It’s time to recognize those who have failed. It may be the very best way to get them to succeed. An audacious idea.
by Dr. Jeffrey Lant
Author’s program note. In 1962 one of the grandest American musicals hit the cinemas of the Great Republic. It was Meredith Wilson’s “The Music Man”… and we got up and marched as we heard its effervescent score. No high fallutin’ Eye-talian music you had to scratch your head about, understanding hardly a word.
No, this was Iowa music, Kansas music, music every last citizen of Tennessee and Oklahoma could understand, every last word. As for the star, insinuating Robert Preston; we all knew someone like him… scamp, con man, plausible trickster redeemed by the love of a good woman.
Oh, yes, “The Music Man” was something we could get our teeth into… which is why, a mere lad, I was set the onerous task of mastering its “76 Trombones” on the piano; for the next school recital. Anyone but a doting mother and her unctuous piano teacher, who had wife and children (and, I always thought, a bit of a drinking problem) to support would have looked at me on that concrete piano bench (or so it seemed) and blurted out the first words that came to mind: “He stinks!” But those words were not heard until…
… the day of the school recital.
Kids good got up and did their bit… that didn’t take so long, since there weren’t so many of them… and it was obvious which ones had worked hard and deserved the top prizes.
Then kids, carefully turned out in best bib and tucker, got up and did their mediocre bit. A large chunk of my classmates found themselves in this category; having done some work, but not enough to reap the blue ribbons that said “First Prize”. They got the red ribbons… just good enough to assuage anxious parents.
Finally, there were the kids who had to be pushed — umbrella ferule in the small of their back — to get up and recite… or dance… or play an uncooperative instrument. And I — and my ragged rendition of “76 Trombones” — was in this group… stinkers all. But awarded notwithstanding an Honorable Mention and a few seconds of rousing, possibly even sincere applause, lead by mothers who would never admit — much less on school recital day — their little Hannah, Billie and Mike were anything other than paragons; “most likely to succeed” tattooed on their foreheads.
Privately, however, even some of the mothers gave vent to the truth; being Midwestern they just couldn’t help themselves…. “They stink!” I heard them say… and then “Jeffrey stinks!”
And so truth came to River City. Truth, embarrassment, red-faced humiliation… which could not be assuaged by any white ribbon that said Honorable Mention. It all poured out now; how I was horrid… tone deaf… rhythm challenged… note oblivious… absolutely hopeless…. hot words that caused my little brother (who had a lifetime of Jeffrey plaudits to work through) to dance with glee… “Ol’ Jeffrey stinks.” On this day of days he just couldn’t say it enough and knew a profound happiness long deferred. He talks about it to this very day.
I was 15, I was humiliated, I was determined this would not be the end of the story… …. and that’s why I won the next recital prize fair and square… because I was resolved, and fiercely too, that “Jeffrey stinks” would not be the last word on this subject…
… In other words, from abashment and humiliation came triumph and reward. So it worked for me on the grave matter of the school piano recital and so it is about to work for you in your business. For I am about to urge that all your business failures, slothful habits, egregious errors, failure to achieve significant results; that all of these, things which have placed you well and truly amongst the stinkers… be brought out… and publicized to the world; thereby ensuring that your humiliation be thorough and detailed…
So that you will do everything needful, yes move heaven and earth, to ensure you are never, ever in that shocking place again, your dunce cap retired, your name no more ridiculed but revered, honored and extolled, which is the only way it should be.
Consider how you did “business” yesterday, the day before, the day before that…
Have you done the necessary to profit? Did you get up early to handle all aspects of your prospect-generating machine? Did you generate prospects? Follow up (and especially telephone) prospects? Did you make offers, improve offers, and improve these offers again until you had a deal and the money that accompanies it? If so, you made money… and have every right to be happy with yourself… for you are a true and faithful business impresario and you deserve every penny and every compliment you got.
You did get that profit and those compliments, didn’t you? Well, didn’t you? If not, it’s time for an alternative approach to the business of helping you succeed in business. It’s time for the motivating Failure Awards, a kick in the pants like no other.
Imagine the following scenario. You wake up tomorrow, go to your website, and see emblazoned across it these words
“You have just been dishonored with the
BIG-TIME LOSER OF THE DAY PRIZE.
Trustees of the foundation have selected you because you didn’t do one darn thing yesterday, absolutely nothing, to make money, generate leads, work with leads, make offers, close deals and build your business.
Yep, you are on the bottom of the heap, no money in the till and none expected or possible, until you change the way you do ‘business’ so that you can profit from it.
Then you see a picture of yourself festooned with mulish ears… with a caption that says simply
LOSER OF THE DAY… (then the date).”
How will you feel when you see this? I’ll tell you, you’ll fly into an unparalleled rage… condemning everyone… everyone, that is, except the one person whose lack of constructive endeavors got you there in the first place: that would be you!
Your lack of effort got you this (boobie) prize. It’s only your constructive efforts that can get you out.
But will you make them?
In my humble opinion you will do so faster, with more energy and determination if you publish the unpalatable truth, shining full, unyielding light on the success you didn’t get, letting the world see your inadequacies. You will hate this situation and rightly so, for being amongst such a passel of losers is humiliating indeed.
That’s why you should award yourself this egregious and sick-making award… and spend the rest of this day and every day doing what is necessary to expunge it and reap the substantial benefits which you’ll get when you do.
Now go to any search engine. Play “76 trombones” and get in the mood for success, joy, and many happy returns of the day, a day where failure is just a word in the dictionary.
About the Author
Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home business training, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting, hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 online Home Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today. Details at worldprofit.com
Author: Jeffrey LantThis author has published 572 articles so far. More info about the author is coming soon.