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Wrestling Pigs

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There are limits to how much anyone can overcome, but where are they?

I was speaking with someone recently who had a unique perspective on the subject of futility. This person works a lot with the government and he enlightened me with his tongue in cheek theory of what fighting with the government is like.

When you wrestle a pig there are two certainties:


• Both of you are going to get dirty

• Only the pig is going to enjoy it!

How many times in life do we approach a problem/opportunity that amounts to pig wrestling? Personally, you would think that I love to wrestle pigs as I so often wind up dirty after this or that foray of trying to make the proverbial round peg fit into the square hole. Through my eyes though, the challenges I take on, just seem to be the right thing to do to give me a competitive advantage. Why? First, we have to talk about instincts.

All of us have different instincts. Some see opportunity everywhere, some nowhere. Others find that the unknown is low payoff, while others see high payoff in unknown opportunities. We have a hard time getting some members to read and use their Prospect Facts along with their Bid Facts because some see it as too far ahead to worry about; most of the time and particularly now, they are dead wrong. As in many other human endeavors, we see and evaluate based on what we are programmed to see and believe. It is the difference between how we see and what we believe that determines how we evaluate risk and the decisions that follow. For some, “Seeing is believing”. Unfortunately, that is a relatively high level of proof that does not always readily present itself. Others intuitively “know” that a particular opportunity or circumstance is worth a try and… very often it is. The naysayers will point to the failures that always accompany our successes as proof that a more conservative position was in order. We don’t see it that way though. If your instincts are good we find that successes will outnumber failures and place us a notch higher than our brethren that need to see everything in black and white first. Lots of us have gotten kicked in the teeth these last several years and no longer have the wherewithal or psychic energy they once had. I get that. Yet, success in business still requires the very same skills, instincts and risk acceptance that it always does; if not in the same proportions as before.

Let’s talk a moment about this business of getting dirty. Everyone would like to keep their skirts spotless and never make a wrong misstep. In sales, you know in advance that you’ll never bat a 1000, it just doesn’t happen. To rise above the crowd you will have to get down with the pigs and you’ll likely get dirty. If you are going to be above the fray, you can expect to miss out on many opportunities. Mixing it up with your prospects is among one of the few ways you can:

• Uncover opportunities that are not easily visible.

• Learn from encounters how to make weak or unknown situations work for you.

• Develop the respect you need from your prospect that you are not superficial and can be trusted to be thorough and objective.

There is one trick to pig wrestling that you need to keep in mind. Never wrestle a pig before studying it. To paraphrase George Orwell’s book “Animal Farm,” Not all pigs are equal; some pigs are more equal than other pigs. Too many high energy individuals are willing to take on any pig, any time. Utter foolishness. Choose your pig wisely, lest you wind up, not only dirty but bruised and humiliated. You won’t always pick the pig that allows you to pin him down in the first 10 seconds of the match, but by taking the time to understand the risks, rewards and other particulars of a given situation you will average up. Please don’t believe for a second that this is nonsense. There is opportunity everywhere and it up to us to discover that opportunity and exploit it to our advantage. This is what we call making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear!

Let’s summarize where we are and the takeaways we hope you will put into practice. Opportunity does not always readily present itself; we have to be open to possibilities. The low hanging fruit is pretty well picked over by the time we get there and as a consequence, we need to be amenable to digging deeper and getting our clothes dirty on occasion. When an opportunity presents itself after said digging, take the time to evaluate it. Examine the opportunity against your skill set and the needs of both you and your company and, if appropriate, limber up and go pig wrestling. None of us are above the fray. We all need to latch onto all the good opportunities we can find. Given enough exposure to it, you might even discover that you enjoy a good tussle now and again.

Good Selling!

Allan J. Feifer

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Guest Tuesday, 11 December 2018


Business Facts - Learn about new businesses.
Planning & Zoning - Early real estate development information.
Permit Facts - New construction and renovation permits.
Atlanta Housing Report - Permits for new construction.
Bid Facts - Private sector pre-bid & bid stage.
Prospect Facts - Early stage information.

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