Who Are You Going To Listen To? (written September, 1994)

This is a great industry to be in. When I first started years ago, I was working a full time job during the day, coming home at about 6:30PM, taking off my suit and nicely putting it back in the closet, eating as quickly as I could and then I sat at my desk, located about 1 foot away from my bed and proceeded to call who I had to, answer any mail I could and read all the articles I could about this industry. Fortunately, after doing this for about 2 and a half years, I was fortunate enough to hit “pay dirt” and for the next year, I worked for someone else as I worked my mail order business. Then one day I decided that I could not afford to work for someone else any longer and decided that it was my time to go full time in this great business. At this point, I was pretty much already full time, so I should say “exclusively” full time. Since then, I have not worked for another person other than each of you. There have been many ups and many downs. That is where persistence in the face of adversity comes into play. In all these years, I would not trade one darn moment I had for anything, because with all those “downs” came a valuable learning experience and the appreciation of what it takes to succeed. In all these years since, I have seen way to many self-proclaimed “do-gooders” in our industry. Way too many people proclaiming to help our business. Way too many defending the rights of alleged victims of our business. There are way to many of these guys out there over the years and none of them ever last themselves. Can you figure out the reasons why? Well the reasons are going to be discussed in today’s article…………

Who are you going to listen to? The self proclaimed “protectors” of our industry claiming we are all rip-offs or someone like me, who is no different than yourself. I have succeeded. It took time, patience, effort, persistence, etc….but I could name at least 32 different people that I do not associate with, that are successful in this industry also. Those are the ones I know about. 32 off the top of my head. What I don’t understand is why anyone would listen to anyone of these alleged “do-gooders?” I personally call them self-proclaimed “failures”. That is all they are.  They are telling you why they failed and that you too will fail because they did. Does that make sense? There are only 800 Professional Baseball Players. 800 out of millions of prospects. Imagine if Mark McGwire listened to the self-proclaimed failures? How many department store chains are there in the USA? A couple of hundred? Imagine if Wal-Mart listened to the self-proclaimed failures? Imagine if Steven Jobs didn’t develop a competitor to IBM and start Apple Computers? Everyone said he couldn’t do it and there were many ups and downs, but the fact is Apple is considered a better computer than IBM today. Imagine if he didn’t try and he listened to the self-proclaimed failures? Imagine if the Americans didn’t fight the British during the Revolution? We all be speaking with an accent today unless you are English of course……….

I guess my point is that it is easy to criticize everybody and everything when you fail. It is easy to quit when you fail. But the people who succeed will never criticize others for trying. Successful people never fail because they never quit. Successful people persist no matter what. They conjure up reserve motivation where there is no motivation left. Successful people always find gas in their tanks even if they have to run on fumes. So who are you going to listen to? The self-professed failures or someone who has succeeded and gone through what you are going through right now. These self-professed failures are admitting they are quitters and have quit. Are you going to fall for that and become a quitter yourself? Or do you wish to be one of the “Elite”. The one who can make a change in other people’s lives? All these quitters are telling you is that they are failures and since they failed, they want you to fail also. Are you going to listen to that? Or are you going to make a difference in other people’s lives and make your life the best you can be!?!? I think the answer is obvious!

Now to be fair with these self-professed failures, I tried calling them to get their side. I didn’t want to write an article without doing research like most of them do, but guess what? I can not reach any of these so-called “do-gooders” by telephone. In fact, none of them are even listed in the telephone book and when I wrote to them, none of them would give me their telephone number to call them. So my question still is? Who are you going to listen to? People who are afraid to talk to you because they already quit and are professing to us all, they are failures or someone who is sitting by his telephone right now, and will be more than happy to tell you what he did to succeed? Who are you going to listen to? Phantoms who are telling you they are failures? Or real people, very much just like yourself, you can speak to right now?

I think the choice is clear. Don’t give up on your dreams. Just be cautious. Work with real people like yourself. Give yourself some time to succeed – not a few months, but a few years – just like it took me 2 and a half years. Understand you need to work hard and that you will have “ups” and “downs.” There will be good times and bad times. Yet you must persist in the face of adversity. If you understand these factors, your dreams will be reached. How long will it take? Does it matter? Isn’t working toward your dreams part of your own learning curve? And since we all learn at different rates, does it matter how long it takes you or me or someone else? It only matters that you are working toward your goals and you will succeed. Hey if you want to listen to self-professed failures, go ahead and be my guest. Misery loves company. It would be nice if they came out of hiding. However, if you want to listen to someone who has been fortunate enough to succeed in this business, a person you can duplicate for your own success, then drop me a line. I am not a “phantom” and it is always my pleasure to try and get you started in the right direction.

The author of this article is Larry Costello, President of All-American Print & Mail, 2200 Wilson Blvd #102-57, Arlington, VA 22201.