“I missed more than 9,000 shots.I lost more than 300 games. Twenty six times I was counted on to make the game-winning shot – and missed. I have failed over and over in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
– Michael Jordan

This quote by Michael Jordan gives me goose bumps every time I read it. It’s incredibly inspiring coming from a man we think of as the ultimate success; a master of the game. He is also quoted as saying he thinks it may be his fault that he made it (basketball) look easy; that he didn’t give the game his 100% sweat and tears every day of his life. That is why he made it look easy.

I am inspired by those who look for ways to succeed and not for the reasons why something isn’t working. Raise your hand if you’ve ever failed at something. Raise your hand if you’ve either given up or wanted to give up on something because you were failing. If this was a seminar every hand would be raised. One of the traits of a great leader is someone who sees failures as growth opportunities; similar to seeing objections as opportunities rather than barriers.

People often blame a lack of resources (people, time, money) for why they failed. It’s not a lack of resources; it’s a lack of resourcefulness. One great resource (often overlooked) is modeling others’ success. Look to see what others are doing that are having the success that you want and mirror that.

For those of you who are struggling with sales, I’d like to share an exciting conversation I had yesterday with a team that has had tremendous success recently. I have known this team for some time. They have had many challenges including low traffic, change in management, change in sales team, challenges with focus, closing, etc. What I admire about them is that instead of focusing on the lack of resources (traffic, qualified traffic, bad economy, real estate, etc.) they focused on their resourcefulness.

In drilling down to discover exactly what resources they are tapping into, I found out it is their current customer referral program. This may sound really simple and it is, but the difference here is the laser focus and the systematic plan they have implemented in driving customer referrals. In addition to a planned, rotated schedule of connecting with current customers to really get to know each one of them personally they have a new systematic plan to meet to have lunch once a week to learning more about their customers, what is important to them and why they might refer business to trusted friends and colleagues.

It’s often not the revolutionary idea but the simple one that will yield the greatest result. And there are plenty of great ideas that yield nothing because there wasn’t an implemented specific plan of action. This team is making it look easy because of the hard work they put into this effort on a daily basis. They never gave up looking for ways to succeed. They “failed” many times and continued to tap into their resources and continued taking action every day. Speaking of which is another trait of great leadership – taking action now.

My challenge to you is to:

  • Decide where you want to take your business.
  • Tap into your resourcefulness.
  • Create (and follow) your plan of action.
  • Take action now.
  • Ask someone to hold you accountable to the plan.
  • Measure results.
  • Tweak where necessary.
  • Email me so I can celebrate your success and share it with others!


Julie Podewitz