I grew up watching boxing. Occasionally, you would see a fighter like the young Mike Tyson who would go undefeated for years in a spectacular rise to the top. Floyd Mayweather has also shared the experience of going undefeated for a long time, remaining so to this day. Most fighters, however, suffered defeats on their way up the rankings.
One of the ways boxers remain undefeated is to carefully choose their fights, gaining competence and confidence by first choosing competitors they know they can beat, and later stretching to take on more dangerous fighters as their skills grow.
Selling is more like the UFC. No one makes it to the top of the rankings without suffering defeat along the way. Connor McGregor bit off more than he could chew by going up to weight classes to fight Nate Diaz. He lost. Rhonda Rousey lost in an unexpected upset to Holly Holmes. McGregor and Rousey are both tremendous fighters, even with losses on their records.
Competing to Win
Unlike a boxer, you can’t carefully choose which prospects you compete for to ensure that you go undefeated. Some of the opportunities that you pursue will be difficult opportunities for you to win. They will stretch you and your company.
You also don’t get to choose who you compete against. It’s wonderful luck when the final two sales organizations competing for your dream clients business end up being you and a competitor you can easily beat. But sometimes you end up competing against the ferocious company that has your number and knows how to win.
Sometimes you are going to lose even when that idea seems impossible. You are going to lose even when you do everything right. Sometimes, when you do a lot of things wrong, you are going to win.
You are not supposed to like to lose. As a competitor, you need a burning desire to win. You are allowed to be disappointed when you lose, but you are not allowed to allow that disappointment to take you out of your game.
No one playing the game is undefeated. Learn from your losses. Make adjustments. Take the next fight.