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“Go for No” – Increasing your failure quotient.

“Yes is the destination – no is how you get there.”

What are you listening to while in your car? Are you deepening your product knowledge or listening to something inspiring? I often listen to audio books, and this week I listened to “Go for No by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz, and it inspired me to increase the “nos” I get for the month of July.

No! The two letters that many of us dread!

Is this little word holding you back?

In the audio book, Richard explains that many have the wrong model of success and failure. Many of us think that success is on one side and failure is on the other, and our mission is to move away from the “failure side” and towards the “success side”.


It seems right at first, but again, this concept is all wrong! Richard explains that failure is what you do to get to success. It’s not something to avoid but actually something to aim for.

The more we aim or expect failure instead of avoiding it like the plague, the more we experience success. Of course, the only way to get used to failing is to do it more often.




It sounds preposterous at first, but listen to the author’s thoughts on this.

Think of kids. Ever observed that whenever they want something, they keep asking you about it again and again and again even when you’ve said “no” several times and sometimes, eventually, you’ll say “yes”! Saying “no” doesn’t simply stop them, they just keep pushing!

Willingness to fail guarantees a way to success; it’s being afraid of failing that will stifle you from success.

Now, ask yourself, do you truly want to fail, or do you just tolerate it? Do you “go for no”?

Instead of setting the goal for the number of “yeses” you want, set a goal for the number of “nos”!

Again, yes, it sounds crazy, but think about it! If you have to hit a target of five sales to hit quota for the month and you settle for just going for your “yes” goals, you might actually end up having a slow month.

On the other hand, if you set your mind or goal to get 30 “nos”, you might get more than five “yeses”!

What is your failure quotient? How long are you willing to fail before you quit? Do u let just one single “no” devastate you and stop you from achieving your goals? How easily do you move on from a “no”?

The only way to beat this is to experience it so often that you become numb to it.

Some of the world’s most successful people experienced epic failure. We celebrate their success but often overlook the path that got them there. A path that is often marked with failure. Dr Seuss, the much-loved children’s author had his first book rejected by 27 different publishers… what would we have had read to us if he stopped sending his manuscripts out at the 26th rejection?

The more “nos” you get, the more “yeses” you get too! Often the best sales people… sports people… etc are those that had the most failed attempts.

Micahel Jordan famously said:

“I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

To help get you more excited about going for “no”, here are a couple of key messages taken from the book:

1.Set a Failure Goal. Help yourself and even your teammates fail faster and exponentially. Setting failure goals is a great way to get excited about failing or hearing the word “no” instead of dreading it. It will also give you an idea of how much attempts it takes to get a yes.

2.Have a “Champion for Nos” Reward. Give this to the team member who got the most “nos”, and celebrate getting more “nos” and failures you can learn valuable lessons from. Reward yourself along the way eg for every 10 “nos” collected, you get a reward.

3.“No” can often just be a person’s way of saying “not yet. There is a statistic that states 66% of customers say “no” four times before that “no” eventually turns into a “yes”!, and that 44% of salespeople give up after the first “no”. Track how many knows you get from clients you want to do business with.

4.If you are going to fail, fail big! Don’t avoid approaching BIG clients because you might “blow it” on a big one! Fail with big accounts too because when you eventually succeed with one of these, the rewards are huge and the risk worth it.

5.Fail Exponentially. Train your team fail and to fail more often, so that you get to success faster.

“No”, in reality, is not as scary as we think it is! It’s a necessary step on your way to success. Don’t be afraid to fail and fail more often AND to learn from your failures as you go so your path to success is accelerated.

The final message I took from this book that I want to leave you with is this… if you are not making your target at the end of the month or quarter… you are not hearing enough “nos”!

Great book, I recommend you have a read/listen, share it with your team and create a challenge to get more “nos”.


50 Famous People Who Failed at Their First Attempt at Career Success

July 5, 2016

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