Over the years, I've had the privilege of spending time with some of the best speakers, trainers, and mentors on this planet. Many of you know that I count Jim Zieglar as a friend. We've known each other since the mid 90's and he has always gone out of his way to help me, encourage me and on rare occassions even ask me a question. Through it all, it's always been fun and educational.
I've been able to spend quality time with Mr. Les Brown and listen to his advice as I was building my own speaking and training career. Mark Victor Hansen, author of the "Chicken Soup" series of books, gave me tremendous book marketing ideas. And being able to sit at breakfast with Zig Ziglar himself and just talk one on one about his ideas, helped shape much of what I do.
And, as many of you know about being a huge fan of Og Mandino, to be able to visit his home and share time with his widow Betty was an experience I'll never forget. Standing in the very office where so many of his books were written and then seeing the letters from the elite of the world as they paid homage to the man the NY Times called the greatest story teller of the 20th century, was life changing.
All of those experiences and the other things that happened in my life, shaped what I am today. Yet, too many people see where I am and become less confident in themselves because of it. They let their mind tell them that what I've accomplished could never happen to them.
I was speaking at Lehigh Univesity to the largest audience of my life. 5,000 people filled their basketball arena to hear me speak twice. To say that I was nervous was like asking Dale Earnhardt Jr. if he was going for a little ride. But, it would have been too embarassing for me not to go on stage, so I did my speech. What happened later, changed my life.
As is customary, after the speech, I was taken to an area to meet audience members and sign soe of my books. One particular person came up to me and thanked me for a great program but still looked a bit dissatisfied. I asked why and he told me. "It's easy for you. You have all those books and speeches around the world. I could never be like that." I rewrote the next speech just for him.
As I came out to close the convention, my speech began, "If you could wake up tomorrow and have all the book sales, go to all the places I've been, have people send you letters and fan mail, how many of you would choose to be me? Stand up." Most of the people in the audience rose and cheered. And then, as Paul Harvey used to say, I told them the rest of the story.
"Remain standing if you'd be willing to go almost an entire year without any income. Stay on your feet if you could live the last two months of this ordeal using credit cards to pay your credit card bills. Don't sit if you could open your mail as over 100 publishers rejected your book proposal." There were less than a dozen people still standing. Out of 5,000 in the audience, less than 12 still wanted to be me. But, that wasn't the point.
I didn't wake up one day and have 1.5 million readers and a worldwide speaking career. Just like I didn't get into the car business and become salesman of the month on my first day. I didn't just spend a few weeks watching someone train others and declare that this is for me. And, neither did you.
Even today, I share with all of those in my training programs, or in my audiences, the difference between where I am right now and where you might be in your career is that I was willing to take just one more step. It didn't matter how many times people told me no, I was going to see if the next person might say yes. When I am asked how I was able to keep going through 100 rejection letters from publishers, and finally sign my first contract, the answer is simple. I never kept count. I didn't know how many times I was turned down until after I signed a contract.
What I realized is that I only needed one person to say yes and then I would be published. So, rather than focusing on the "no's" along the way, I just kept going until I got the answer I wanted. Too many authors quit after the 10th rejection. Imagine what the car business would be like if every salesperson resigned after hearing no 10 times. The real point is, you keep going until you get the results you want adn stop focusing on the answers along the way.
I hear sales people tell me all the time how much they want to make each year. Then, they blame the economy, the manufacturers, the "lucky" favorites on the floor, etc. As long as you focus on others, you can never really have what you want. There is an old saying in life, "Never criticize, condem, or complain." Those are the three "C's" to live by. I'd like to add a fouth. Never compare. Stop worrying about the other "guy" and focus on just what you want. Then, do the work to get it.
John Fuhrman is the Senior National Trainer for Carolina Automotive Resource Services, a unit of The Dealer Resource Group. His ten books have reached 1.5 million readers and he has trained sales professionals around the world. You can see all of his books on www.amazon.com. When your dealership needs amazing results hiring new people, visit http://www.thedealerresourcegroup.webs.com. ATTENTION DEALERS: VISIT OUR WEB SITE AND REGISTER TO KEEP UP ON MONTHLY TRAINING SAVING SPECIALS. Our trainers are ready to show you our "WOW!" factor. (c)2011 by John Fuhrman - Permission to reprint this post in its entirety, including contact information, is hereby granted.