You’ve gotta get right back up in the saddle. But think about this. Let’s just say Ford’s first company had been moderately successful. If it had, we might not have the Ford Motor Company of today. It might have turned into something totally different. If Walt hadn’t experienced his first few failures, today’s Disney might have turned out quite differently. No one bats 1,000, buddy, but you’ve gotta keep swinging.- Sebastian
Robbie had lost the election, but it hadn’t been a landslide. That meant that a significant percentage of the voting public in Horry County District No. 2 had at least thought some of his ideas were worth
pursuing. He had financed the campaign entirely with his own funds, so he didn’t have to compromise or make a ton of concessions based on that fact alone.
“Even so, I lost,” Robbie said. “What you’re saying makes me feel a little better, but in the end, I still didn’t get the job done.”
When reminded of this little fact, Sebastian smirked and said, “Technically, that’s true, but you can’t be afraid of failure or even resent it, Robbie. People spend their entire lives regretting missed opportunities.
And why didn’t they do those things? Because of one simple reason. They were afraid—especially of failure and coming up short. Not you, Robbie! You wanted to do something, and you did it. You ran for office, and here we are. And you know something? We can’t look back and criticize anything we did during that campaign. You don’t have to have any regrets or any doubts about what you could have done differently or where we erred and came up short. You were in it 110 percent, just as everyone who helped out was. Now we’re all better prepared for the next campaign and the one after that and the one after that.”
“Allow me to quote one of your favorite political figures, Richard Nixon,” Sebastian continued. “God knows I’ve heard you say it enough times.”
Robbie tilted his head curiously as he looked at Sebastian. “All right,” he said with amusement. “Go ahead.”
“What was it he said at the farewell address from the White House?” Sebastian asked. “‘Always give your best. Never get discouraged. Never be petty,’” he said in his best Nixon voice, jiggling his jowls at the end for effect.
Robbie nodded and finished, “‘And always remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.’”
Sebastian smiled. “Nixon was right about one thing there. Always give your best, Robbie. You have to give your best, even if you’re the underdog or on the losing side. If you don’t give your best, if you don’t do the best job you can, you’re gonna damage your own pride and self-confidence. Be proud of a job well done, whether you win or lose. If, at the end of the day, Carlos loses the campaign or this thing with the law firm doesn’t pan out, at least you can look back and say you gave it your personal best—that you put forth your best effort.”
“Do you think the Dallas Cowboys just give up when they’re trailing into the fourth quarter?” Sebastian asked. “Do World Series teams just call it quits after trailing for the first three games?”
“No, but I’d venture to say they aren’t as excited to play as they were when the game started,” Robbie remarked.
“Hey, it’s not easy being down and out,” Sebastian agreed, “but hope springs eternal. You can’t just quit. You’ve gotta keep the spirit alive.”
…sometimes we have to give a little to get a little. If you show a willingness to give a little ground, the other side may also be willing to do the same.
In his case, I laid out the situation real clear for him. I told him what it would cost him in accounting and legal fees, as well as lost time and opportunity, if he wanted to fight it. It would have been far worse than
what he owed.- Sebastian
“Nothing worthwhile happens overnight, Robbie,” Sebastian explained. “You have to stick with it. Starting a professional service firm is difficult. Just because you’re in a white-collar financial firm doesn’t mean it’s going to be an easier sell or startup than a blue-collar company. Let me
give you a good example. Think of good ol’ Jake, who runs the janitorial service in your office building. He didn’t just start with six vans and a clean-up crew of eight in each. He started with two guys, a pick-up truck, and a bottle of bleach. They did a good job with their first client, and that person told a friend about them. The next week, they had two jobs, and the week after that, they had three. It’s a matter of people getting to know your name. You’ve gotta establish yourself by earning their trust. That’s all the more important in a business where you’re dealing with financial information. It’s all about staying in the game! Keep your head in the game and keep grinding, and you just never know when something
is going to really pop.”