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Tales From Wolf Tower: A Loser is a Loser

March 16, 2017

You've decided to change the world. Or at least your little corner of it.
You're full of self doubt, anxiety, and the sureness that you will fail.
Fuck your self doubt.  
Fuck your anxiety.
Fuck you sureness.

Take a few minute and listen to Alec Baldwin explain not only what a winner is, but how to not be a loser.
That speech, which earned Mr. Baldwin an Oscar, should not only be your ringtone, but your alarm, email notifications chime, and GPS voice.

There are two ways to take this kind of lecture:
You can complain that the guy was an asshole or you can take it as a personal challenge. I'm presuming that those who are still reading are up for challenges.
 

YOU CANNOT THINK THAT YOU'LL LOSE.
Losers know from the get go, they know before they start, they'll lose. They don't plan for success, or even for succeeding. They plan around not losing too hard. I'm not talking about irrational blind chance systems like the Lottery and the idiots and addicts who dump too much money into a 1 in 167 million chance to win. I'm talking about the people who look at rational systems and hard sciences (Starting a business, going back to or starting school, running for political office) and figure out where to place the lever to move the entirety of the Universe in their favor.
You can recognize a loser, even when they win, from the way they talk. When they say the "odds were against me", "I got lucky", or "Hail Mary". No one get's lucky, they're simply unaware of the odds actually being in their favor one way or the other, while those that do pay attention to how math works, are almost never surprised by the outcome. 

That barista working ten hours a day and going to school on the weekends so she doesn't have to ever have to work a weekend again. That artist eating Ramen and earning shitty tips to pay for supplies so he can have a gallery opening. That kid who signed up for a six year hitch to get the GI Bill and bonus. They'll earn that win, they're not only planning for it, they're mapping out each step to the infinite degree.
That's a win. Not playing the right numbers or being born into the right name.
The winner is the one who looks at any failure as constructive criticism of what not to do and then gets up, looks life in the eye, and says "You hit like a bitch".

BECAUSE YOU WILL FAIL
Time and again. You'll suffer setbacks that you can allow to cripple and shame you. You'll lose years of your life striving to own something. You'll know it inside and out. You'll be the master of it, and you'll still fail.  And you'll treat it as a lesson if your smart, or a dream crushing end if your not. But you'll figure out that failure is not the same as losing. Champions fail all the time, but they never lose. You need to look at every outcome and determine not only what is the least damaging fail, but the one that will allow you to get back in the game with a minimum amount of loss.  
Do you invest every penny?
Do you walk miles to a shit job when your car dies?
Do you give up toys so you can have tools?
Do you move back in with your parents?
Do you put up with that shitty roommate?
Do you ignore the haters?
Do you keep going?
Take a moment and think about every scar, physical, mental, and emotional.
Every wound that tells the world how much stronger you are than whatever tried to destroy you.   

Each of those is a battle trophy of pain, strain, stress, and suffering that you wear to tell every loser who gave up and took the easy route that you are not only a fighter, but that you are a winner. That you'll earn the brass ring, that there can never be any question that you'll rip out the competition's throat with your teeth.  
That even if they beat you, even if you're ground to dust, they'll remember you.
That you were so dangerous you'll become a cautionary tale of who to not fuck with.

WHEN TO START?
Get off your ass and do it now.  
Want to go back to school?
Do it.  
Does the local community college offer transferable credits?
Take it.
Is there a website that offers advice and instructions on starting a business?
Read it. Take notes. Own it.
Are there professional who know how to do something?
Find them and ask them for advice, and use that advice.  
There's no such thing as permanence in this world when it comes to winning, there's just the ones who managed to adapt to new situations and use them to their advantage. 

Even the best succumb to time and either fall to history or go out in a blaze as they fall to Earth and burn up in the atmosphere and are forgotten.
Plan. Figure out everything that can, will, and might go wrong and have a either a solution or a stopgap to work around.  

Your car's a piece of shit?
Is there a bus, a coworker on the same route, or can you walk?
You can't afford an integral piece of your plan?
What can you sell or give up?  
How low are you willing to go to go high?
Are you willing to be homeless?
Are you willing to be a nuisance to those that can provide you with a step up?
Are you willing to make a hundred phone calls a day to strangers?
Are you ready to write a thousand unanswered emails and letters?
Are you ready to bleed for your dream?

DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO OFFER?
This is the keystone of the winning.  
Do you have something that people not only want, but that they need?
Can you get it to them cheaper, smaller, larger, more colorful, less noisy, or one of the infinite ways your product is better than your competitors?
If the answer is "No" find something else or tweak your product til it beat the opposition.
If the answer is "Yes" get it out there and get it in front of your customers faces.
Because people don't have time for something that doesn't make some facet of their lives better. You may be a nice person, you might be a sweetheart to talk to, you might be the funniest person they've met, but if you can't offer something that makes the other guy look like shit, they won't buy. Because in the end, you're selling you, and you need to become the premier spokesperson for your brand and what makes it different from everyone else.  
You need to go into every meeting, whether planned or not, being able to not only tell them why you and your product are best, but why anything else is garbage in comparison. You cannot let them have any reason to question that you're the one that they need.
You need to be able to convey this in your professional and personal worlds:
That you represent a resource that will be damned hard if not impossible to replace.
I'm not talking about uniqueness,
I'm talking about what can you give them that no one else can? 
How often can you deliver?  
Will your quality improve with time or are you a one hit wonder? 

Are you a winner?

EXCERPT FROM GLENGARRY ROSS

Blake: Let me have your attention for a moment! 'Cause you're talking about what? You're talking about...[puts out his cigarette]...bitching about that sale you shot, some son of a bitch don't wanna buy land, somebody don't want what you're selling, some broad you're trying to screw, so forth. Let's talk about something important. [to John Williamson] Are they all here?

John: All but one.
 

 

Blake: Well, I'm going anyway.
Let's talk about something important.
[to Shelley] Put that coffee down! Coffee's for closers only. [Shelley scoffs] You think I'm fucking with you? I am not fucking with you. I'm here from downtown. I'm here for Mitch and Murray. And I'm here on a mission of mercy. Your name's Levene?

Shelley: Yeah.

Blake: You call yourself a salesman, you son of a bitch?

Dave: I don't gotta listen to this shit. [stands up to leave]

Blake: You certainly don't, pal, 'cause the good news is you're fired. The bad news is you've got- all you've got- just one week to regain your jobs, starting with tonight. Starting with tonight's sit.
Oh, have I got your attention now? [Dave Moss sits back down] Good. 'Cause we're adding a little something to this month's sales contest. As you all know, first prize is Cadillac Eldorado. Anybody wanna see second prize? Second prize's a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired. [Dave, George, and Shelley glance uncomfortably at each other]
Do you get the picture? Are you laughing now? You got leads. Mitch and Murray paid good money. Get their names to sell them! You can't close the leads you're given, you can't close shit, you are shit, hit the bricks, pal, and beat it 'cause you are going out!


Shelley: The leads are weak.

Blake: 'The leads are weak'. Fuckin' leads are weak? You're weak. I've been in this business 15 years.

Dave: What's your name?

Blake: FUCK! YOU! That's my name!!
You know why, mister? 'Cause you drove a Hyundai to get here tonight, I drove an $80,000 BMW. That's my name! [to Shelley] And your name is "you're wanting". And you can't play in a man's game. You can't close them. [at a near whisper] Then go home home and tell your wife your troubles. [to everyone again] Because only one thing counts in this life! Get them to sign on the line which is dotted! You hear me, you fuckin' f----ts?

[Blake flips over a blackboard which has two sets of letters on it: ABC, and AIDA.]
A-B-C.
A-Always
B-Be
C-Closing.
Always be closing. Always be closing! A-I-D-A. Attention, Interest, Decision, Action. Attention -- do I have your attention? Interest -- are you interested? I know you are, 'cause it's fuck or walk. You close, or you hit the bricks! Decision -- have you made your decision for Christ?! And action. A-I-D-A.
Get out there! You got the prospects coming in. You think they came in to get outta the rain? A man don't walk on the lot lest he wants to buy. They're sitting out there waiting to give you their money! Are you gonna take it? Are you man enough to take it? [Shelley glares.]

Dave: Incredible.

Blake: [to Moss] What's the problem, pal? You. Moss. [Blake sits down.]

Dave: You're such a hero, you're so rich. How come you're coming down here, waste your time with such a bunch of bums?

Blake: You see this watch? [Blake takes off his gold watch.] You see this watch?

Dave: Yeah.

Blake: That watch cost more than your car. I made $970,000 last year. How much'd you make? You see, pal, that's who I am, and you're nothing.

'Nice guy'? I don't give a shit.
'Good father'? Fuck you, go home and play with your kids.
[to everyone] You wanna work here? Close!
[to George Aaronow] You think this is abuse? You think this is abuse, you cocksucker? You can't take this, how can take the abuse you get on a sit?! You don't like it, leave. I can go out there tonight, the materials you got, make myself $15,000! Tonight! In two hours! Can you? Can you? Go and do likewise! A-I-D-A! Get mad, you son of a bitches! Get mad! You know what it takes to sell real estate? [He pulls something out of his brief case. He is holding two brass balls on string] It takes brass balls to sell real estate. [He puts them away after a pause.] Go and do likewise, gents. The money's out there. You pick it up, it's yours. You don't, I've got no sympathy for you. You wanna go out on those sits tonight and close, close, it's yours. If not, you're gonna be shining my shoes.
And you know what you'll be saying, bunch of losers, sitting around in a bar. "Oh yeah, I used to be a salesman, it's a tough racket."
[He takes out large stack of red index cards tied together with string from his briefcase.] These are the new leads. These are the Glengarry leads. And to you, they're gold. And you don't get them. Why? Because to give them to you is just throwing them away. [He hands the stack to John Williamson.] They're for closers. I'd wish you good luck, but you wouldn't know what to do with it if you got it. [to Moss as he puts on his watch again] And to answer your question, pal, why am I here? I came here because Mitch and Murray asked me to, they asked for a favor.
I said, the real favor, follow my advice and fire your fuckin' ass because a loser is a loser.