How do we overcome our fear of failure? More importantly, why do we need to and how do we do it? Let me start by sharing my own personal experiences from over 10 years ago.
Before I started my own company, I met my wife. I was constantly talking to her about my hopes, my dreams, my aspirations, and all the things that I could become. Eventually, the talk wore on her. Why? I was all talk and no action. I was not doing anything about it. She responded with “If you’re not willing to fail forward, you need to be okay with the current circumstances and situation you’re in.”
What my wife told me became the nudge that I needed to overcome my fears and start my entrepreneurial journey. This nudge will also be different for different people. But how do we really overcome our fear of failing forward? I think it starts with three things.
Failing Forward and Surviving by Getting Over the Word NO
First and foremost, we need to be willing to get over the word NO. After all, isn’t a “no” a great way to refine our pitch, our sale, and our offer? Not having anyone tell us “no” would also mean that we’re not going anywhere. If you think about it this way, it’s really just knowing your audience, knowing why you’re talking to them, and being able to anticipate the different types of “no” you may get from them.
One more thing, don’t take the “no” response as a personal attack. Instead, listen and find out why they said “no” to you. Ask them. Then listen again to what they’re going to tell you.
At the end of the day, you can use everything they’ll tell you to your advantage. Let their feedback help you refine your offer. This whole experience should help you get over your fear of hearing no.
Learn Your NOs
There are several different types of no out there. First, there is the generic no. This is the type of no that people will give you when you’re in the wrong time, the wrong place, or talking to the wrong person. They’re telling you no because they’re just not in the right headspace. The good thing about this is you can still come back later and ask them again.
The second no is the maybe no. Maybe you just didn’t give that person the right details to match their time frame. You might need to ask them again. The first two noes are not so bad, but you need to know the difference between them, so you will know how to tackle them.
Lastly, there’s the hard NO. This one probably does not need a lot of explaining.
So why should you learn your noes? It’s because most people quit at the first no. In addition, 44% of sales people give up after the first follow-up. However, being able to differentiate between the different types of noes will help you plan for your follow up. It will certainly help you rise above your competition.
If you get a no, you’re asking the wrong question or the wrong person.
The third and last one is from Steve Sims. He also follows it up with “There are multiple ways to get in a house. Doesn’t always have to be through the front door.”
So what does this mean?
It means that often times, we need to refine our question to get past a gatekeeper, and get to the right person—the person you want to work with, the decision maker.
Oftentimes, when we have an offer, and before going directly to the person we want to work with, we must first talk to their team members—people they already know and trust; people they’re already working with.
If we’re going to this, we’ll most likely encounter “gatekeepers.” Gatekeepers are usually people who are trained “to block and tackle” to make sure the decision makers don’t need to deal with anyone they don’t want to deal with. Every time you encounter a gatekeeper and you’ll get a no, don’t give up just yet. Remember the first two things in this list.
After all, getting the noes from the gatekeepers can help you refine your question, your approach, and your offer. The best part? Doing this may actually be bringing you closer to your goal—getting that YES from the decision maker.
“You’ve got to be willing to hear the word NO. NO is just another way to help you refine the pitch that you are giving, or the sale that you are giving, or the offer that you are giving. You should always wanna be a master of your craft, and hearing the word NO is a great way to get there.” – Brandon Straza
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