Fold or Succeed

Edition: March 2002 - Vol 10 Number 03
Article#: 1191
Author: Mark Thill

In 1965 when al Borchardt got into medical products distribution, he had a pretty sound game plan. The choice was clear and simple. It didn't leave room for a lot of options. As I read that line, I was reminded of something Scott Fanning of 95% Share Marketing says, something to the effect of: After you draw up a plan, you make it work. You don't go into it hoping it will work, or seeing whether it will work. You make it work. Simple.

What an energetic point of view. A hopeful point of view. A determined point of view.

How many of us have that kind of confidence? How often do we let our self-doubts and fears handcuff us, or prevent us from even trying to attain some goal? I would bet that neither Al nor Scott would deny that fear is part of the game. But I would also bet that both see fear as an opportunity – a reminder – that we have something yet to learn. And the quicker we face our fears and the lessons to be gained from them, the quicker we move beyond them. It's true for business, for personal matters, for life in general. At least, I think it is.

And what about failure? What if we try to make our plan work, and we fail? Perhaps failure is like fear: the quicker we learn its lesson, the quicker we get back on our feet and try again. Maybe the goal we had set wasn't right. Maybe we hadn't fully defined our objective. If that is the case, then we have to fine-tune the objective and move ahead.

They say that to be a good salesperson, you have to learn to accept rejection. The very best don't even think in terms of rejection. They treat a ''no'' as a setback or a challenge, or even as an opportunity to get the customer to say ''yes'' to something else. When they wake up in the morning, they think like Al Borchardt did back in 1965: ''I will either succeed or fold – and quite frankly, today I don't feel like folding. So, I guess I'll succeed.'' Look at Al today. He looks and acts like a winner.

It's all in our self-talk. If we tell ourselves, however subtly, that we're losers, we'll never win. And if we look at ourselves as winners, we'll never lose.