Why does it take 7 positive surveys to overcome 1 negative one? After having one bad month, why does it take 3 months to get back on track?  Explain to me why I must work with 4, 5, even 8 prospects before finally making 1 sale?


Red ink doesn’t flow faster than black ink-it merely shows faster. The truth is we need red ink moments in life to quickly remind us when we’ve lost our desire or been lured into complacency. Think about it, if you lived every day in the black what would you be willing to risk? Why stretch if everything’s within reach?  How do you overcome a setback if you’ve never had one? What’s a peak if it weren’t for the valleys? How do you savor a hard fought win if you’ve never tasted the shards of defeat?  Red ink moments poke us to make black ink adjustments.


When you’ve scribbled in the red and lost your momentum, are you committed enough to begin again? Can you feed into the machine of momentum even when it when it gives nothing in return? Are you willing to make one more phone call, show up one more day, catch one more up in spite of the overwhelming odds that you will fail? Oh, you’re going to fail, the question is can you keep on failing until you finally win?


Red is a primary color-it stands alone; no two colors make up the color red. On the contrary, black is the presence of all colors. In sales, you have the choice to either stand alone and rationalize why you’re in the red or you can instead use the reds of defeat as fuel for the future-mix together the greens of focused activity, blues of being in the moment-wherever that may be, and the yellows of a becoming a life-long student of the game (i.e. your craft).


Mix all of your colored moments in life together to build the momentum of a brighter, "blacker," tomorrow.


I’ll see you next time on the blacktop.

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Comment by Marsh Buice on August 27, 2013 at 4:17pm

@ Joe great input brother. After you've taken massive action, make minor adjustments. Yes you're going to have red ink moments of setback, but use those colored moments to make the correction and keep moving forward. Too often, we fail make the adjustments and end of "bleeding out." We need these colored moments as motivation to keep pushing and chasing our potential. Thanks for commenting brother-always appreciate you. 

Comment by Joe Clementi on August 26, 2013 at 9:20pm
Marsh excellent analogy! Red ink flows when we allow it to. Eventually the red ink causes us to take massive action to reach our desired outcome. The parallels between red ink in business and red ink in life are amazing. Success becomes the end result of taking massive action until the desired results are achieved. We can never sit idle while red ink flows as it will eventually consume you. Professionals learn to balance their work ethics with their work efforts! Nice job brother
Comment by Marsh Buice on August 26, 2013 at 5:39pm

Mark, brother you are too kind- I'm a work in progress my friend! The most important thing for us as MGRs is to show our people how they can maintain cosistency. Too often, we give them a little bit of training and expect them to get it. After nearly 2 decades of selling, I'm still learning this game---forever will be too. If our people can learn to spot the red and make the minor adjustments a store will be able to maintain more consistency. Thanks Mark for reading, commenting, and the kind words.

Comment by Mark Dubis on August 26, 2013 at 4:08pm

It's simple. When you deviate from a plan, when you allow team members to get sloppy, when there is no follow up and consistency. . . guess what happens?  Yep, the red ink flows.  Professionals know what they have to do every day, and they do it.  Amateurs hope for the best and pray they don't screw up too often.  Our immediate challenge is migrating from Amateurs to Professionals in our business.  Having just a few shining stars in the store can't make up for a "below average" rest of the team.  

Clearly your team is lucky to have someone of your caliber at the helm.  Please keep on being an inspiration to the rest of us.

Comment by Marsh Buice on August 26, 2013 at 12:47pm

Mike, you make a great point- red means go in our business! Make the correction and forever tweak the adjustments. Prove it! Love the analogy Mike.

@Tony, black is beautiful- red is growth. make the adjustments and keep climbing. Thanks Tony for reading and commenting.

Comment by Mike Myers on August 26, 2013 at 10:57am
Good article. As a music major in college, I always remembered what one of my professors always said about playing your part correctly. If you play it once correct, it was by accident. If you play it twice in a row correct, you just got lucky. You play it right 3 times in a row, now you have my attention. Just thought I'd share because if you screw up, one time correct didn't cut it. You had to prove you made a change and fixed something. Thx for sharing!!
Comment by Tony Provost on August 26, 2013 at 10:49am

mb, Black is beautiful!!!! Staying humble and HUNGRY, is always a challenging combination. Hope all is well.

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