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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   October 2005

Failing Forward

If you embrace and learn from your failures, you’ll win the sales game

Success has different meanings for different people. Some may describe success as the achievement of childhood dreams, others as the ability to do something they like while getting paid for it. Luck is achieving a goal without encountering failures, but success means overcoming failures to achieve your goals.

Whatever your definition of success may be, remember that it’s quite different from luck. To be successful, we need to encounter, embrace and overcome failures. This is especially true in the mortgage business because obtaining the right perception of failure can catapult your career in new ways. I call it the concept of “failing forward.”

We must encourage failing forward in the mortgage business. Learning from our mistakes and using them as stepping stones in our careers is the key to success.

Every salesperson in the mortgage business is familiar with failure. The key to making failure work for you is changing your perception of it. Do you see failure as a roadblock or as a detour?

Failing forward is a choice. You can choose to learn from your failures or you can choose to dwell on them as your career stalls. Professionals who have chosen to learn from their mistakes have taken their sales careers to new heights. They can move past their mistakes and conquer the next level. Those who dwell on their failures will remain at that level until they embrace those mistakes.

Ask yourself what your core beliefs are. What makes you tick? Why do you come to work each day? What gets you out of bed in the morning? Do you look forward to coming to work?

If you answer “no” to any of these questions, you may be in the wrong business. If you do not enjoy what you do, you will never reach your maximum potential. Eventually, you likely will fail. Many salespeople say they can sell anything without loving what they do. But the minute they suffer a failure, they likely will throw away a potentially profitable career.

If you strongly believe that sales is the career for you, the concept of failing forward will help you obtain the right set of professional core beliefs and principles. Failing forward allows you the freedom to enjoy your work and frees you from the fear of making another mistake. Millions of dollars in profit are lost each year because we are afraid of failing and of taking chances outside our comfort level.

Realizing the positive effects failure has on your career will make you a better salesperson. Those who have made it to the top say that they are at their best right after making a mistake. Mistakes help us evaluate our processes and strategies. Instead of looking at these experiences negatively, consider these small detours as vital learning experiences that are necessary to get to the next professional level.

It’s easy to be average. You should strive to be above average. Try new things, look outside of your box and take a chance. The concept of failing forward will enable you to shed the fear of failure and move to the next level in your sales career. By eliminating fear of failure from the equation, you are free to experience new sales concepts and lower your daily stress level.

Let failure become your instructor. It will teach you how to do things right the next time. Using your failures as stepping stones will enable you to enjoy a long and profitable sales career in the mortgage business. If you take the time to listen to your mistakes, you will be one step closer to success without needing much luck.


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