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Do It AnywayDecember 17, 2019
Do it anyway.
But what if I fail? You will learn…do it anyway.
But what if they laugh? Laugh with them and…do it anyway.
What if I can’t? Maybe you can, and yes, maybe you can’t so…do it anyway.
There’s not a secret to my success. When asked, “how?” I often talk about grit, and toughness. I have spoken about the importance of confidence and ambition. I talk about the fight I’ve waged against my body, against those who said I could not, but there is an underlying thread that holds all of these things together.
When called to do what is hard, what is scary, what I know by any stretch of the imagination I should not be able to accomplish, I do it anyway. In order to do these things, it requires the fearlessness to not just live on the edge, or beyond the comfort zone, but to venture into the complete unknown.
Confidence comes through repetition, sometimes it takes just doing a thing once, to feel confident about doing something. Sometimes, we feel confident because this new thing is similar in enough ways that we trust our skills. But where is the growth in doing the known?
Growth comes from struggle, and doing the next thing; the thing that has not been done. Confidence is of little help in these moments, when everything is new, and your stomach is flipping, and there is no road map, no muscle memory, no practice run. There is only the choice to do it anyway, to be brave, be fearless, and have faith that this…this is enough.
But how, and why?
Why is easy, because without it you stay still, you cease to grow and evolve. How is a bit more complex.
First, acknowledge the fear.
Fear is a biological reaction, there is no escaping the feeling, but choosing to acknowledge the fear does provide the control needed not to suffer in it. Our sense of fear is meant to alert us to a presence so that we can protect, not to scare and prevent.
Focus on building confidence.
Confidence is created through repetition, and acquiring knowledge. Once you’ve acknowledged your fear, focus on the skills, and gaining relevant experience.
Do it anyway.
Bravery is not an absence of fear, it is the acknowledgment, and the choice to act in spite of the fear. There is a fine line between perfectionism and procrastination. Fear of failure, or not being enough is usually driving when we procrastinate until things are just right. The problem here is how many projects are abandoned? How many chances pass us by, waiting for the perfect moment, or waiting for the self confidence to magically manifest? Do it anyway, and be mindful in doing so.
Looking ahead to 2020, I challenge you to take the risk, do what scares you, and push yourself for something greater.
In February Surf and Sales will hold its 4th event in Costa Rica. I invite you to take part in this event which has proven to be a unique alternative to the mega sales conferences.
In honor of our 4th Surf and Sales event I am offering a sneak peek of “The Surf and Sales Podcast,” (full launch, 2020). I’m excited to bring you an all-star lineup of guests, and some unfiltered talk about sales, leadership, career path and more.
Looking for more? Listen in to the B2B Revenue Leadership podcast where I talk with Brian Burns on How to Scale a World Class Sales Team Fast and Win Your Market
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AccountabilityDecember 10, 2019
New year, new you, right? Wait a minute…haven’t we heard that one before? For the past few weeks we have discussed how to reflect on your past goals, and how to set SMART goals for the upcoming year.
Today the focus is on a trait you’ll need if you truly want to reach your goals, accountability. Not only is it one of the most important traits in sales, but its’ impacts far beyond the sales floor. Below you will find a few suggestions on improving, and why this trait is so vital.
Identify WHY your goal is important, and attach the success to your life
Let’s say one of your goals is becoming more financially responsible. What would financial responsibility mean in your life? Are you renting, but dreaming of owning? Do you want to see more of the world? Do you want the time, and energy you spend at work to mean more in your personal life? Have you been carrying a chip that you want to unburden from your shoulders?
The impact of attaching your goals to the real possibilities in your life are powerful. Set reminders to revisit the impact, and your progress, throughout the year. Don’t reprimand if you have fallen off track, rebound, and get back to it, this builds resiliency, and creates consistency.
Share your goals
Whether you want the social aspect, or need help staying accountable; sharing goals with trusted friends or mentors can help keep you on track. Once you’ve put your plan in place with thought, and diligence, adding another level solidifies the reality of this new project.
Build your support network, and keep in touch to check-in, seek feedback and celebrate the mini wins. And, if you start to falter reach out, and ask for help or guidance.
Redefine self care, and make your goals priority #1
Self care isn’t all bubble baths, a night out, or a weekend of bingeing Netflix and Disney+. Although all of these things have their place, they do little in helping us reach the goals that we set in our lives. When you prioritize your goals, you are prioritizing yourself, and the commitment to a future that is greater than the past.
Don’t let the losses derail your year
Shit happens. Plans fall apart. Disappointments and failures are a part of every success story, it is what makes the win so sweet. And although these setbacks can sting, they do not need to define or derail your year.
Trust your plan, trust the process, and get back into your lane as quickly as possible. Consistency in the rebound is one of the traits that separate the good from the great, how fast can you pivot, refocus, and get back to it?
Creating accountability is a process of liberation, and it frees us from victimhood. When so little is out of our control; our behaviors, actions, and responses are within.
Thinking if incentivizing your team with a Sale Contest is the right thing to do? Read the blog post I wrote for Hoopla here.
Want to know how data can help support your sales soft skills? Check out my guest post for SalesLoft here.
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Start Fresh, Start New, or Start FastDecember 03, 2019
Nothing has more power over our mindset and situation than the words we choose to tell ourselves.
Whether you are looking triumphantly into 2020, having owned the year, or you’re crawling towards the finish line, bruised and battered, one thing is certain…Winter Is Coming, it is inevitable.
What is within your control is your mindset towards the new opportunity. In sales we are bombarded with constant catchphrases, motivational phrases, and sales anthems. And there is a reason for this, words have power. They have the power to encourage, and inspire, but they also hold a darker power. That dark power can depress, intimidate, and cause procrastination, scapegoating, and excuses.
I don’t like the phrase, “starting over,” it’s not that I think it’s a bad phrase, I just believe it’s impossible. To start over suggests starting completely from the beginning, but every experience, both the failures and successes influence and shape who we are, and how we respond. Embracing both creates real opportunity for growth.
Each month (or quarter) begins at a $0. So what is the difference between “starting over,” and “starting new?” It just might be your secret weapon to starting the new year fast.
Let’s try an exercise; say the following phrases out loud, and listen to the words.
- “Start over.” “Start fresh.” “Start new.”
To me, “start over,” sounds like being scolded by my third grade math teacher. To go into a new month, and year with the very first thought being even slightly negative is not where I want to be. I believe in capitalizing on every single competitive edge available to me…including the power of words, and manifestation.
This year I challenge you to “Start Fresh,” “Start New,” or “Start Fast” instead of “Starting Over.” Say it out loud, write it on your mirror, make it your first action. Where starting over implies a need for the creation of new momentum, starting new or fresh implies a readiness. Little things we tell ourselves matter.
Preparation for the new year starts with empowering ourselves, and I am choosing to be ready.
Want to hear more about messaging, how to use data to iterate your strategy, and why vulnerability may be the missing link for sales leaders? Check out my interview on Reveal: The Revenue Intelligence Podcast
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The Reality Of The Situation Is…November 26, 2019
Did you set resolutions and goals last year, or did you make wishes?
The reality of the situation is… only a small fraction of New Year’s resolutions are ever met. The reason for this is usually one of the following:
- Too vague
- Based on willpower, not systems
Last week I sent an exercise to help you reflect on your past year. Do any of the three reasons for failure ring true for you? Every year there is a promise of a new start, but the excitement, and thrill of “what could be,” dies, and withers on the vine if the right steps have not been put in place.
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
So much emphasis has been put on setting goals, and although goals are important, the likelihood of achieving them drops significantly without a plan. Goals are merely wishes without actions and behaviors to make them happen. But how do you create a plan of action?
It starts with a SMART goal.
Specific: The more granular you can get, the better. This requires precise laser focus, makes sense right? It’s not enough to say, “I’m going to buckle down and get my career on track.” What does this mean anyway?
Who? What? Why? When? How?
Measurable: Without measurement how is there reward or the possibility for reconciliation? Determine goal posts, assign parameters, and define success. By adding measurement you can self assess whether you are in your lane, or if you’ve jumped off track.
- How will you know when you’ve reached your objective?
- Can you assign a number to track your goal?
- Schedule check-in dates to evaluate your progress.
Attainable: Is your goal realistic, or wishful thinking? Setting your sights on unrealistic goals is a recipe for disaster and failure. Beyond failure, it creates loopholes for procrastination and a sneaky way out of the commitment.
- Are you being realistic with yourself? Do you have the support and resources necessary to achieve this goal?
- Realistic goals empower, create a sense of urgency, and excitement to win.
Relevant: Does this goal align with your “Why” in life? Another reason many resolutions, and goals, go unmet is because people make goals they feel they “should” make instead of setting goals with more strength and power in their lives.
- Is this goal significant and aligned with your greater goals?
- What is won by reaching this goal?
- Write it out, imagine success, and envision how this will affect your life. For an extra push of commitment, imagine the ramifications of quitting.
Time-oriented: Like all things, timing is everything. A goal set too far in the future invites procrastination, and one set in the short term may be unrealistic and discouraging. Ground your goals within a time frame with a target date.
- Specify time periods for reaching goals, and set timely check-ins (with reminders) to evaluate, and make necessary adjustments.
Additional prompts to help you create an action-oriented plan for achieving your goals:
- What resources are needed?
- Define potential hurdles.
- Describe the outcome of achieved goal.
- After writing out your plan keep it someplace easily accessible. Your actual goal should be someplace prominent that you see often.
Still need an extra dose of motivation?
Check out this blog post I wrote for Hoopla: