Sales and Sales Management Blog

April 3, 2013

Guest Article: “Success Is a Decision You Make,” by Robert Terson

Filed under: Uncategorized — Paul McCord @ 11:04 am

Success is a Decision You Make
by Robert Terson


When salespeople call me for help, one of the first things I tell them is the title of this post—success is a decision you make. When you decide to be successful, are bound and determined that you’re not going to allow anything or anyone to stand in your way, success will follow. No, if your goal is a worthy one, it normally doesn’t happen right away, nor does it usually come easy, but if your decision is in the form of an ironclad Commitment, the odds are highly in your favor that it’ll eventually happen—you’ll achieve the success you desire.

Sound too simple to you? It does to most people. They think success goes only to those special, gifted individuals whom God has blessed with extraordinary talents and powers, to say nothing of the money to back up those talents and powers. They see themselves as ordinary and “ordinary” just doesn’t cut it, does it? Not in this tough world we live in nowadays, especially during these ultra challenging economic times. So they stay on the sidelines, unable to make the kind of decision I’m talking about.

One of my favorite stories from Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich (Do you own a copy? If not, you need to go out today and get one!) is the tale of when Henry Ford decided to produce a V-8 motor with all eight cylinders cast in a single block, and ordered his engineers to produce a design for the engine. The engineers, all of them, told Ford it couldn’t be done, that it was impossible to cast an eight-cylinder engine block in one piece.

According to Napoleon Hill, Ford said, “Produce it anyway.”

“But,” they replied, “it’s impossible!”

“Go ahead,” Ford commanded, “and stay on the job until you succeed, no matter how much time is required.”

If you wanted to work for Henry Ford you did as you were told, so they worked on the problem for over a year, but couldn’t find an answer. Hill writes, “The engineers tried every conceivable plan to carry out the orders, but the thing seemed out of the question; ‘impossible!’

“Go right ahead,” said Ford. “I want it, and I’ll have it.”

Does that sound like a decision made out of titanium? It does to me. Ford’s decision was vindicated when they finally—“miraculously”—solved the seemingly “impossible” task and gave him what he decided he’d have.

Have you ever used the expression “He wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer”? Did you use that expression with a certain degree of admiration? I’m guessing you did. Why is it you admire people who won’t take “no” for an answer, but do not adopt that attitude yourself? Oh, yeah, I forgot: they’re extraordinary, but you’re only ordinary. Right?

If you decide to be successful, if you refuse to take “no” for an answer, you’ll be successful. Hell, you’ll even wind up admiring yourself.

That’s it, period, end of story.


Robert Terson writes the Selling Fearlessly blog and is the author of “Selling Fearlessly: A Master Salesman’s Secrets For the One-Call-Close Salesperson.”  He has retired from a 40 year career in sales, including owning his own company, to write, speak, and help others succeed; to give back for a lifetime of blessings.






  1. Paul, I went to approve our group’s blogs for Twitter, LinkedIn, & Facebook and did a double-take when I saw the title of this. I can’t begin to tell you how Honored I am that you thought enough of it to put it up as a guest post–thank you!

    Comment by Robert Terson — April 3, 2013 @ 3:30 pm | Reply

  2. Loved this post. What an awesome example for an awesome message. Thank you!

    Comment by Traci Walters — April 3, 2013 @ 4:25 pm | Reply

    • I’m glad it brought you value, Traci. Reach out anytime, if you think I can help you–that’s what this retirement gig of mine is all about.

      Comment by robertterson — April 3, 2013 @ 9:21 pm | Reply

  3. I think making the “decision” as well as the “commitment” to succeed is the key. Really being committed means you will do the work necessary – and that is a most important commitment to yourself.

    Comment by Kimberly Kline — April 17, 2013 @ 2:59 pm | Reply

    • I think you’re spot-on right, Kimberly. Especially if you will do the necessary work for as long as it takes.

      Comment by robertterson — April 18, 2013 @ 8:43 am | Reply

  4. Great sales tips and strategies!!

    Learn how to maintain the Entrepreneurial Mindset
    “The Power is in your Hands!”

    Comment by Mark Washington — April 24, 2013 @ 6:14 pm | Reply

  5. “Really insightful and inspirational post Paul. Everyone dreams to be successful at some point in their lives but not all are. Some people are dedicated and follow through until they reach their goal but most
    seem to lose heart when the going gets tough and just give up. Having theconfidence to start is not enough, the road to success is a tirelesslydifficult one not suited for most. Kimberly couldn’t have said it any better. It all goes down to refusing to take “no” for an answer and by having a “can do”” attitude.

    Comment by Hannah Hamilton (@HamiltonHanah) — July 5, 2013 @ 4:53 am | Reply

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