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The Bright Side of Entitlement

August 29th, 2013 No comments

It’s easy to bash them. People who feel like they’re entitled to something get a bad rap.

But I think they’ve got a bright career ahead of them.

When you feel down in the core of your being that people owe you something, you’ll be able to ask for it with conviction every time. And you won’t take “no” for an answer.

Napoleon Hill wrote a story about this in his famous book, Think and Grow Rich.  A young black girl had to ask a white man for fifty cents. This was in the South, in the days of Jim Crow laws and other injustices. The man repeatedly told the girl to leave, but she persisted. Finally he threatened her with violence, but just before he struck the blow she looked in his eyes and shouted, “MY MAMMY’S GOTTA HAVE THAT FIFTY CENTS!” (Hill uses all capital letters in this story)

The man was defeated by the little girl’s conviction and will power. He handed over the money and left her alone.

Chutzpah always wins. And it can be cultivated.

Think of the guy sitting on the sidewalk with a paper cup and a cardboard box, asking you for spare change. You’re getting something for your money. A smile, good karma, the feeling you helped someone, or at least the peace of this guy leaving you alone once you pay up.

He talks to hundreds of people a day. He faces rejection more than a dozen times every hour. Yet he persists. I’ve had people follow me down the street just to get a quarter. The clever ones have an answer to every objection I raise.

This is excellent sales training.

But the real secret, I think, is that some people truly believe you owe them. They have a right to your money. They are entitled to it. This belief can make you rich.

If you just can’t psych yourself up to feel entitled to something, Zig Ziglar offers another way. I’m paraphrasing here, but basically he said, “I’ve got your product here in my car, you’ve got my money in your pocket, and I ain’t leaving until you get your product and I get my money!”

This is actually an essential attitude if you’re in sales, or really if you own any kind of business at all. If you believe the person is entitled to your product, and you demand reasonable compensation for it, then you’re unstoppable.

If I ever need to hire and train a salesman, I might start looking in skid row.

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