Father Sez

From and to parents - parental advice to our children on personal financial management and life.
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The “counting down the no’s theory” of perserverance

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Much has been written about the power or usefulness  of just asking for something. After all, the worst that can happen is we get a “no” for an answer.

Sound financial reasons  for asking can be for a raise, better terms, reduction in interest rates, reduction in prices and even asking for the love of our live’s hand in marriage. 

Mrs. Micah has written about this here and Navin’s take is hereSavings.com has also something to say about this.

What about “just asking” from the point of perseverance?

We all know that “perseverance” is a solid asset, as Abundance and Happiness has so eloquently explained. However it is not an easy trait to develop, much less follow.

The best way I have had the manner of developing perserverance explained was by my friend Bala when we were in the Thai island of Koh Samui many years ago.

We were much younger and still single then.  The island was a favourite of backpackers  and we met a number of young people from all over the world, ladies as well as guys. During one of our “philosophizing” about saving the world and all that, the talk somehow turned to asking girls for a date.

Bala laid forth his theory. He said, all we had to do was to count down the “no’s”. Ask this girl, she says no, move on to another lady, she says no, move on and on, until someone says yes. Though the law of probability says that our chances should be 50%, in reality it is a lot less. But it will eventually happen, if only we keep asking enough times.

I have remembered Bala’s theory ever since.

Frank Bettger wrote about this in his “How I raised myself from failure to success in selling”. He noted each and every sales call he made, even though no sales were done. When, say, his 21st call resulted in some sales, he would divide the 21st call’s sales by 21 and get a figure, say $10. His self motivation to continue making sales calls was that for every call, he was making $10, irrespective of whether the call resulted in a sale or not. 

He then found that as he continued and time passed, his $ per call became higher and higher.

(Though the book may be written some time ago, I have serious respect for this book.) 

The need for us to have perserverance and determination is important. It is so easy to feel demotivated once we hit our first wall. The difference between success and failure often lies in our getting up and continuing.

I hope my children understand Bala’s theory of counting down the “no’s”, remind themselves of this theory whenever they feel demotivated and then continue their struggle.

In  seeking betterment in our careers, in generating more sales and in getting better deals for ourselves.

“Consider the postage stamp, my son. It secures success through its ability to stick to one thing till it gets there.” Billings, Josh American humorist (1818–1885)

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