Personal Growth

June 9, 2021

Thick Skin

There’s a vulnerability in sharing your dreams and having goals, because with it comes an opportunity for outside opinion.

Back when I was really sick and in the hospital for four years, after I got out I had a keen sense of needing to catch up on life, and sales was going to be the best way for me to do it.

But it’s a profession that’s filled with negative perceptions and a very rocky path [more like an avalanche of boulders] on your way to the top.

It’s competitive, it’s full of rejection, and it’s not easy – but it will give you thick skin quicker than any other profession and the rewards and opportunities along the way are innumerable.

I was walking back into the world with a vengeance and whenever you come in ready to create waves: others will always want to be in your wake.

What you can’t teach is the level of determination that comes from surviving; nothing was going to get in my way, but even without that, sales calloused me.

So, how do you do it? Here are some tips to getting tougher skin:

  1. Ignore people. Along the way there will be naysayers trying to drag you down, people not understanding sales as a profession in general, and negative insight from every direction. The key to getting thick skin is remembering why you’re there: you’re building something and moving in the direction of your dreams. So smile and keep moving.
  2. Make friends with criticism.  Don’t let your ego get in the way. Listen intently to the feedback people give you so you can grow and keep moving, but don’t let it rule you. Getting too focused on yourself will narrow your view. Remember that some people see the value in your goals and genuinely want to help.
  3. Be confident, be free. You know yourself and your goals better than anyone else. People will always have something to say but your goals are yours. How you get there is up to you and remaining confident in your plan and protecting your peace is one of the most important elements.
  4. Be vulnerable. Maybe it’s hard to see how ‘having thick skin’ and ‘being vulnerable’ go hand-in-hand but they work in conjunction with one another. There’s a risk in letting your skin get too thick; it can leave you alone and without support because you thought you needed to push everything else aside to pursue your goals, but it’s the opposite.

Sales is one of the hardest professions to practice vulnerability but luckily we see it becoming more common. Remember to genuinely open up and confide in people. Between quotas and commonly being faced with rejection and pressure: this is not an easy world to be in.

After my years of health stuff and being really sick, I never let anyone know what I was going through on a daily basis because it wasn’t common then. I just wanted to go in and prove myself. I talk a little more these days, and I’m a bit more open to a helping hand.

Now there are communities and people that dedicate their time to creating safe spaces for people to be a part of and talk about the ups and downs they face and that vulnerability undoubtedly makes us all stronger.

So, find your tribe.
Be confident to be set free.
Pursue your goals and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

If I had listened to the negatives all of these years, Scotty’s Little Sales Club would not have been a thing. Bet on yourself because that comes first.

I’ll link some conversations and podcasts below that will help you kick you off:

Amy and I joined Sales Hacker for a Q&A to talk all things personal finance to career growth which you can check out here.

Surf and Sales, S1E38 – Bring Humanity Back Into Sales w. Tim Clarke
Surf and Sales, S2E35 – What Growth Doesn’t Want You to Hear w. Keith Daw

Also, check out this illustrated virtual background our sponsor Chili Piper made for our Thursday Night Sales community. How cool is that?

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