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Many people in this series (and all of them this week) have shared too many gifts to list them all. That’s the case with both my parents.
While it took me a long time to catch up in understanding the many short cuts to life lessons my dad tried to give me, I’m hard-pressed now to point to one that isn’t true (although at 17, I’d have told you most were nonsense - which I guess is all part of growing up).

His lessons on generosity, focusing on what's good for others, and approaching life with a positive attitude have shaped me profoundly.

So here’s a lesson that may seem small in comparison, but continues to provide tremendous value throughout my work life: understand and work the percentages when selling, no matter whether it’s selling a product, service, or concept.

Early on as my dad was making the transition from cutting hair in my grandfather’s barber shop to broadcasting, he sold life insurance part-time. A lesson he learned was 10:3:1, i.e. you had to make 10 calls to secure 3 appointments to close 1 sale.

If someone was willing to apply him or herself, work the equation, and stay motivated amid a 90% failure rate, they’d be successful. If they applied learnings and new techniques to improve the ratio, they could experience dramatic success. Get discouraged or shortcut the process by making too few calls, however, and they’d wind up washing out.

While the ratios may differ, the principle applies to so many facets of business and life. (Although, thank goodness I don’t have to generate 10 ideas to get 1 blog post!) Ask others or figure out the business building relationships on your own, but KNOW and apply them to make the ratios work for you in selling and persuading others to your point of view.

Thanks Dad for cluing me in early to both the life principles and the numbers behind success!