When you ask people if they’d do something crazy like spend two years alone on a deserted island for a million dollars, more often than not, the answer is yes. They’re willing to eat a bug or walk through fire, but when it comes to the much simpler, real life tasks that can get them actual, rather than hypothetical, money, suddenly it’s too scary. It’s too scary to ask for a raise or to start your own business or to pick up the phone to call a new prospect.
Why is it that people are more willing to be stuck in a box of rats than to approach someone to make a sale? Perhaps it’s the lack of a guarantee. You know that if you can face the rats you’ll get your million and be done with it. But if you go for the sale and fail, you’ll have nothing to show for yourself and you’ll feel rejected.
The fact is, no one is going to give you a million dollars for the rats, or the fire, or the bugs, or the island. So why not take that hypothetical commitment and put it towards real money producing actions? Sure, they might not carry a 100% guarantee, but at least they carry a possibility.
When you take a chance, when you approach or ask or confront, you open the door for opportunity. When you do nothing, you get nothing, not even a chance. You can be crippled by the fear of how much you have to lose, or you can get excited about what you have to gain and go for it. Don’t send yourself back to the world of hypotheticals by not acting and always wondering “what if…”.
Truth is, your livelihood depends on reaching out to other people. You can’t make any money, much less a million dollars, unless you sell- either your product or your services. Even as an employee, you’re selling yourself to your employer- to get the job, to keep the job, and to negotiate raises and promotions. All of those things, the initial proposal, the interview, the request for more, carry the possibility of rejection and failure. If you’re not willing to take that risk, how will you ever make your millions?
The more times you put yourself out there, the more risks you’re willing to take, the more chances you have at succeeding. It’s a percentage game.
The real secret to success is being willing to fail rather than being afraid to fail.
The number of rejections really doesn’t matter- if you put yourself out there enough times to find the “yes” that you need, you can have your millions and more.
Develop the discipline to confront your fear of failure on a daily basis; make the pitches, make the cold calls, ask for the benefits every day. Make it a habit to stand up to your doubts and reservations and not let them get in the way of your success. The only real failure is failing to ask.
Whatever stands between you and the “yes” will be of no consequence when you’re enjoying the fruits of your labor. The fear that once crippled you will seem trivial and foolish when you’ve achieved your goal- whether it be something small and simple like asking for an extra week of vacation or something big and grand like making a million dollars. Once you get in the habit of “asking for the order” there’s no limit on the success that can be reached.
So next time someone asks, “Would you do X for a million dollars?”, you can dismiss their ridiculous hypotheticals and let them know what you’re doing in your reality to make it happen. Every ask, every pitch, every risk is another opportunity for success and another step closer to the goal.
What’s holding you back from making your million? What steps are you taking to confront your fear?