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The Dangers of Experience and Tempering Excitement

On Friday, one of my coworkers remarked to me that I was hyped up after a great call with a prospect. Indeed, if a sale did happen, it’d be a really great deal. However, I noticed that once he said that, I tempered my excitement. I started remembering my past experiences…

In my book, I have a chapter titled, “Sales is HARD”, and within it, I advise readers to “temper excitement when a prospect says he will buy till two weeks after a check clears”. This is what I started to remember when my coworker told me I was excited.

Thinking about this recently — this enthusiasm and expectation “mitigation” process I have. It’s not fun. In fact, I don’t like it at all. Though, yes, there is reason for adding caution, it also creates apathy towards potentially great things. Without expectations, excitement wanes (for me and for others). There’s an armor and defensiveness against being let down by a failed close and vulnerability.

Experience has a tendency to temper excitement and put up walls of “this must happen in order for me to be excited”. I go through a series of “qualification” questions to validate even my own ideas.

·        Is this really a better solution than X, Y, or Z?
·        Customer acquisition will be too hard — forget it.
·        Is this at least 5X better than the incumbent?

I’ve realized experience has a tendency to not only protect me from “improbable” success, but it also paralyzes me from even starting. Tempering my enthusiasm takes the joy out of entrepreneurship. It makes sales less fulfilling.

So sure, there are advantages to limiting excitement early on. However, being a little excited now and then and setting some expectation of success can give me the excitement that brought me here in the first place. It gives me boosts to power through the lost opportunities.

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