3 Feet Short of the Finish Line and 3 Seconds Left

It was the last day of the fiscal year, my first year in software sales. I was $300 shy of a $800,000 goal. Oh, So close, yet it felt a million miles away. I was out of ideas. I had contacted every customer I had been working with and no victory. I felt defeated, yet I didn’t want to give up.

I was about to make the toughest call I ever imagined making to my manager. I had given it all I had and it wasn’t enough.

As I dialed the phone I could hear this voice in my head saying over and over again,

Close only counts in horseshoes. UGH!!! I know I know.

Does anyone remember who came in second place at the Olympics? Yes one person, the person who came in second.

I put the phone back down. I needed to regroup and DECIDE what I was going to say. In that moment another option came to mind. My choice: I’m Done or I need all your Help?

When you find yourself 3 feet shy of the finish line  and the clock is running out what do you do?

I am grateful I had a true leader for a sales manager for what happened in the next 2 hours changed the way I drive myself.

“ Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” Warren Bennis

Back to my choice:  Let up or give it all I got and finish strong with help ?

I am thrilled to say at 6:57 pm in Dallas, WE crossed the finish line at 100.001% of quota.

Together, the four of us found a client in my territory willing to add a module to their annual renewal fee.

What an amazing effort, by the inside salesperson I worked with, the client we had developed a relationship with, their procurement officer willing to add a small item to the order that was already in process, and to my manager who helped me see the power of a vision when your just shy of the finish line. AGAINST ALL LOGIC AND REASONING ideas started turning into reality. As we took action hope was renewed and ultimately the team crossed the finish line with a couple of minutes to spare.

Two weeks ago I was reminded again of the physical power a vision. As I started to loose footing on a ropes coarse I realized I had no vision. Quickly I created and image to hang onto. I needed the vision to focus on, to keep my eyes up instead of looking down at where I was.

“Without vision people perish.”  King Solomon

Eight months ago, a vision for an incredible leadership experience formed in my mind of. After casting the vision to a select few we started living from the day as if it already was.

Today as we approach our final days of preparation we paused, took time to enjoy the future memory in our minds once again. After three deep breaths, new ideas began to come to mind and challenges transformed into great new options.

 “Dissatisfaction and discouragement are not

caused by the absence of things but the absence of vision.”

One of the greatest lessons I hold tight to is the power of a vision of success. When I hold that success image in my mind I don’t get stuck. When I start thinking about what all is not going as planned a new image starts to shape in my mind I get stuck in a divided mind. What was I thinking? And I can’t wait to see the learning excitement.

Never underestimate the power of your imagination, the mind already holds the answer, we just don’t always know how to articulate the solution yet. Like a child who doesn’t know the words to express his thoughts, the future memory we create in our mind, our vision, can not be fully expressed until we start creating from it.


 “Cherish your visions and your dreams,

as they are the children of your soul,

the blueprint of your ultimate achievements.”  

Napoleon Hill