Chris Coltran

Thomas Edison would have been a great in Sales because he never accepted No for an answer

One of the most well-known inventors of all time is Thomas Edison. Born in February of 1847 and lived until the age of 84, he invented and developed numerous items that have changed the way most people live their lives. The first thing most people think of when they think of Edison is his invention of the light bulb. He didn’t actually invent the first light bulb, as that was first demonstrated in 1800, decades before he was born. What he did do was be the first person to be able to commercially produce a practical incandescent light bulb. The first inventions of light bulbs were crude and rudimentary and would only last a few minutes at best before burning out. After over a 1000 attempts on perfecting the light bulb, he filed for a US Patent in November of 1879 and received his official patent in January 1880. His other inventions include the motion picture camera, which led to the inception of the movie industry, as well as the phonograph, which in effect created the recording and music industry. He also invented the steel alkaline storage battery. Imagine a world without these few Edison inventions. I bet there is some background noise right now as you read this page, either music being played from an iPod, a stereo, or television. If you have a cell phone, Edison is responsible for the development of the first batteries that make it possible for your phone to charge without being plugged into the wall. Chances are you recently watched a television program, watched the news, or went to a movie; all of which would not have been possible if it were not for the ingenious mind of Thomas Edison. If he hadn’t kept thinking positively and speaking the invention of the light bulb into existence, we might all be still using candles for light.

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”

Edison understood that what you say is what you get. He knew how important his words were not only to himself but the words he spoke publicly. He would actually make a public statement regarding a particular invention or modification of a current apparatus to force himself into action. He knew by having the pressure of the public on him, he would find a solution. He knew if he spoke the words publicly it would happen. He knew if he spoke them to himself they would also happen. He would work tirelessly, most days up to 18 hours, until he solved his dilemma. I have also found that when you really want to accomplish something you have been struggling with, one of the best ways to make it happen is to express your intentions to others. Tell them what you are going to do. The pressure of them asking you if you have accomplished your goal will force you to apply daily action until it is completed. I used this technique when I was writing my first book. When I was close to completion, I knew if I told people around me I was writing a book, they would continue to ask me about it, thus forcing me to complete it so they would stop asking. Some people work better under pressure than others. Edison put this pressure on himself to help him accomplish his goals.

“Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Edison’s words when he spoke this WYSIWYG moment were spot on. Isn’t it funny when you lose your car keys and you find yourself frantically searching the house for them? You’re late for an appointment or late for work and you are acting like a crazy person; employing anyone else in the house for help; blaming who you think the last person who drove the car was; when after 10 minutes of frantic searching you realize they are in your own pocket. Once you find them you quietly make you way to the car and act like it never happened. Whenever you lose track of something and search for it, isn’t it funny how you always find it in the last spot you looked? Of course it is always the last place you look because once you have found it, you stop looking. I know this is making light of Edison’s statement about how close people get to success when they give up; but it is true that people are too quick to give up on whatever it is they are trying to accomplish.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

I couldn’t write about Thomas Edison without mentioning probably his most famous quote. It is used in almost every sales or business training on the planet. If you find yourself in the same daily, monthly, or yearly routine, and hoping that things will be different, you are insane. Unless you plan on winning the lottery or magically getting a new job handed to you, why should this month or this year be any different than the last? As Edison put it, “you’re insane.” If you want a different outcome to your circumstances, you need to do something different. It might mean making a minor tweak to your daily routine, or making a major change. I see people all the time hoping for change, and the reality is that change is not going to happen. For a change to occur, the first thing that has to change is you. Change the way you speak to yourself. Change the way you speak to others. Maybe you need to make your intentions public? Not to the world, but to those you are close with. Before his death in 1931, Edison had his name on 1,093 patents in all, thus making him one of the most well respected inventors in history. As well as the inventions I mentioned above, he helped invent or improve the typewriter, the telegraph, and the first electric motor. He made numerous improvements on the X-ray tube and invented the machine that crushed the rocks down to a fine powder and discovered that crystals of Calcium Tungstate were highly fluorescent to the X-ray. His advances he made in the telecommunications industry and the power industry forever changed the world.

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

Thomas Edison knew how important his public words were. He knew how powerful the words he spoke privately to himself were as well. He proved over and over again that What You Say is What You Get.

Chris Coltran is the president of C2 Coaching & Training and is available as a keynote speaker, presenter or trainer for conventions, retail, wholesale, manufacturing, distribution, management, affiliate, mlm, executive, real estate, marketing, advertising, banking, direct sales or entrepreneur annual association meetings. Chris is a professional speaker and keynote speaker, author, coach, management trainer, sales trainer, and business development expert.