Business StrategiesExpert AnalysisJuly/August 2023 Issue

The True Measure Of Success

With interest rates now above 7 percent, the mortgage market is clearly challenged. We are in a tough business environment. The wins that we get may be fewer now, but that shouldn’t discourage anyone.

In the article “Turn Defeat into a Defining Moment” Jon Gordon shares this story about success and failure that I think is very beneficial. He says:

“Five years ago, I started a business to create a Positive Cookie. It was a delicious organic cookie that came with a positive quote inside the wrapper, like a modern fortune cookie. It was a brilliant idea with enormous potential.

“The problem was after spending a bunch of money to create the cookie and make thousands of them I learned that the price grocery stores were willing to pay us would be slightly above the cost. For instance, it would cost $1.10 to make a cookie that would be sold to a store for $1.30. Spending $1.10 to make 20 cents is not a feasible or scalable economic model for a sustainable business and the minute I realized this I became very negative about the positive cookie.

“I sadly had to shut down the business, lose a lot of money and take the defeat. I’ve experienced defeat many times in my life and one key lesson I’ve learned over the years, don’t let defeat define and defeat you but rather turn defeat into a defining moment and opportunity to create something better.

“While reflecting on the negative situation surrounding the positive cookie, I was hit with the realization that I was not put on earth to sell cookies but to write, speak, and develop leaders and human potential.

“Creating the cookie company helped me see that I had the capability, capacity, and energy to do something besides write and speak and this led me to pouring my energy into creating our Positive Leadership Training and Certification which lead to thousands of people becoming better leaders. All that my team and I are doing now to help people improve their mindset, leadership, relationships, and teamwork is the result of the demise of the positive cookie.

“I no longer think negatively about the positive cookie. Instead, I feel very positive about the positive cookie and see the incredible positive gift and mission it gave me.”

Why is this story important? How does it pertain to mortgage lending? It’s important to see defeats as growth opportunities. Don’t let defeat define you. It’s just an event. It’s not who you are. Don’t let defeat, defeat you. Take the loss and then keep going. Being a part of getting someone a mortgage is a great thing and we’re all making that happen in a very tough market. That’s a win.