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Failure To Launch

Education & Training SmallBusinessCT .org

I remember when my mom started her real estate business. She dragged my sister and I to town hall and made a list of every home owner who had bought their house in our town 6 years ago. Then she dragged us to the library, and while my sister and I were entertained with seeing if we could find a pet monkey (that was our reward for being "good kids" when my mother "hit it big,") my mother wrote down information furiously from the reverse directories. We then watched her knock on every door in her "target market" and spend endless hours on the phone attached to the white pages. She had a package of notecards (her CMS,) an opening line from Tom Hopkins (her sales training,) and enough passion and excitement to fuel a rocket.

small business ownerI vividly recall every turndown ending with her saying:

"Thank you for getting me one "No" closer to a "Yes! "

Les Brown asks that very jarring question, "Are you HUNNNGRY?!?!?" No doubt when it came to my mother, she was. She built a successul business. She'll tell you today, it was because she was too stupid to be scared.

Is there truth to that statement? I think so... not the stupid part obviously, but the scared piece. She wasn't scared. She knew she would be successful. She was creative, inspiring, definitely the rainmaker... Hungry. She was definitely not scared. "People," she would say when coaching her agents, "are going to say "No." They are not saying "I hate you," they are simply saying "No, not today."

Last month we had a business owner join Small Business CT USA. He was launching his business but was really truly doing things the hard way. Turned out, he needed quantity, but he was marketing to the opposite audience. Why? Complete fear of rejection. We ended up role playing, heping him with his marketing material, coaching him and now... he's marketing to full audiences and having success. Lots of it! It wasn't easy. He leveraged Small Business USA as his conscience. He asked us to not let him off the hook and to hold him accountable to his own goals. He leveraged the Ask The Expert calls to become a great salesman and a great marketer. He leveraged the marketing program to hone his ability to convey his passion and his message more effectively.

This business owner had gone to several consultants and mentors for advice. The challenge, when there's fear involved, most business owners choose the path of least resistance. They choose the advice they like and are more comfortable with versus the most effective advice.

Here's what I've learned. Fear holds you back, but if you want it bad enough, you'll find a way to push yourself out of your comfort zone. If you remember that sales are about relationships, trust, and reputation, you'll know that being yourself, understanding your message, and delivering on your promise is what's really important.

Do what you do best, and have the confidence to know that "No" just means you're "one "no" closer to a "yes!" 


To your success!

Colleen Ferrary, Founder Small Business CT/USA 

SmallBusinessCT.com / SmallBusinessCT.org

Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Oh yes, I remember Tommy Hopkins.  I went to a couple of his seminars back in the 1980s. I still remember his joke about being short.  He claimed it was because he was once a steel worker and he carried those heavy steel rods all day.  I also was heavy into Dannielle Kennedy back in that era.  Marketing, and the way we do business on a day to day basis, has so dramatically changed these past 3 decades.

Jun 28, 2014 12:48 PM
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
850-476-4494 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

Sounds like your mom makes a great coach, great post and best of luck

Jun 28, 2014 05:03 PM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Welcome to 'the Rain', Colleen.  I am looking forward to more fabulous posts like this from you.

Jun 28, 2014 10:51 PM
Ted Glover
Alderman Classic Realty, LLC - Moultrie, GA
ABR in Moultrie, Georgia 229-854-5422

Great 1st post.  I did enjoy reading it.  We always can learn something from someone else by just listening. 

Jun 28, 2014 10:51 PM
Debb Janes
Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
Put My Love of Nature At Work for You

I'm with Pat, excellent first post. It's a real pleasure to meet you - Pat featured you in her weekly series - I'm so glad she did.  Look forward to many more posts from you. D

Jun 28, 2014 11:55 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Colleen,

I came over from Joe's post this morning introducing you! Welcome to Active Rain and so glad you are going to be writing and enlightening all of us! I too am looking forward to many posts from you in the future!!

Jun 29, 2014 12:06 AM
Daryl B. DeShaw
The Wilk-DeShaw Group - Las Vegas, NV

No matter what changes, most of the old ways still work. Perhaps more effort, but everyone can succeed if they want it bad enough.

Jun 29, 2014 12:24 AM
ReadySetLoan Team
ReadySetLoan Condo Team LLC - South Windsor, CT
Residential, Commercial & Condo Financing Experts

Super post Colleen.  I have had several unsuccessful businesses because, unlike your mother, I wasn't "too stupid to be scared".  As it turns out, I was "too smart to be successful"!  It sounds like you had a super role model to learn business from.

Jun 29, 2014 12:40 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is an outstanding blog and this topic could become a series. 

Best wishes for great success with ActiveRain. You are a winner!

Jun 29, 2014 04:41 AM
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

This is a wise and wonderful post, Colleen. Active Rain is already benefitting from your presence here. Welcome!

Jun 29, 2014 08:03 AM
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


Congratulations on the feature . . . . may there be many more.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Jun 29, 2014 10:23 AM
Colleen Ferrary
West Hartford, CT

Thank you everyone, for the warm welcome!!

Jun 29, 2014 12:12 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Excellent job on your first Active Rain post Colleen, and a feature too!

I look forward to reading more!

Jun 29, 2014 04:46 PM
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Hi Colleen.  Excellent blog.  I remember doing the same thin as your mother in 1972.  Have fun in the Rain.

Jun 29, 2014 08:13 PM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA - Topsfield, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

A sales person once told me "The sale doesn't begin until you get a No" I have found that pretty much to be true. Great post, by-the-way!

Jun 29, 2014 09:42 PM
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

I love that thought Colleen, it is a great way to keep pushing on!

Welcome to ActiveRain!

Jun 30, 2014 05:16 PM
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

Hello Colleen and welcome to ActiveRain. Great post and good advice. I'm working my way out of my comfort zone. 

Jul 08, 2014 08:58 AM
Amanda Thomas
Providence Group Realty - Plano, TX
​Broker, SRES®, BPOR, MCNE, ​Certified DRS Agent™

Great post, Colleen! I love the snapshot from your memory of being in the library while your mom did market research 'analog' style. That alone makes the irony of your point more dramatic... We have the world at our fingertips with the current resources available. With the right focus and the will to execute against a plan, anyone can have success. We are only limited by that which we think we cannot do 

Jul 08, 2014 06:05 PM
Colleen Ferrary
West Hartford, CT

Thank you for your wonderful comments! They're better than the blog!!!

Jul 16, 2014 04:39 AM
Sandy Padula & Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Florida Realty Investments - , CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Colleen: I read your post some time ago and came back to read it again and you are right about fear being the one emotion that holds many people back. Defining that fear and where it originates is key to overcoming it. Thanks!

Aug 07, 2014 12:17 AM