Posted by: drewdice | January 7, 2010

Youth sports, persistence, rejection and winning!

Do you every think about what separates the highly successful people from those that, well, aren’t?

I’m talking about the folks that, regardless of age, sport, job, or challenge, just seem to consistently perform at higher levels than others. Period.

Luck? Circumstance? Lineage? I don’t think so. In fact, there are studies upon studies that have come up with findings like the 80/20 rule, and correlations between various factors that indicate likelihood of success.

For me, personally, and in leading others, it comes back to personal beliefs and values. What do you believe is possible (or not)? As we discussed in one of the previous posts, “Give more”, generously sharing your gift, in my experience, will lead to fulfillment and achievement.

In sales, I see examples (good and bad) every day. Take a situation where a sales person expresses that a prospect she is trying to reach won’t call her back. In fact, this prospect may even have reached out to the sales person, or come via a referral. You may be amazed that most sales people will actually stop trying to connect with the prospect after 2-3 unsuccessful attempts. I’m serious!

In this post, I’m not going to get into strategies, leveraging connections, social networking and other ways to improve the chances of connecting. We’ve discussed that before, and we’ve got plenty of time to hit it again in the future (plus, you can always reach out directly to discuss your specific circumstances with me, and I’ll gladly give you time). The point here is: what happened to good old fashioned persistence? Showing a prospect that you really want the business?

Same goes for kids today. I remember playing sports in high school. I was always a pretty good athlete growing up. I loved football and baseball, specifically. In baseball, I always fared well in little league, major league (for kids), babe ruth league etc. When it came time for high school tryouts, I tried out every year, and got cut every year. To this day, I still don’t understand it. I was a top player in leagues outside high school, with many of the same players; and I outperformed them. In high school tryouts, I hit well, fielded well, had a strong, accurate arm from center field, and am left handed, something most coaches want in a percentage of their players. I took my lumps, asked the coaches for feedback, tried harder, played harder in summer leagues, and I’ll tell you, I believe that my getting cut again and again made me stronger, and made me believe more in my abilities. I could have gotten down, or told myself that I was no good in baseball, but what kind of attitude is that?

Today, many kids seem to lack the same fire that mediocre sales professionals lack. I’m not talking about sheer ability and natural ability. I’m talking about will, iron determination, a core belief in self that propels one to overcome obstacles, even in the face of great odds. Does this guarantee success every time. No way. But it does create a mindset of learning from every experience; of getting better all the time, of actually creating your own future, as opposed to falling victim to what happens.

You can have it, you can be it, you can do it. It is truly your choice.




  1. Thanks, Andrew! I enjoyed reading this.

    • Jamie,

      I appreciate your reading and commenting. I’m curious to hear what you see in the Real Estate and related professions, as well as in your contact with various sales professionals in other industries.

      I love your posts and how openly you share with your community!

  2. This year I worked on a project from late May on through to New Year’s Eve. I pitched several solutions and finally after many iterations of prototypes hit on one that was awarded the job in late November. My design team was convinced that I was waisting my time.

    In then end the job that I thought job was only going to be one version, is actually going to become three versions extending through this coming year.

    The point is you never really can tell what job is going to be the winner (or what client for that matter.) If I had quit when the client turned down the first prototype, I would have missed a great sale. As in Napoleon Hill’s story, the gold might only be three feet away from where I quit digging!

    • Nice work, Kate!

      One the traits you have that I most admire is your willingness to persevere in the face of criticism. I’m very proud of you, and glad to hear that things are going well for you.

      You also be extra bonus points for your Napoleon Hill reference. He is one of my favorite authors!

      Cheers, and here is to your great successes in 2010.


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