Vail Daily column: Show me the speed limit |

Vail Daily column: Show me the speed limit

In casual golf outings when we shank our first shot into the lake and reach back into our bag for another ball to tee it up one more time, we call that shot a mulligan, and many times that second ball is just as bad as the first. However there are those times when that mulligan works out extremely well and puts us safely back in play.

Many successful sales people and thriving businesses have learned a long time ago that when a prospective customer says “no” to an offering or proposal, that “no” is only “no” for now, it is not a “no” forever.


Early in my own selling career, I was told “no” by a prospect 12 times before they finally agreed to see me one more time and that “no” finally turned into a “yes,” allowing I made the sale.

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That is an extreme example, and as many of you who are in sales or business have learned, if we do not take that second shot, “no” will always be “no.”

We can all probably think of a time where we let some words fly from our mouths without any filter or thought for what we are about to say or how we would say it. Now most people might think that there is absolutely no chance for a verbal mulligan, but how many relationships and friendships have been saved through a heartfelt apology or encouraging and loving words?

If we never take the time to seek that second chance, we will never have the opportunity to repair the relationships that matter most in our lives.


Have you ever given someone a second chance? Have you yourself ever needed a second chance? My guess would be that the answer to both questions would be “yes.”

It’s what we do with those second chances that really matters. Typically successful second chances include extra effort in thought and preparation. The mulligans in our lives have a much greater likelihood of reaching the green when we take the time to understand where things went wrong in the first place. Once we recognize the error, large or small, in our technique, tactics or spoken words, we can adjust accordingly and are well on our way to success and happiness.


Now in professional golf, we all know there is no such thing as a mulligan. The professional golfer knows that if a mistake is made he or she will pay the price through additional strokes. In life we are penalized with missed opportunities if we say the wrong things or take wayward steps. However, in most cases we do have an opportunity to make things right as we capitalize on our second chances.

Now maybe my example of being rejected 12 times before finally making that sale is an extreme case. However, in sales ,just as in life, we need to recognize the importance of resilience and maintaining a positive attitude of perseverance. “No” today does not mean “no” tomorrow, and a harsh word spoken today does not mean it could not be forgiven tomorrow.

How about you — are there situations or opportunities in your life where you could use a second chance or take a mulligan right about now? I would love to hear all about it at And when we make the most of our second chances, it really will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach, motivational speaker and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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