In our continuous pursuit of success and fulfillment, we often encounter circumstances that can challenge our resolve. Through the wisdom of renowned motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, we can gain insights that will help us navigate these unpredictabilities. Drawing from the math of ratios, the speaker offers us timeless lessons on perseverance, understanding probabilities, and leveraging the law of averages to our advantage. His insightful talk offers a unique perspective on dealing with disappointments and maintaining focus on our goals.
Jim Rohn on the Law of Averages
The following is a transcript of a talk Jim Rohn gave about creating success through the law of averages. His principles can be applied to trading, investing, business, product development, dating, or developing an audience if you understand the principles he’s teaching.
“Happens philosophies that changed my life. Here’s one of the big philosophies I learned in network marketing. It’s called the law of averages. If you do something often enough, a ratio will appear. Key phrase: if you do something often enough, a ratio will appear. It’s amazing, it’s uncanny. In baseball, we call it batting average. If you talk to ten people, one says yes. Now, the ratio has begun: one out of ten. Talk to ten, get one.”
“Here’s something interesting about the law of averages: once it starts, it tends to continue. This is colossal information. Once a ratio starts, it tends to continue. If you talk to ten and get one, sure enough, chances are excellent. If you talk to ten more, you’ll get another one. Talk to ten more; you’ll get another. Now, you can compete. If you can only get one out of ten, you can compete, even with somebody that can get nine out of ten.”
“If you’ve been here a long time, you can get nine out of ten. I just joined, I can only get one out of ten. If we have a 30-day contest, I will beat you. ‘Oh, how could you beat me?’ Here’s why: During that 30 days, you talk to ten and get nine. I talk to one hundred and get ten. I beat you. Isn’t that clever?”
“This is clever stuff, and I do it for two reasons. I sincerely wish to win, but I do it for another very sincere reason: I wish for you to lose. And that’s noble on my part. Here’s why it’s noble. You learn more by losing than you do by winning. So, I wish to give you that experience.”
“Now, here’s how I do it. Once I understand the law of averages, when I’m new, I make up in numbers what I lack in skill. I make up in numbers what I lack in skill. Now, who can do that? Anybody that’s ambitious, anybody with a little ingenuity, anybody — it doesn’t matter.”
“Now, here’s one more: the law of averages can be increased. You get 1 out of 10, talk to 10, get another, talk to 10, get another. The fourth time you talk to 10, you get 2. Why would the fourth time you talk to 10, you get 2 instead of 1? You’re getting better. You’re getting better. And who can get better? Anybody. Talk to 10, get 2, talk to 10, get 2, finally talk to 10, get 3.”
“I finally got up to about 3. Now, it takes more than a genius to go past like three or four, but three will do. If you bat 300 in baseball, they pay you four million dollars a year. Which means you’re out seven times out of ten. Seven times out of ten, out, and you make four million dollars a year. Are you ready for that?”
“So, this worked so well now in your business. Just drop the phrase down. You don’t have to bat a thousand. You don’t have to bat a thousand to make big money. One out of ten is fine. Two out of ten is terrific. Three out of ten is fabulous. Some particular incredible genius might get four out of ten, but three out of ten is sufficient to make you rich beyond your wildest imagination.”
“This is how I went after my friends, neighbors, and relatives when I first started recruiting. I said,”Look, I’ve got a new business and I’m getting about three out of ten to join. And I don’t mind. You just come to the meeting and be one of the seven. Doesn’t matter. You’re my friend. You’ll do me a favor. And so, it’s not important to me that you like it. It’s not important to me that you join. It’s certainly not important to me that you buy. It’s just important to me that you listen.”
“One of the reasons, though, I want you to hear the story is because a year from now, if I’m doing well, I don’t want you to say, ‘How come you never picked up the phone a year ago? I never got a letter, never got a call. You called me a friend. You’re making all this money. You never picked up the phone.’ So I don’t want that to happen. So for two reasons, I want you to see what I’m doing. So the year from now, if I’m doing well, I can say, ‘You know, I gave you the opportunity.’ But also, just as a favor, come and be one of the seven. It doesn’t matter to me if you buy. But I need ten to get three. And if you’re one of the three, wonderful. If you’re not, wonderful. It doesn’t, it might matter to you, it might matter to you, but it doesn’t matter to me now. It matters to me because we were friends. But it doesn’t matter in terms of my averages. So if you decide to get rich, just learn the law of averages. You’re off and running.”
“Now, here’s the second law that changed my life forever in network marketing. I learned the law of sowing and reaping. And in the law of sowing and reaping is also the story of the law of averages. Jot this down; the story of the sower comes from the Bible. I’m an amateur in the Bible, but this is such a useful story. Here’s what the story says, and take the notes because the drama’s in the details. The sower was ambitious. Evidently, he was ambitious. When you read the whole story, you’ll conclude, yes, this was an ambitious sower.”
“Here was number two: he had excellent seed. The sower who sowed the seed had excellent seed. And the excellent seed could be an excellent opportunity, an excellent product, an excellent story. So we’ve got an ambitious sower with excellent seed. But now, here’s the rest of the details of the story. For your information, for the drama of your life, so you can understand things better, learning some of this is how I got rich by age 31.”
“Number one, it says the sower goes out to sow the seed. But the first part of the seed falls by the wayside, and the birds get it. So jot this down; the birds are going to get some of the seed. The birds are going to get some of the seed. Now, you say, ‘Well, Mister, what does that mean?’ Well, I invite John to come to a meeting. He said he’d be there Tuesday night. Tuesday night, I show up. John isn’t there. I say, ‘John, I wonder why John didn’t make it?’ Now I know the answer. The birds. The birds. John had this great idea of coming to the meeting to look at an opportunity, and somebody stole it and said, ‘You’re not gonna go see network marketing.’ And he says, ‘Well, maybe not.’ So have you jotted that down now?”
“Now, the birds are going to get some. Now, when the birds get some, you’ve got two options. Number one is to chase birds and say, ‘Well, let me get a hold of the person that talked him out to come to the meeting. I’ll tear him a new page.’ But I wouldn’t do this. Here’s what happens if you go chasing birds, you leave the field. If you go chasing birds, now you leave the field, which is going to distract from your future, not add. So, you can’t chase birds and try to straighten this stuff out.”
“Here’s what it is. It’s just one of those things. And here’s the best comment when things are a little disappointing: ‘Isn’t that interesting?’ You just have to say, ‘I thought sure he would be there. He promised me, he promised. But I know it was the birds.’ And you just have to say, ‘Isn’t that interesting?'”
“Now, here’s the rest of the story. It says, ‘The sower kept on sowing.’ See, that was the secret to his success. He kept on sowing. And if you keep sowing, you can sow more than the birds can get. Because there aren’t enough birds. If you keep sowing, there are some birds, but there’s not enough because the law of averages will work for you.”
“My mentor taught me, said, ‘You know, Mister, there’s only nine or ten real nasty miserable people in the whole world.’ Now, he says, ‘They move around a lot, you know, and you’re liable, you’ll bump into one once in a while. But when you bump into one, you say, ‘There’s only nine more like you. I can handle that, in the whole world.'”
“Okay, now here’s what else it says. The sower now keeps sowing the seed. Now, the seed falls, the story says, on rocky ground where the soil is shallow. And the rocky ground where the soil is shallow is not of your making, because you had excellent seed and you were an ambitious sower. So, the rocky ground where the soil is shallow is not of your making. But here’s what it says happened this time. The little seed that falls in the ground starts to grow, and the little plant starts to grow, but the first hot day, it withers and dies. It’s not an easy thing to watch.”
“I finally get John started. Sure enough, three or four days later, somebody says, ‘Boom,’ and you go, ‘He’s gone. Doesn’t show up at the second meeting.’ And I say, ‘I thought surely John would last a week. What happened? Shut this down. The hot weather is gonna get some, and this is not of your making. Here’s what you must say when that happens: ‘Isn’t that interesting? What can you do?’ The answer’s nothing. You say, ‘I’m gonna try to change this.’ I wouldn’t take that class.”
“You know, the sun comes up in the East. Somebody says, ‘Why is that?’ I wouldn’t spend much time on that. Just let that happen. Don’t go for this ‘why, why, why’ stuff. I’m giving you the answers here. The answers, citizens, are in the structure, and the consequences, and in the deal. The answer is in the deal. Anything beyond that is not worth study.”
“‘How come some just last a little while?’ I wouldn’t sign up for that class. Here’s the answer: ‘Some don’t stay.’ You just have to jot that down. And when someone leaves, you say,’ That’s one of those that don’t stay.’ Now you know what category to put them in. And you can’t solve this. Now, you can’t. It’s like rearranging the seasons; you can’t fool with that. All you can do is cooperate with the way things are set up. I didn’t set it up. You say, ‘Well, it shouldn’t be this way.’ Well, when you get your own planet, you can rearrange this whole deal. But on this planet, you’re a guest. You got to take it as it comes.”
“Now, here was the secret to the ambitious sower with good seed. It said he kept on sowing. Now, here’s what he had to do to keep on sowing. He had to discipline his disappointment. This is the key phrase now to use the rest of your life: you must learn to discipline your disappointment. Because you didn’t set up the setup. And some are not gonna stay, and that is not of your making. Now, if you made gross errors and you ran them off, see, that would be different. Now, you’re responsible for that. But if it’s in the normal course of things, this is the way things are.”
“Now, here’s what it says: The sower keeps on sowing. Now, it says the seed falls on thorny ground. And somebody says, ‘Well, how much of this do you have to go through?’ Well, hang on, it’s not the end of the story. Now, the little seed falls on thorny ground, and now the little plant starts to grow again. But as the little plant starts to grow, the thorns choke it to death, and it dies. So, jot this down. The thorns are gonna get some, and that’s not of your making.”
“And what are these thorns? The story even called these little thorns ‘little cares,’ ‘little distractions,’ ‘little somethings.’ Who knows what all they are? I see John. We had a meeting last night. You weren’t here, John. He says, ‘Well, I can’t make every meeting.’ I say, ‘Why not? You’re part-time.’ He said, ‘Well, the screen door came off the hinges, and you just can’t let your house fall apart. You got to take some time and fix things up.’ And I can hear the third excuse. He says, ‘Some extra trash had piled up in the garage. You can’t let mountains of trash take over. You got to keep your trash hauled out.'”
“People who let little things cheat them out of big opportunities. People who let little things cheat them out of big opportunities. And you feel almost helpless. What could I do about that? And that’s nothing. And you say, ‘Well, why is this?’ I’m asking you not to sign up for that class. Don’t sign up for these ‘why is this’ classes. It’s just the way it is. Like winter following fall and spring following them.”
“So we got that the thorns are gonna get some. But now, here’s the good news. Let’s read the rest of the story now quickly. The sower now, what, keeps on sowing. The seed keeps on sharing the story, keeps on giving an invitation. Yes, the invitation should be more powerful for me as it was one year later than it was the first month because now I’m saying, ‘I’m making twice as much money part-time as I was making in my full-time job.'”
“Yes, the story can be more powerful. But the law of averages is still going to work. But now, here’s what the story said: “Finally, the seed falls on good ground. Now, put this in parentheses: It always will if you keep sowing. If you share a good idea long enough, it will fall on good people. But now, here’s the rest of that story: Some of the good ground did 30%, and some of the good ground did 60%, and some of the good ground did 100%. You say, ‘Why the difference in numbers?’ I wouldn’t sign up for that class.”
“Don’t register for that class; it’s just the way it is. Now, I tried to get the 30s to do 60, found out it was more than I could handle. I used to say, ‘I’ll make them successful if it kills me.’ I almost died. No, you can’t do that. Here’s what you do: Let the 30s do 30 to the best of their ability and keep doing 30 because that’s how they build their lifestyle and get what they want out of life. And let the 60s do 60, and let the 100s do 100.”
“Now, how can you get some to do a hundred percent? You’ve got to go through all these experiences, and you got to talk to all these people.”
- Persistence is paramount: Continue sowing your seeds regardless of disappointments or setbacks. Unwavering tenacity ultimately brings success.
- Recognize the inevitability of the unexpected: Prepare yourself for unpredictable circumstances, be they positive or negative, without assigning blame or becoming disheartened.
- Accept the influence of external factors: Understand that some things are out of your control. “Chasing birds” or focusing on things outside your sphere of influence can only deter your progress.
- Implement a healthy attitude towards disappointment: Embrace the concept that not every seed will grow as expected. Develop the ability to discipline your disappointment and continue moving forward.
- Differentiate between what you can change and what you can’t: Understand the importance of distinguishing between what is within your control and what isn’t. The ability to accept things as they are helps maintain focus and saves precious energy and time.
- Understand the variability of results: Appreciate that results may vary even in favorable circumstances. Everyone has different capabilities and growth rates, and that’s just the natural order of things.
Embracing the law of averages as explained by Jim Rohn, suggests adopting a resilient mindset, recognizing the ebb and flow of life’s outcomes. This approach emphasizes maintaining a steady course of action, irrespective of intermittent setbacks or disappointments. Recognizing that some elements are simply beyond our control is vital for mental equilibrium. Additionally, cultivating a disciplined attitude towards disappointment aids in navigating the changing landscape of life. The crux lies in acknowledging the innate variability of results, despite the best efforts. Understanding and accepting these principles not only contribute to personal growth but also bolsters one’s ability to thrive amid life’s varying seasons. If you understand your ratio of success you can optimize your strategy and mindset to achieve eventual success in any endeavor.