I mentioned once before that if you were to look at the photos and videos that come from your company’s annual winner’s trip, whatever it’s called, you would quickly realize that the secret to winning is not looks, talent, degrees, or pedigrees (privileged background).
Here in chapter 3 Art Williams reveals the real secret to winning. The secret to winning is desire, the will to win, or you may just call it basic “want to.” You can have all four of those components mentioned above, but if you don’t have desire, you will still fail.
I have always been an avid reader, especially non-fiction books that feed my mind. I have used reading as one way to always be a “student of the business” in every industry where I’ve worked. Years ago I read a short book written by Napoleon Hill, called Think and Grow Rich. In that book Hill documents his study of successful people, sharing common denominators they possessed. In the book he lists a simple six-step plan that goes like this:
- Have a specific goal
- Set a specific time in which to achieve your goal
- Write down your goal
- Develop a plan to achieve your goal
- Decide the price you are willing to pay
- Think about reaching your goal every day
Regardless what position you hold at your company, these six steps can’t be overlooked. I know first-hand they work, and they will work for you. Your success won’t happen overnight, but if you want it bad enough, you can become somebody special.
Let’s look at this concept of desire, in order to understand why it’s such a powerful force.
Desire gains strength when it has a concrete form
That’s why I advocate setting sales goals at the beginning of each month, because it forces the construction of a game plan for achievement. When you apply your company’s activity system of appointments, proposals and closes against that goal, you have a solid game plan.
Desire becomes obsession
Writing it down, reading it over and thinking about it constantly ensures that your goal becomes a part of your daily life. This is the exact process young athletes follow on their path to becoming Olympic gold medalists.
Desire becomes a commitment
At this stage you go beyond thinking and dreaming and devote your time and energy to achieving the goal. Art says that everyone that’s done this typically has gone through three stages before reaching the final commitment level necessary to see things through to the end.
The first one is The Lying Stage. This is where deep down you really don’t think you can do it so you walk around lying to everybody you talk to. You tell everybody how you are going to really do something great, but when you look in the mirror at night before turning off the light, you say to yourself, “Who are you kidding?” You really do want to make it bad, but you don’t believe you will.
That stage is followed by The Quitting Stage. After fighting through the lying stage and working like crazy for months, you hit the wall and go into a sales slump where everything you touch goes south. You finally tell yourself that you’re not cut out for this and you begin to look for a “good job.” It doesn’t take long for you to realize there aren’t any “good jobs” out there. So you suck it up and re-double your efforts only to hit another wall a few months down the road. After repeating this vicious cycle several times you eventually make the final commitment to do whatever it takes for however long it takes to achieve your goal.
That third phase is The “DO IT” Stage. This is where you turn the final corner and begin your real road to success. Talk to anybody who has been there and they will tell you these three stages are as real as death and taxes. They are quite normal for folks who are obsessed with doing something big.
Desire then becomes endurance
This component is that extra ingredient ensuring victory. It also requires realizing that succeeding is a marathon and not a sprint. Regardless where you work you might as well plan on everything possible happening negatively. I can name countless salespeople who have been “shooting stars,” doing really well for two or four or six months. Regrettably, they get washed out of their business after a sales slump rocked their confidence. Because they had no endurance, they never made it a full lap around the track.
One of the best examples of endurance is the most successful international golfer of all time, South African Gary Player. He is the only golfer that won the British Open in three different decades. He’s also the oldest player ever to make the cut at The Masters (1998 at age 63).
One day at a tournament a man came up to him and said he would give anything if he could hit a ball like Player. Usually a very polite person, Player looked the man in the eye and said, “No, you wouldn’t. You’d give anything to hit a golf ball like me if it was easy. But to be able to hit the ball like me you’ve got to get up at five o’clock in the morning. You’ve got to swing at golf balls until you’ve hit a thousand. When your hand starts bleeding, you walk to the clubhouse, wash the blood off and slap a bandage on it. Then go right back and hit another thousand golf balls. That’s what it takes to hit a golf ball like me.”
So if you are really looking for the secret to winning, it’s not a secret at all. It’s right here in front of you. The secret to winning is desire. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
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