Words have power. And words like “can’t” and “if only” and “it’ll never happen” and “no” can be crippling weights that keep you crushed in the trenches until your business DIES. So many people are afraid of closing, afraid of asking for what they want, because they might hear the word “no.” Is that the end of the world? When someone tells you “no” or “that’s not possible,” how does that make you feel? Does it fuel your fire or do you accept defeat and quit? How long do you think “no” is good for, anyway? I can tell you from many years of experience that “no” is only good for about five minutes. In a business context, “no” is just a momentary setback that makes the game more interesting, not a permanent answer. Getting a “no” answer doesn’t mean it’s over, it means you now have an excellent opportunity to ask different questions, better questions, and LISTEN to the answers until you learn what it will take to get to “yes.”
Another word that has no place in the business battlefield vocabulary is “try.” Yoda had it right when he told Luke Skywalker “There is no “try!” You either do it or you fail to do it. Whenever you say you’ll try to accomplish something, you’re setting yourself up to fail by giving yourself an excuse for it not to work. In business, nobody cares whether you tried. Did you do it or not? All the excuses in the world won’t make any difference if you’re dead.
A very close relative of “I’ll try” is “someday,” also known as “tomorrow.” Tomorrow never comes! Why do you think they have “Free crabs tomorrow!” posted all over the outside of every Crab Shack restaurant in the country? That’s why we will not talk about goal setting. Instead, we’ll make AND KEEP specific commitments.
A goal is just hope in disguise. If you set a goal to “get in shape,” what exactly does that mean? What will happen next? Probably nothing. But if you make and keep a commitment to get up at 5:30 a.m. five days a week and go to the gym before going to work, you will soon see tangible, measurable results.
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