Imagine you ask someone out on a date.  You don’t know what their answer will be.  You know what you want.  You (bravely maybe) show your vulnerability and you ask the question. 

    And you do that because you want the date.  Because you think it’s right for you.

    She or he might say no.  Whatever their answer is though, you asking them was the right decision – because it gives you a shot at where you want to go.

    A shot.

    And that’s ok – because we need to make decisions sometimes to act without knowing what the outcome will be.  When we step forward there are sometimes no guarantees.

    Do you play poker?  One of the skills you need to be successful at poker is to know about odds.  You play the odds.  Play the percentages.  It’s like asking someone out on a date; you’ll rarely if ever play with certainty.

    I came across this quote recently: “It doesn’t matter that this hand is uncertain.  What matters is committing to odds that pay off in the long term.”  It’s from Charles Duhigg’s “smarter faster better“.) I’m not finished the book – but the nutshell of that chapter is that our decision-making can be more productive if we lose our need for certainty.

    If you seek certainty, you’ll never ask someone out.

    You’ll never win at poker.

    You’ll never win at sales.

    One morning recently I made 2 sales calls.  The first resulted in me leaving a voicemail.  The second resulted in a conversation with the decision-maker who actively engaged with me. 

    Who knows if either call will result in a sale?  It’s impossible to say.  But I’ve increased my chances of a sale by making the calls.  And both calls showed me how I can improve the scripts I use – something I couldn’t have found out if I hadn’t dialled the numbers.  The next call I make will give me the opportunity to use an improved script.  And on it goes.

    Let’s paraphrase the above quote a little:  it doesn’t matter that the next thing you try brings with it no guarantees.  What matters is that you apply yourself to it.  That puts you in the game.  And gives you yet another opportunity to learn.