Upside to the downside

Could you imagine winning $1,000,000,000?  

You can buy a lot of stretchy pants with that kind of cheddar…

Last year the multi-state lottery here in Arizona got to over one billion dollars.  For the first time in my life, I felt sorry for the winner.

You’ve probably heard that 70% of people who win a lottery or get a big windfall end up broke within a few years.  And let’s face it, that’s usually people who lose millions.  Could you imagine failing to keep over 1 billion dollars?

I don’t think most people wanna live with that kind of failure on their resume.  Even if you’re in Manolos and driving a Bentley.

I used to worry about failing. 

Even in school when I played pick-up basketball games, I wasn’t a fan of losing.   I liked to have fun playing but I liked winning too.  I loved to do what David Goggins calls “snatching souls”.  I relished winning with a game winning shot or by blowing out the other team by a big margin.  

When I got my first sales job I hated failure there too.  Being told ‘no’ and sucking at sales goals was something hard to get used to.  Especially for a guy who looked at losing the same way Lex Luthor looked at losing to Superman.

Eventually I read the book, Go For No: Yes Is The Destination. No Is How To Get There by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz.  The book was a nice shift in approach.  Instead of focusing on sales and overcoming objections, this book told you to focus on no’s.  After all, if it takes 10 no’s to get a yes, you should want to burn through those 10 no’s as fast as possible.  

For about six months I was in love with no because no got me that much closer to yes.  Then I noticed something strange happened.

I started caring TOO little about yes.  And my sales process in general…  It reminded me of a call I took at my old insurance job.  A lady told me she was depressed after a death in her family so her doctor gave her Prozac. She said the prescription was so strong she didn’t give a f*ck about anything.  

They lowered her dose.

I lowered my dose too by leaving my go-for-no philosophy behind.  

In my 30’s I figured I could outrun failure like Usain Bolt.  I read about a book a week and submerged myself in success principles.  It’s like I wanted to drown away failure like Robert De Niro in Cape Fear.

It was time I stopped treating success like a vaccine that I hoped would keep failure away.   

I decided to look at failure like  Kobe Bryant does.  Kobe said failure only happens when you refuse to keep on going and decide not to learn anymore. Disappointments are not failures but are necessary learning tools for growth and self-improvement.

“It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.”

J.K. Rowling  

No failing by default…

Embrace failure.  Embrace learning.   Live your life.