During the past few weeks I’ve spoken with a number of people who whine, mope and complain because business is down.
*Tom’s unhappy because his business is off from last year.
*Carol’s complaining because it’s summertime, and business is always slow.
*Jim’s stopped working because ‘everybody’ he calls is on vacation, so as he says, “It’s a waste of time to make phone calls.”
When I was speaking with Tom, Carol and Jim, I asked them how much time they spend looking for new customers.
Collectively, they said, “Not enough.”
“How many new people have you called in the past week?
People you’ve never spoken to before?” I asked.
“What are you doing to grow your business?” I asked.
A non-answer was given.
“What are you going to do to solve your problem?”
“I don’t know.” was the collective reply.
Tom, Carol and Jim have an ”’attitude”’ problem.
If you think business stinks, guess what? It does!
It becomes self-fulfilling prophecy.
If you’re not looking for customers — and business – every day it’s almost certain you won’t find any.
Hockey great Wayne Gretzky said, “You’ll always miss 100 percent of the shots you do not take.”
But if you’re not looking for new business, what are you doing everyday?
*Pushing papers back and forth on the desktop?
*Creating proposals for people who aren’t going to buy?
*Calling on the same people you’ve called on for the past year who aren’t available and don’t return your phone calls?
*Going to meetings that don’t accomplish anything?
*Telling everybody how busy you are?
For many years I’ve wondered why bright, successful and talented people’s careers level off and reach a plateau.
This is my conclusion:
*They stop prospecting.
*They stop looking for new customers.
* They do everything they can so they don’t have to pick up the phone and call someone.
Tom, Carol and Jim don’t have any goals. They don’t have any magnificent obsessions. They complain that business is tough, but don’t do anything about it. They’ve given up. They’ve quit.
As I was thinking about Tom, Carol and Jim, I picked up the morning newspaper and read about Ben Curtis.
You know Ben Curtis. He’s the one who
*Won a tournament in Myrtle Beach on the Hooters Tour in 2000.
*Won the Ohio Amateur two times.
*Was a semifinalist in the 1999 US Amateur Championship.
Oh that Ben Curtis!
Ben had never won on the PGA tour. Never managed a top-10 finish. Was ranked 396th in the world. A few weeks ago he finished 13th in the Western Open.
But that 13th place finish enabled him to qualify for the British Open.
And what did Ben do?
He stared down Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, and Davis Love III.
He outlasted Thomas Bjorn, who turned a three-stroke lead with four holes to play into a one-stroke loss, by making two bogeys and a double-bogey.
Ben won the 132nd British Open, holds the title of “Champion Golfer of the Year,” and earned a check for $1,112,720.
Sunday afternoon Ben’s name was engraved on the silver claret jug trophy, whose previous winners include Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Sam Snead, and Tiger Woods.
Ben had a dream. Ben had a passion. Ben saw an opportunity, grabbed it and never let go.
I don’t know what will happen to Ben in the future, but for one glorious weekend, he was the best golfer in the world.
Then there’s Lance Armstrong and the Tour de France. He’s won the three-week bicycle race the last four years and is the favorite to win it this year. But the competition’s been tough.
On Monday the unthinkable happened. On the final climb of the Tour’s 15th Stage, the right brake lever on his handle bar caught a young fan’s souvenir bag causing him to crash.
*He could have laid there, complaining about how unfair things are.
*He could have felt sorry for himself.
*He could have licked his wounds and said, “Wait till next year.”
But that’s not Lance Armstrong.
Armstrong got back on his bicycle, joined the leaders and won the stage, surging to a bigger lead over his #1 challenger, Jan Ullrich of Germany.
This is one of my favorite poems;
The Man Who Knows He Can
If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you like to win, but you think you can’t,
It is almost certain you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost,
For out in the world you’ll find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you are outclassed, you are,
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win the Prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or later the man who wins
Is the man Who Knows He Can!
You can go through life with an attitude problem, like Tom, Carol and Jim. Or you can go through life like Ben Curtis and Lance Armstrong — ”’with attitude!”’
The choice is yours.
”’Reprinted with permission from Jeffrey Mayer’s SucceedingInBusiness.com Newsletter. (Copyright, 2003, Jeffrey J. Mayer, SucceedingInBusiness.com. To subscribe to Jeff’s free newsletter, visit:”’ http://www.SucceedingInBusiness.com