Is breaking the rules a good thing? Not really, but never breaking the rules might be worse.

I was watching a sports match a while ago, and the announcer commented that one of the teams had the longest record in league history for not getting a penalty.

On the one hand this is commendable.  It implies discipline, precision, sportsmanship, and many other good things.  But I couldn’t help thinking that there was something not so positive about it as well.

It seems to me that when people play their hardest, and really push themselves, sometimes they step over the line of what is OK and what is not.  This is different from a blatant, ugly breach of the rules.  That is never OK.  The occasional mild breach is part of the normal distribution of events when one is pushing the limits.  The total absence of this kind of occasional breach seems too safe to me.

When we try to grow – as athletes, individuals or part of a business, growth comes from pushing limits and seeing where exactly the boundaries are and how they might be changing.  Technology and globalization are pushing the world economy and all of the local pieces that make it up faster and faster.  This occurs in geographies, as well as industries.

While one might have a perfectly content career staying inside of a comfort zone, those who wish to fly, excel, grow, achieve big things and break new ground are going to need to push the rules from time to time, and from time to time, they will probably push them a little to far.  Sometimes, that can be expensive, embarrassing, or worse.

Anyone playing sports long enough will have had their fair share of penalties and mistakes. Probably a few that cost the game.

One critical thing to learn is how to show up for the next play and the next game ready to go. Put the mistake behind you and move on.

The same applies in business and in life.  Don’t seek mistakes, but don’t fear them.  When they come, learn from them, then move on.  Categorically, mistakes are not a sign of weakness or a cause for shame.  Within reasonable limits, they are just a sign that you are reaching for something great.

So go for it…. but try not to make the same one too many times!


Authors note (AKA shameless plugs)

So, this 7-step sales process and associated topics…. Yup, I write about that a lot. I’ve been working with it since I developed it about 25 years ago – in my own diverse work experiences, with my teams when I had them, and with clients ever since.

If you would like to develop you own personalized and customized, highly effective and efficient B2B selling system, here are some further steps you can take:

The Salesman’s Guide to Dating is a free or very cheap (depending on Amazon) Kindle book that walks you through the sales process using the familiar analogy of dating. It’s a good, fun and quick way to get your mind around the whole process and how the pieces fit together.

Building Your Sales Process (BYSP) is a free and very thorough exploration of the same 7-step process that will walk you through the development of your own customized, personal B2B selling system. When you are done, you will know exactly what to do to get new business.

The Momentum Selling System® is an inexpensive but very robust online sales training course that is similar to BYSP, but goes deeper into the concepts behind each of the steps, and also helps you develop a plan not only for the 7-step process but also addresses mindset, repeat business and client base management.

If none of that sounds right, I do personal coaching and offer a free 30-minute intake session so that we can both learn if it makes sense to work together 1-on-1. If this sounds interesting, click over to the coaching page on this site and sign up for the free session.

Here’s to your success!