I am finding that in my journey, there is a constant I keep coming up against and that is that the more people that I talk to about my endeavor, the more people I can find that want to join me on my journey. This is a simple numbers game in that regard, just a matter of large numbers theory. Large numbers theory is the idea that as the numbers get larger in any given area, the results approach the statistical percentages. Simply put, if the statics in your journey, or your business say that you should have a 10% conversion rate, the more people that you talk to, the closer you are to find that 10% of them who will purchase your product.
The challenge with this is in the other 90% of people. As humans, we are a herd animal and like all herd animals we strive to be a part of the group. This commonly translates in our lives to being externally validated, taking the opinions of others to mean more than our own opinions and thoughts. Look around you today and try to see how much of the world is trying to use your instinct to be accepted to move you in a direction that it wants. Advertising is nothing more than the ruthless utilization of this concept.
The challenge that arises for me from this instinct is that I find myselves rejected time and time again before those numbers get large enough me to approach the statistical “positive” response. How do we reconcile this instinct with the fact that we will be rejected? The method that I have found is to embrace failure. Find some way to make the rejections the actual goal. Since the law of large numbers defines that the more people we talk to, the closer to the statistics we get, we need to find a way to make the goal of our journey the failures helps to bypass the instinct to belong.
Here is an example from my life. My job has a set number of referrals that we need to get each week or month. These referrals are not the main line of what we are doing, but rather a side thing that we want to encourage our customers to do. I was terrible at this because the built in rewards were not enough to counter the feelings that arose from the rejections. So I decided to embrace the failures instead of the successes. I did this by creating a goal of how many people I could get to say “no” to the referral each month, and then added a reward for myself that would overcome the feelings coming from people saying “no” to me. This way I had a goal in mind that achieved the law of large numbers so that I could mostly count on the number of actual referrals I got as well as a reward that pushed me past the pain of rejections.
So what goals are you trying to achieve where you could embrace the failures in order to reach your success goals? What rewards are you going to give yourself to overcome?
Life’s too Short to Have Bad Days. What are YOU Doing to Make Today Fantastic?