunity? Three weeks later, you finally tell someone about it and suddenly that same event is hilarious. The longer you wait to laugh, the more that failure will hold you back. Make a determined effort to laugh sooner, and learn the trick of telling a good story on yourself.

4. I never see failure as failure, but only as an opportunity to practice my techniques and perfect my performance. Every time you present your service to others and they don’t make a decision to “own,” at least they’ve given you a chance to practice. Many people don’t realize the importance of this. Appreciate the opportunity to improve.

5. I never see failure as failure, but only as the game I must play to win. Selling is a game. Life is a game. Both have their rules. Over the years, I’ve discovered that a single rule dominates every situation: Those who risk failure by working with more people, make more money; those who risk less failure, make less.

If you risk failure, sometimes you will fail. But every time you fail, you’re that much closer to success. Success demands its percentage of failure.

Work with the five attitudes toward failure and rejection. What counts isn’t how many transactions fall out, how many people hang up on you, how many things don’t work out, how many people go back on their word. What counts is how many times you pick yourself up, shrug off the failure, learn from it, and keep trying to make things come together.

Tom Hopkins

I went to his boot camp 20 some years ago and he had us memorize this. Good stuff. Some of his techniques might be construed as a bit manipulative but overall outstanding. Take the best, leave the rest.

Which one of the five strategies resonates with you the most?


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