Here in Chicago, Stanley Cup fever is everywhere. Even for those of us who are not avid hockey fans (me included) are watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  I have really enjoyed the action and for the most part understand most of the rules. What I have found most interesting are the lessons we can learn from watching a great hockey game.

I’d like to address:  Shots on Goal.

The players try to shoot the puck into the net to get a goal. What is interesting is that in this last Hawks / Bruins playoff game the Hawks made 63 shot on goal attempts.  Now for non-hockey fans, a shot on goal is not counted if the shot is blocked by the opponent, hits the cross bar, hits the side post, or misses the net. The attempt must be dead on … a true shot. The goalie tries to stop the puck from going into the net.

Here is the lesson. In business how many time do we call on a potential customer and get turned down. In the last Hawks game there were 63 shots on goal yet only 4 went into the net. That is an average of 15+ attempts before a goal is scored.  When I coach small business entrepreneurs I get the excuse ” well, I tried xxxx” or I gave it by best shot and was still turned down.  What I want them to take away is this hockey game. Think about it 63 times they attempted to score and only 4 times it actually went into the net. What if the players after 61 attempts said … well I tired and it just did t work out…well ok, I’ll give it one more try. What if they had quit trying after the  62nd attempt. It was that 63rd attempt that won them the game.

The same is true in business. We need to keep trying, when we get turned down, our proposals get ” blocked” by senior managers, or the budget committee, or a customer… we need to keep trying. I tell my business coaching clients … keep trying…. stay motivated….don’t stop. Just like in Hockey a no says nothing about you… only you didn’t get a yes / a “goal” this time. Keep trying… maybe just maybe the next one will go in the net.

It can make all the difference between winning and losing.