Legend has it that in ancient China, traveling Kung Fu masters could walk into a Kung Fu academy and challenge the incumbent master to a fight. Upon victory, the traveler would take over the academy and its pupils.
I had the ambition and fantasy to try it myself in modern America while turning it into a rejection request. However, if the master said yes; it would result in jail time, hospital visits, and pretty expensive bills for me. Being realistic, I walked into a Taekwondo studio and asked to learn the master’s favorite move instead.
Would the master teach me, reject me… or worse?
The master didn’t look like Mr. Miyagi or sound like Chuck Norris. But based on the internationalization and cross-pollination of martial arts, I am not surprised. And based on his build and experience, I am glad I chose to go with the humble request instead of the fantasy one.
I found him to be very nice person who genuinely wanted to introduce me to Taekwondo, its philosophy, and his studio. Yet, I really wished he could have demonstrated a few moves for me. I might have even signed up for a trial as the result. Well, you can’t expect a martial arts master to kick butt like Bruce Lee and sell like Steve Jobs.
Learning: One time at Costco, I saw a Little Giant Ladder salesman demonstrating his ladders to customers. He put one up, slid one leg out, unfolded it, refolded it, pulled it around… I was mesmerized and felt as though my life with be incomplete if I didn’t spend $200 then and there to buy that ladder. It taught me a great lesson in sales – “Show, don’t tell”.