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.”
“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.”
Always leave the bully an out. You must make the alternatives sound as if they are his brilliant solutions. If you back an angry animal into a corner, his defenses will be on red alert.
“…things aren’t just always going to come to you. Sure, sometimes you step in dog shit, but that’s rare. You’ve got to take the bull by the horns and make something happen. Sometimes you have to find a way.”
“The business just isn’t where you want it to be right now?” Sebastian asked a rhetorical question since the answer was already obvious. “It won’t be if you just sit back and wait for these guys to pay and for other clients to just show up. You’ve got to get it where you want it to be. You’ve got to make it happen. You’ve gotta start cracking the whip with these slow-paying clients. Don’t be afraid of pissing people off, Robbie. You can’t let people take advantage of you or waste your time. Use your time on other initiatives that will actually produce some paying clients.”