Can you take NO for an answer?
Or will you stop at nothing to hear what you want vs. what you need in life or business?
- What motivates your expectations?
- How realistic are the outcomes?
- What are you really after?
- What’s the ultimate goal?
Ask yourself the above questions to truly figure out if failure or success are motivating your perspective and actions. The answers may surprise you:
There are two major types of strategic consultants (replace this group with any other) you can partner with. Those who say YES, and those who say NO when you present them with a laundry list of unrealistic goals and expectations.
Which one can you afford to hire?
Let’s make it clear that this post is not about conquering new horizons and pushing yourself or others beyond your comfort zone to achieve new heights. This post talks about the unpopular notion of unrealistic expectations and what it takes to put together a winning team vs. a team of losers who will help you go down in flames.
Do you want to fly? or do you want to burn?
Before you develop an idea, design a new lifestyle for yourself or launch a business, you must decide what you’re ultimately after and what you can afford, this might seem obvious but is it?
The best way to evaluate your motives, and to get real with yourself is to answer the questions below as truthfully as possible. Let’s get real for a moment!
- Do you seek out others who say YES to you when you know they should say NO?
- Who do you think has a greater chance at actually helping you achieve your ultimate goal of succeeding in life or business? Those who say YES when they should say NO or those who say NO when they should say NO?
- Who do you think of the YESers and NOers has more resources and time to focus on accomplishing the most favorable results for you which will ultimately help you succeed?
- Will you stop at nothing until someone lies to you, tells you what you want to hear and takes the responsibility of the outcome, because by saying YES they are shifting the blame of a possible failure away from you?
Think about your true reasons and motives for being unreasonable…
OK, let’s assume you have hired someone who said YES to all of your demands, unrealistic expectations, wishes and hopes regardless of how unfeasible they were.
- Do you feel you’ve succeeded? Do you feel accomplished? Do you feel like you’ve won a lottery? Hopeful? Excited? Proud? Or, do you now feel worried, anxious or freaked out because you wonder: “How in the World will they achieve the unachievable!, I bet they will disappoint me!”
- How much are you willing to gamble with your future or the future of your project?
- What does it feel like to get your way? Do you feel important? worthy? Ask yourself if feeling worthy and succeeding by getting your way is really what you’re after rather than achieving real success by creating value….again, what is your ultimate motive and how does it look like?
So someone said YES but they failed to deliver on their promise. You feel cheated, lied to betrayed, disappointed…
- Are you surprised?
- Do you say: ” I knew it, here we go again ” <– In this case, consider the fact that you are the only constant in this equation and it might simply be a matter of getting real and not much to do with the self imposed urgency, the need to save money (if you can afford to lose it, you can afford to pay someone to get the job done once and well) etc.
- Do you evaluate your expectations and conclude that you’ve set yourself up to learn from the experience and not repeat the same mistakes? or
- Do you blame and take no responsibility for the predictable outcome?
On the upside, you most likely don’t feel as guilty if the project failed because it wasn’t you who failed, now you can possibly play the blame game, but have you actually achieved your ultimate goal? NO.
So now you are short on time, cash, filled with anxiety, worry, confusion, hesitation and trust issues. How is that helping you stay focused and clear on what you must accomplish to succeed?
Who won? Definitely not you.
- What do you want? To be right or to be successful? To change your life for the better or to crash and burn?
- How could you have minimized the loss and increased your chances of success?
- At what point exactly did you go wrong? (research, wants vs. needs etc)
What if saying YES is a sign of a rookie or a loser who just like you, will stop at nothing to get what they want? In the way you’ve met your match, you found someone who doesn’t mind failing for you, with you…after all you pay them to fail so you don’t have to face it yourself. Mission accomplished! You won! You’ve set this up and got what you wanted!
But was that your ultimate goal? To lose or to be a loser?
Saying NO requires experience, it requires a clear perspective, it requires courage because the risk of losing business to someone who says YES no matter what the outcome is very high. Saying NO takes real confidence. Successful professionals and leaders learn to say NO more than they say YES.
Because they are passionate and proud of what they do, because they trust their experience and build their reputation on positive results and accomplished, realistic yet ambitious goals, because their morals or ethics don’t allow them to lie and say YES when they know they have to say NO, because they want you to succeed as they then succeed with you. But this takes a leader, a professional…
Only rookies say YES when they should say NO.
Saying NO is not a popular answer.
Whoever says NO, must learn to be comfortable with rejection. Not many whose goal is to fail want to hear someone say NO, they will keep going until they find someone who will tell them what they want to hear. When someone says NO to you, take notice, perhaps it’s their experience speaking, they are smart enough not to let you fail because they themselves are winners.
Work with those who can afford and are ready to lose you as a client in order to preserve their reputation…they will work hard to do the same with yours.
Winners hate to be losers!
Those who say NO, have everything to lose by saying YES. Someone who says YES, when they should say NO, possibly has nothing to lose because they have not built a strong reputation that needs protecting.
What if most of your unrealistic expectations come from the fear of losing control? Keep in mind I am not speaking here about expectations that are feasible.
Success is about balancing what you can control and learning to let go of what you can’t control.
What if your unrealistic expectations come from fear of your own inadequacy or uncertainty of the actual results projected onto others? Are you a consistent person? Do you know your limitations? Do you know your strengths and weaknesses? Are you perceptive?
Figure out who you are and you will never hire the wrong person to partner with you because your wants, goals and needs will naturally align. Many people have no idea what motivates, drives and inspires them.
What if your unrealistic expectations have nothing to do with creating positive results you desire but your poor image of yourself? Can you truly handle success? Can you handle losing as much as you can handle winning?
Define what inspires you to pursue an idea before you set out to achieve your goals and your determination to succeed will increase. You will become more selective with who shares your responsibility to ensure your success. Choose wisely not based on price but based on their motives behind helping you accomplish your goals.
Never let money be your primary factor of how you select your partners if success is important to you. Everyone has a price but not everyone knows how to win and succeed. You want to work with those who value their time and respect themselves.
What if you haven’t achieved whatever you set out to achieve in life, not because of others failing, disappointing, betraying, cheating you but the fact that you were never ready to win?
Winning feels best when it’s shared.
What if you thought you set out to win where in reality you were eager to fail?
Is failure or success more familiar to you? Where is your comfort zone?
What if your belief they (you) would fail, jeopardised your real chances of achieving success by not trying as hard, recruiting other losers to ensure you fail and to confirm your deepest fears? Can you trust yourself before you mistrust others?
Don’t become your worst enemy!
If you believe you can or if you believe you can not, you are right.
They say reality is just a perception. Change your perception and reality will change. What reality do you live in now? What reality do you want to live in in the future? Most people create and launch ideas to design better futures for themselves and their loved ones. What are you creating?
A person with a winning mindset knows they will win, part of the reason they will win is because they set themselves up to win. They create a winning environment and opportunities that will facilitate a winning outcome. Ask yourself if you’re setting yourself up to fail or to win?
Success is rarely an outcome of pure luck or having the right connections or being in the right place…yes it all helps but successful people don’t set themselves up to fail when the probabilities to succeed vs. fail are in their control. Focus on controlling the right things.
Before you set out to achieve your goals (assuming your goal is to win and not to fail), make sure you’re ready to succeed and make sure to hire winners by matching their objectives and definition of success with yours. They will guide you towards the win, they won’t settle for any other way.
Before you set out to build your successful future, make sure you really want it and are ready for it, and if so, the first step is to make sure your mindset is that of a winner, the second step is to know when to let go and trust other winners to help you succeed. Surround yourself with the right people.
RESOURCES WORTH YOUR TIME:
Unsure if your idea aligns with who you are and what you want? No problem! I’ve created a comprehensive Pathfinder so you too can find your path to success. For only $27 you can download a worksheet that will take you through questions and steps to figure out your motives, objectives, goals and passions. Download it here, your future depends on it.
I’m including a great interview with Chris Draft, former NFL Linebacker who used to play for Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, St. Louis Rams, Buffalo Bills, and Washington Redskins and is a Founder/CEO of Chris Draft Family Foundation focused on providing resources for cancer survivors after his wife passed away from cancer.
His talk about determination really resonates the most with me while I write this post because it has to do with the power of choice and making a commitment to whatever you choose to do in life.
Character is what defines and leads us. Click here for the entire interview.
Thanks for reading this post. Would love to inspire a conversation on this and other entrepreneurial topics so if you got a story to share, an experience that has to do with expectations and building a business or would like me to write about another topic, I’d love to hear it! leave a comment below the post or write me directly.
The inspiration for this post came from the few times in the 18 years of my career where I had to say NO and needed to evaluate expectations with clients in order to successfully help them and help them succeed.
I also dedicate this post to all of you who seek inspiration and who have a desire to follow through on your dreams and aspirations of creating the life you love.