White finish line text and lane on red running trackWhat are you willing to give up to get what you want? This is a question I often ask my Vistage members and coaching clients.

One of my favorite books on marketing, admittedly an old one, is The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Ries and Trout. For me, many of these 22 laws are relevant to life as well as marketing. Law #13, The Law of Sacrifice – You have to give up something in order to get something, resonates for me in making life choices.

What I notice in my conversations with my clients is those that are willing to let go of something…. are those that move forward. They invent the new products, hire the person that is going to make the difference, take the next job or start the next business. These people are willing to give up something to get what they want.

The ‘give up’ may be something we believe, it may be fear (of failing, being wrong), or simply a comfort level with what we have or what we know. The ‘give up’ may be tangible, dollars that may end up as a sunk cost; or accepting that a long term loyal employee is not going to be the one to take the company forward.

In short, when we are talking about giving up something to get what we want, the key questions are these:

  • How much do I really want the “something” I say I want?
  • What am I willing to give up to get it?

Elisa K. Spain

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