I know a guy who is always late to work…now when it comes time to leave, man he bounces out with precision-on time, every time, but he can’t seem to make it to work with the same gusto. The other day he & I are talking and he’s telling me how last month didn’t end well and this month is starting even worse…and come to find out his months in sales have progressively gone downhill. I cut him off by asking him, “What time did you get to work today?” Stammering he answered…”What about yesterday…& the day before that? As a matter of fact have you ever gotten to work on time for a solid month?” He was locked and loaded with the comebacks that ranged from the kids, alarm clock, clothes in the dryer, to funeral processions (in the mornings?)- he had a range of reasons why he couldn’t punch in on time…

I cut him off by saying, “You live in the ish world.”

Giving me a WTH look, I elaborated telling him that you’re starting your day in the hole- coming in at 9ish ..10ish ..You’re not precise- and because you’re not precise- because you’ve got slack to your day, you’re not as productive as you should be because you’re in debt the minute you step on the lot.

Look, I know things unforeseen happen…your kid forgot her lunch or your teen left his assignment under his bed…things popping up are rare…your ish is not…it’s become habitual & is incrementally costing you big time. When you live with an ish creed, you’re showing (to yourself) that you’re not taking things as serious as you need to. Look you’re a professional and pros don’t roll on ish.

Ish means somewhat-that you’re not all the way committed and bought in to that which you are doing. You’re not salesish, associatish, accountingish, parentish-you damn sure don’t want a doctorish. Look, your clients are looking for a pro not an ish- act like one.

I don’t care what your job title is today- it won’t stay that way if you step your game up, but I can assure you that you’ll forever swim in the Lake of Mediocrity as long as you rock with that ish mindset. Even if no one checks you on it…even if you’re on a salary or commission, stay sharp- you show to yourself & others (trust me, others are watching-even your kids) that you take what you do and how you do it very seriously.

We all have 86,400 seconds in a day. Make a few minor adjustments and you’ll see your progress compound.

I’ll see you on the Blacktop!

Subscribe & Listen to my daily podcast The Sales Life w Marsh Buice on iTunes or anchor.fm

Many times when we miss a result we get discouraged don’t we? In sales when you’re working with a customer for hours, days, even months only to result in not making a deal(!!!)… you get discouraged…you get down…you get frustrated because you “missed” a sale. Or say you tried out for a team, submitted a paper for publishing, posted a blog, called on a new client, or had a one on one meeting with an advisor for school, counselor for your kids, or just someone that you needed a favorable outcome with and you didn’t to get it… you may think that you missed, but you didn’t …because what you “missed” actually becomes your momentum.

I tell my sales people all the time to feed the machine – meaning feed the action… feed the effort… if you feed it, the results will show and when they don’t “show”… when you feel that you missed, I want you to look at it differently. Look at it as momentum-at least you’re taking action, hell most people don’t even do that… they just sit and hope that something will come around, but hope is not a strategy. Look, I’d rather you try and fail than succeed and never trying because the action that you took- no it didn’t result in a cashable outcome, but it does still have value.… it’s called Feedback.

Feedback is a good thing…good or “bad”…favorable or “unfavorable,” use the feedback to tweak and refine your next approach, phone call, meeting, or submission.

Feedback is the noise that you get back – the bounce back from the effort that you made. Musicians know all about feedback… when they get on stage they do a sound check because sometimes their mic gives that deafening ring – that’s Feedback and the sound engineer makes the necessary adjustments so the sound comes out clear and crisp when they get ready to perform…your process needs to be the same way. When you step onto the stage with a customer…when you step onto the grand stage of Life– sure your initial try may be ear piercing feedback, but make the necessary adjustments….

Musicians don’t walk off stage due to an foul sound- no they adjust- not only initially but all throughout the performance… so should you…

Whether you’re slaying it today or just flat ass bombing, make the adjustments with the feedback that you’re receiving – don’t personalize or internalize it, just keep working it…

…& if you “miss” the result keep in mind that you made the momentum. Make the adjustments and keep on rocking.

I’ll see you on the Blacktop.

***Catch & subscribe to my daily 5 min podcast The Sales Life w Marsh Buice on iTunes or anchor.fm

You may think that because Steve Young was a Super Bowl wining quarterback, Hall of Fame inductee, attorney, & successful sports analyst that he just had the “it” factor- like everything he touched turned to gold but that couldn’t be further from the truth. He went to BYU as a quarterback and realized quickly that he wasn’t going to be a starter anytime soon…if ever. The starting QB Jim McMahon (Future Super Bowl winner) had the lead position locked in- not only was Young behind McMahon, but he was behind 6 others vying for the coveted QB position. In other words, 7 others players would have to go down before Young would ever get his shot. Steve began to have second thoughts- he wished he would’ve gone to a different college so he called his dad (nicknamed Grit) telling him that he wanted to quit. Grit told his son that he could certainly quit, but he couldn’t come home, saying, “I don’t live with quitters.”

Steve stuck it out…

To make matters worse, Steve’s coach walks up to him one day informing him that Steve was no longer a QB, he’d been demoted to defense. “I don’t coach lefties,” his coach walked off saying. Sure enough, Steve found out that every BYU Hall of Fame QB had been right handed- Steve Young was a leftie.

Given Young’s already brittle state of mind, that statement alone could’ve broken him…instead it motivated him. Although his position was now on defense, Young was determined to play quarterback. He set out on his own by working on his footwork, technique, & threw over 10,000 spirals in 2 months time. His arm hurt- he was putting in extra work for a position he didn’t even play…

But he kept at it…

A new coach meandering across the field saw the accuracy of Young’s throws & began lobbying to get him switched over to offense. Steve’s hard worked paid off…sort of…although he was back to the 8th QB, at least he was back on offense. With new hope, he began outworking others and moved through the ranks to the #2 spot. As “luck” would have it, the starter went down, and Young went in.

Now I’d like to tell you the rest was history and it was all cupcakes and rainbows from there but it wasn’t. Steve played awful- in one half alone he threw 5 interceptions… in a short amount of time, Young had racked up more losses than McMahon had amassed in 2 years.

But he kept at it…

Drafted by the Tampa Bay Bucs, he played poorly for 2 seasons, but once again someone saw a diamond playing in the rough. Bill Walsh, Head Coach of the San Francisco 49ers, brought Steve Young on board to back up legendary quarterback Joe Montana.

Back on the bench again, the role and mission were all too familiar and Young used his secondary role to study & learn from one of the greatest quarterbacks ever. Montana & Young competed and jostled for the starting role-at one point, Young was relegated to a backup position when he was told he would be a starter.

But he kept at it…

Young got his shot, secured the starting position and went on to become Super Bowl MVP, Hall of Famer, attorney, & sports analyst for ESPN.

Nothing for Young came easy- even when he earned it, he found himself always having to prove himself…not so much to others, but to himself.

Steve Young kept at it…

…and so should you…..

Anything worth having will be hard. At times it’ll be thankless & humiliating… but it’ll all be worth it…some how, some way. While you may be deep on the depth chart in life-just because you’re not in the lead position…just because you’re not a starter doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think, study, & play like one. Don’t play up to the position you find yourself in today, play to your potential. Do the offline work- work that is meaningless to everyone but you…learn from those you back up-good or bad, don’t stand around hoping they fall, help them rise & in return you will too. Put in the work not knowing when “the day” will arrive- when is not your concern…what you do between now and when is. You put in the effort & the universe will supply the events and people to ensure it “just so” happens. And often it happens beyond your wildest imagination.

But first you’ve got to play to your potential, not your current position.

I’ll see you on the Blacktop.

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I’m not a Gratitude Journal kind of guy-it’s not that I am not grateful, I am, and I’ve read and listened to so many in the self-help world that advise you to keep a gratitude journal and write things that you  grateful for. Now if journaling your gratitudes every day is what helps you maintain your perspective, then by all means do it-it just never resonated with me. On the heels of that, I’m not a To Do List kind of guy either. I’ve tried all kinds of things: Planners, Post It Notes, and Apps, but many of them distracted more than helped-not to mention I was never consistent at keeping the lists up anyway.

I needed a system that was easy to follow that kept me: 1) Consistent 2) A right perspective 3) Keeps me evolving/growing. So I developed a 5×5 system to keep me on the rails of life.

The first 5 of my 5×5 is simply asking myself, “What are your 5 wins today?” This is a simple question that I’ll ask when I’m laying in bed or sometimes I’ll randomly ask myself this question if I find I’m in a foul mood. For instance, “What are your 5 wins today?” I’ll say, “I sold 3 warranties; I folded and put all the clothes up; I paid my mortgage; I said No to the $5 Big Box at Popeye’s Chicken (but those biscuits though); and my son and I got along today.” That’s it! A simple, easy to answer format that has no right or wrong answers because they’re just for me. I find at times that even after I answer 5, I keep on going-railing out 7-10 at a time. Not only can I complete this in seconds, but it also re-calibrates my thinking with simple positive wins.

The other part of my 5×5 is going to be different for you. See, there are 5 things that I have to do everyday to feel more complete, accomplished, and in control of my life.  I find that when I do my 5 Power Moves, I have a sense of accomplishment and the day didn’t just get away from me. Often times the reason why I am in a pissed off mood is because I have stretched myself too thin-tending to everyone and everything and alienating myself along the way. The 5×5 method is a way of ensuring that I put myself first every day-remember you come first…when you put yourself first, then everyone gets a better, healthier version of you.

My Power 5’s are: Meditate, Workout, Write, Read, and Record

  • Meditate: 5-10 minutes of breathing deep and thinking about nothing. Sometimes it’s 3 minutes other times it’s 10.
  • Workout: Bust a sweat every day. Whether it’s a quick Hiit (High Intensity Interval Training you can find on Youtube), 20 min jump rope right outside my door; 30 min weight training or jog..whatever time I have, bust a sweat every day.
  • Write: Write 2 pages of thoughts-don’t edit-don’t type. Just let your thoughts flow. Sometimes it’s specific, other times it rambles-the point is to spill your thoughts onto paper. It’ll help you clarify your thinking and speaking.
  • Read: Read 30 minutes per day. Sometimes I can do more…other times less.
  • Record: This podcast helps share my thoughts with the world. I also have a goal of recording at least 2 things on my voice memo app that is learned, observed, or Ah-ha’d that I can be shared later. This practice helps me stay woke throughout the day.

These are my 5×5- easy to do; easy to keep track of (I only need 10 fingers); and easy to stay consistent. Give it a try-maybe you’ll  have a 3×3, 4×4, 5×5.

I’ll see you on the Blacktop.

Don’t forget my daily podcast, The Sales Life w Marsh Buice found on iTunes, GooglePlay, or anchor.fm.

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So I’m at the grocery store and the lady tallies up my-what I went in for two items and came out with a basket full of items and I reach into my wallet only to realize my ATM card is missing. You know that feeling-the heart pounding, cold sweat feeling you get when you begin to imagine that some dude is at Footlocker and soon will be heading to Forever 21 for his boo and he’s doing it all on your dime-at least for the moment anyway. As my nerves settle, I realize that I have fraud protection and once I initiate the claim, they’ll eventually reverse my charges.

But what about you?

Everything you’ve worked so hard for-mentally, spiritually, physically…financially-multiple accounts that have taken you years to build up…

Imagine as if you’ve got a big magnetic strip on you and you’re letting people and events make unauthorized charges on your emotional, physical, spiritual, and financial well-being.

Be careful who you let into your life-who you let snuggle up, lean in, and ride shotgun in your life. They may be making unauthorized charges…swiping…pulling threads from the fabric of your life. Even some clients-the ones who seem that there is no pleasing them are swiping…incessantly draining your emotional accounts when you could be using your resources for others..

…your employer, family, “friends,” co-workers-hell even the Capital One credit card…

Watch for leaks…

Energy draining leaks-those people and events that seem to suck the life right out of you-debiting you of your energy…often these swipes are small, incremental charges that seem like minuscule infractions only to realize-often too late, that you’re drained, overdrawn and operating in the red. Financially, if there’s some things you just cannot pay-I mean no way, no how-pay your essentials-pay your rent, insurance, car note, day care, and buy groceries to sustain your storm..and if you’ve got to let a bill ride, then hell let it ride. I know you don’t like it…I know you’ve busted your ass to have good credit, but you’ll get it back. If it can go down, then it can surely go back up. I’d rather you be 30 days late than cut your life 10 years short with panic attacks and depression.

The reason why you’re so exhausted..the reason why you have no idea how you got home..the reason why you have no clue what your daughter told you what happened at school today or the fact that you’re just too tired to eat macaroni and cheese is because you’ve let too much drain you-too many of the wrong things..too many of the wrong messages have pulled on you making unauthorized charges on a priceless account…

You…

Watch for leaks today. Make sure the right energy comes back to you-if not-even if it’s a close, love one…

Deny the charges.

I’ll see you next time on the Blacktop!

P.S. Take me with you! Did you know I have a daily podcast? Subscribe to The Sales Life w Marsh Buice (found on iTunes) right here and you’ll get a daily 5 minute dose of positivity.

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The other day I could tell something was amiss with one of my salespeople. Normally he’s all teeth-smiling and jolly, but today I could tell he was aggravated. When I asked him what was up he told me that not only was he not selling any cars nor did he not have anything working, but nothing was going right at home either-he wasn’t spending time with his newborn daughter, his house was a mess, and he had a mountain of clothes to fold. When he finished, I looked at him and said, “Go fold your clothes…” Now you should’ve seen the look on his face-like, “Dude did you hear anything I just told you?!” But I repeated it again, “Go fold your clothes…because it’ll serve a few purposes…”

First, the act of folding your clothes will get you a small, easy win. No exertion-no sweating, just a simple act. It’ll bookmark a win and stop the erosion of slack and sloppiness in your days. Second, folding your clothes will squelch the chaotic voices in your head. You know the voices that go banging away in your head when you have 684 things that need to be done and you end up doing none of them because you’re pissed off that the day is almost already gone. Taking this one simple act will enable you to regain control over your days. Lastly, folding your clothes will cause you to bleed…one win bleeds to other wins too. Because it was so simple, so easy to do, your mind pings the win and begins to look for the next one. Notching up the wins will lead to incremental and eventual massive gains…one sock at a time.

From the sink to the desk drawer, think about all of the countless tasks that you’ve been putting off that have mounted up and caused you to feel like your days are slipping away from you.

If you want a better day, sales career, and life….go fold your clothes.

Check out my daily podcast The Sales Life w Marsh Buice found on iTunes or anchor.fm.

 

When Dr. Howard Thurman- philosopher, educator, minister, & mentor to Martin Luther King & Mahatma Gandhi, took his young children back to his hometown of Daytona Beach, his girls saw a nearby playground and asked to go swing. “You can’t swing on those swings,” said Thurman.

He promised them that he would explain more once they got home…Dr. Thurman had to buy some time because he was at a crossroads- a moment that I’m sure every black parent faced during those times (& still in some respects today)…

….how do you tell your children they can’t play on a “White’s only” playground.

Later he sat his girls down and told them that they were important…so important in fact that they couldn’t swing on those “public swings,” because the “public”only consisted of white children. He said, “You’re so important that it takes the state legislature, courts, sheriffs, white churches, bankers, & businesses-it takes the majority of the white people in Florida to keep 2 little black girls from swinging on those swings.”

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Dr. Thurman reframed the racial inequality he and his family were facing. He reframed the hatred and racism and made it a bridge instead of a barrier. He calibrated his daughters to-yes, see the injustice for what it is, but encouraged them to keep on going- to not let someone else’s opinions, narrow-mindedness, and blatant ignorance be the force of limitation for their lives.

Yes… there will be opposition, but maybe you’re facing opposition because what you are doing is of such magnitude- of such great importance, that those who oppose you are so fearful of you reaching your pinnacle, that they’ll stop at almost nothing to see you not succeed.

Importance is not some, Life’s good…I have no problems…kind of seance- no, Importance is recognizing the significance & impact that you are making and not letting up, giving in, throwing the towel, nor raising the flag.

It’s passages like this that remind me that I need to tell my children how important they are- not just to me, but to the whole world. My son is going through his first love breakup and while it’s incredibly painful to watch, I have to sit on the foot of his bed, rub his back, and remind him that maybe his boo can’t handle all of his awesomeness. His importance is irrelevant to the opinions of others.

We’ve got to remind salespeople, coworkers, & family members that some wrinkles in time are due to the fact that Life chose you…not because you’re weak, but because you are strong… Life deemed you worthy to enough-competent enough to fight this war you’re in. Not everyone can handle it…. but you can.

Whatever you face today, never underestimate your importance. The greater the opposition the greater your importance.

….Keep going.

I’ll see you on the Blacktop.