I heard this great quote last week from Mike Tyson. He said “Everyone
has a plan…
…until you get punched in the mouth.”
I immediately related this to my own experiences in running a business. Psh, I’m not special—far from it. I’ve gotten my butt kicked one too many times to count. I’ve thought about giving up, but something inside me wanted to get better and be great at something.
Similarly, many entrepreneurs and marketers often feel their idea, product, or service is an amazing benefit to their customer base, but those are often the plans that get punched in the face. Many are simply planning the “perfect” scheme for months or years only to get punched in the face in the forms of failure and rejection. While most entrepreneurs aren’t literally getting decked in the face by their customers for having a non-market-ready product (let’s hope not), it’s safe to equate the business world form of being punched in the face to “failure & rejection”.
This rejection comes in many forms:
• A potential investor ripping up your business idea and more or less telling you that your idea is not viable
• Putting out adverts and not receiving a single call back
• Getting on the phone with a potential client and being told that “they’re not interested”…over and over again
Well, if you’re successful, then it should sound even more familiar. As ironic as that may sound, the world’s most successful people will often tell you that failure and rejection (our proverbial “punch in the face”) was the best thing for them. Let’s ponder a few examples:
• J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone (some book about a wizard child with a scar on his head) was rejected 12 times and was told “not to quit her day job”.
• Michael Jordan didn’t make his high school basketball team.
• F. Scott Fitzgerald was famously told (upon being rejected) “You’d have a decent book if you’d get rid of that Gatsby character.”
• Walt Disney was rejected 302 times before receiving financing for Disney World.
• The Beatles were reported to have been rejected over and over again by record labels.
• Thomas Edison failed over 10,000 attempts at making the light bulb work. Imagine getting proverbially punched in the face by a light bulb 10,000 times. Not to mention, he was likely shocked (literally) several hundred times due to the electricity he played with, yet it was his electric-like persistence that later shocked the world.
From sports to business to novel writing to music and beyond, the world’s greatest achievers have all been punched in the face on many occasions. Sometimes your product just isn’t good enough and you need the feedback from your customers even if it’s harsh. Other times, you might just be targeting the wrong market for your product. The reasons are endless for why you would be getting punched in the face with clients refusing to take your sales calls, poor advert results, or simply being denied by an investor.
It’s all about probability, really. Who do you think gets more bulls eyes?
Person A: World-class dart player who throws 1 dart
Person B: Average dart player who throws 500 darts
My money is on “Person B”!
That’s how you need to approach your business. Think of bulls eyes as “Sales”. Be the Person B dart player until you and/or your product reaches the aptitude of “Person A”. Now combine that world class dart player’s skill with Person B’s persistence, and just wow!
Edison threw that dart 10,000 times before hitting the bulls eye that ultimately led him into the history books; all you need to do is succeed once.
I’ve worked with over 100 business owners during the last 12 months. After going back and doing a quick survey of these clients, I found that those who were consistently failing and being rejected were also the ones who have gone on to create 6 and 7 figures businesses.
There’s no magic, people. Actually, there is. It’s called persistence; the power to lick your wounds and stare failure and rejection directly into their eyes.
Now, go make Mike Tyson proud and get punched in the face!
P.S. – I’ve received a few notes from people in response to my latest emails about how they have started spending more time on Marketing. I love hearing your stories Feel free to keep sending them my way!