How to be a loser

Finally, I have a topic with a deep amount of personal knowledge and experience.  This includes business and recreational activities.  For me professionally, I’m in software development and I advocate on how organizations can leverage the growing value proposition of the Cloud. This also applies to my tennis life and the 60+ matches I TED-logocompete in each year.

First, I need to give credit to Rich Franklin, a UFC mixed martial arts champion and his Ted Talk a few years ago on this topic. You can view it at https://youtu.be/8L3OG-fl9tE. This and other Ted talks have changed my life.

Here’s a list of the top 15 Ted talks of 2015. https://www.ted.com/playlists/320/the_most_popular_talks_of_2015_1.  It will take you a little over two hours to listen to them all and I can’t think of a better way to spend your time.  It will change some of your perspectives.

So, how do you be a loser?  How do you deal with the loss and more importantly, how do you move forward?  Losing is inevitable.  If you compete for business or play any sport, eventually you will lose.  Initially, you may feel that the other company, team or opponent got lucky but after careful consideration and introspection, it will lead you back to the fact that you lost for a reason.  It can be skills, ability, preparedness and so many other factors.  What you have to accept is that there is usually something you could have done differently to affect the outcome.

rich_franklinFirst you have to set goals.  And when you work towards your goals, do you give it your all?  Every day?  Do you goof off, cut corners or delegate critical tasks?  Not putting forth all you have to offer will reduce your belief in what’s possible and the opposite is true as well.  A business opportunity or team sport presents some challenges that you can’t control but unless you are demonstrating your maximum effort the failure and aftermath of a failed opportunity, match or game can be devastating.  It’s important to analyze what transpired or as Rich Franklin says, “to have selective amnesia” regarding your setbacks. Take away what you did right, forget the rest and move forward.

The other ingredient besides effort is motivation.  What inspires you?  For me it’s the refusal to quit.  It’s a come from behind effort.  It’s a demonstration of grit that stands on its own.  It’s about passion and certainly not all about winning.  While winning is important and no salesperson is paid on “deals lost,” you must pursue your goals with everything you have with an optimistic viewpoint.  Surround yourself with people that inspire you.  Keep fighting and stay in the game.

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