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Try looking into that other crowd, the 25% who are hoping you’ll fall on your face. How can they give you positive stress? By giving you an incentive to prove them wrong, to make them eat crow, to show them what you’re made of. Why do you think Mr. Holt, my old principal at Osborne High School, has been such an inspiration to me?

Because he told my mother I was a loser. Every time I get into my limousine, I want to say “Thank you Mr. Holt.”

When the critics start their crackling, let that be an incentive to make you work harder. Do you think it bothered Wilbur and Orville Wright when the critics jeered, “It’ll never fly”? Nobody ever built a monument to a critic. Next time you’re flying down the eastern seaboard, take a close look down the vicinity of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. You’ll see an impressive monument to the Wright Brothers.

So use the nay-sayers as a source of positive stress. You can do it by making a commitment and letting everyone know about it. What do you think happened when I advertised the fact that I was going to follow up my dismal first year on the job with a million dollar sales performance?

My wife and friends said, “Atta boy Floyd. We’ll help you in any way we can.” And they did. They reminded me to make more calls. They reminded me to keep my customers happy. They helped me with tips on presentations and prospecting and qualifying and closing.

My sorehead acquaintances said, “Million Dollar Club, eh? How much did you earn last year? $4,200? Well, I’ve heard pigs can fly, but the only one I saw that tried it landed face first in the mud.”

The good news is that although those people didn’t help me physically, they did help me. They gave me an incentive to prove them wrong and to stand up and take notice.


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