Most of us would not think of Bad being a good thing…

What the hell’s joyous about losing the one you’ve loved…where in the hell is the silver lining when the company brings you in…the same company that needed you to bail them out of a jam on weekends, holidays-once you even cut your vacation short. When they needed you most, you were always there…today they brought you in to tell you that they’re taking the company in a different direction and you’re not setting sail with them...”But thank you for everything.”

How hard is it to say Bless my soul when you lose your lease…or you only have only one month to pack up and get out of your home that you’ve amassed 2 decades worth of memories…now you have to downsize and feign the look of a fresh new start to the nosy ass neighbors pretending to be working in their yard. Sure they’re doing just fine-you’re the one who’s dying inside.

…the business that you started-first as a side hustle, then you took out a 2nd mortgage, telling your wife that everything’s going to be juuust fine because the contract you signed is huge and all of your struggles will have been worth it….after countless assurances of full speed ahead, the deal falls through and sinks to the bottom of despair. You’re deeply invested-at this point you aint worried about a return, you’re not sure if you can even survive.

We’ve all got a thumbprint on pain. We’re scarred with unfairness and share the commonality of being down and low….but no matter what “it” is…no matter how low, dark, or walled off it may seem…there’s opportunity in bad.

But first you have to look for it…

Mike Massimino, the astronaut tagged by NASA to repair the Hubble telescope-a billion dollar machine that detects other life and environments in outer space-if he doesn’t fix this part, billions of dollars could be lost forever because there is no backup Hubble…it’s one and done and now its future rests solely on his shoulders. Once in outer space, the only thing standing in the way of the repairs was a handle held in place by 4 innocent screws. The first, second, and third screws were removed as planned, but the fourth one was giving Massimino a little trouble, but with a liiiittle extra effort he thought he could….

…he stripped the final bolt.

With billions of dollars at stake…with millions more spent to send a crew to outer space, the screw was stripped…no Home Depot to run to & the supply of both oxygen and options was limited. At first Massimino did what any of us would’ve done…he beat himself up. It took you 4 tries to be an astronaut! You should’ve never made it this far! You shouldn’t have put so much force on that final screw! A mixture of negative emotions pushed to the front of his mind, but he gained his composure saying to himself, “As bad as things are, you can always make it worse.” He settled in…explored his options and fixed the almighty Hubble.

So you’re in a bad situation…remember worse has options and one of your options is opportunity. Find the opportunity in the bad. Massimino’s mantra has always been, “There’s impossible and then there’s improbable…& if it’s not all zeros…even if there’s a .0000001% chance-if there’s a 1 in there, you’re still in the fight.”

Bad can be good because it causes a shakeup..an awakening…sometimes bad cauterizes the shit that’s been lingering on for far too long in your life and now that it’s officially over, it’s time to pivot…push off & make good from the bad.

Opportunity is not found by lamenting in anguish about all of the injustice, unfairness, Why is this always happening to me! kinds of pleas…

The opportunity is found in looking for a crack, a sliver, a speck of light and building-digging you fingers in and clawing out from there.

How you got here has already happened…where you go from here is yet to be determined...you just have to find the opportunities and often they’re found in the bad.

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While on the set of Deliverance, filmmaker John Boorman walked up to actor Burt Reynolds and said, “Stop acting. Just behave…we’ll wait for you because we can’t take our eyes off of you..” Boorman didn’t want an actor…he  wanted Reynolds, first, playing the role of Lewis Medlock.

When we act…when our performance is based on conformance..when we just blend into our environment, we lose ourselves in order to take on the character that we think society, family, or our boss wants.

We act and cease behaving…

As told by Ryan Holiday, George Clooney initially struggled as an actor because he tried so hard to fit the character the producers were looking for until one day he got the realization that he shouldn’t try to fit the role…the role should fit him. It became clear to him that the producers needed him more than he needed them. See, if this audition didn’t pan out, Clooney could go on dozens of other auditions-he had options, while the producers were desperately seeking the one.  Armed with his newfound knowledge, Clooney began showing up to auditions projecting that he was The One for the job. And because he projected so much confidence..because he didn’t walk in there all desperate…because he showed himself approved…filmmakers made a way because Clooney behaved his way into the roles.

Many times we take on or inherit positions and continue playing the position the way that it’s always been played. We run alongside of the way that it’s always been done..we conform…we act…when Life needs you to behave.

When you act you blend in…but when you behave, you stand out. When you act, you’re cast in black, white, & grays of usual…but when you behave..when you bring your “You”…when you bring your flair…your flavor…your uniqueness..your quirks…when you bring your How I do to what you do…when you Be AND Do-not just do…well, you become the red umbrella walking through the gray crowd….

And you know what….

The world…Us…we’ll wait for you because you personify…you embody what we’re looking for. There’s too many actors in this world and not enough Be-ings. Beings behaving in such a way that we can’t help but get out of your way…to clear our schedule..to make room…hell to create a whole other column just for you.

And let me tell you how liberating it’ll be for you…because you cease acting & start behaving, you get to be you & because you’re no longer burning the emotional currency of acting, you’ll feel more complete…more in control of your most valuable asset…

…that asset is You…

So rest easy. Don’t worry about missing out…just behave…we’ll wait for you because we can’t take our eyes off of you.

**Catch The Sales Life w Marsh Buice podcast-making an impact in less than 10 minute episodes. You can find it on iTunes or your favorite podcast platform. **

When it comes to our own lives, we pay attention to only 2 letters of the alphabet…we start at A and worry about Z and we totally alienate the other 24 letters of our lives. We want to know how it’ll all pan out before we even move-it’s like we stand at A and have to know the answers to Z. We do it in all areas of our Life-we need to know if this relationship is the one…we need to know that this is a career that we can retire from…we fret in finances, spirituality, health, our day, month, year…hell our whole Life. We have to, have to, have to know how everything plays out first and if we don’t know if “it’s” going to be ok, we’ll catastrophize that too-we just blow shit out of proportion…and we haven’t even moved…we’re still standing on A.

Life’s job is A-Z, but my job is only to get to B & once I get to B get to C, D…G…T; I just have to get to the next step in my Life and once I get there, focus on the next one…that’s all that Life asks of me-to maximize each letter of my Life.

It’s human nature to want to insure our next step with certainty-to know that something’s worth taking on, holding onto, or letting go, but sometimes the answers will not be clear until you take a series of steps. Life’s not revealed, it’s unfolded…we want our answers to be behind Door #3, but instead Life nudges us to just head in that direction and along the way, she’ll whisper what to do. 

Will the next step be clear..will it be certain…will it be a win…will it be what I wished for? No..no it won’t always be. That’s why there’s more than one step…that’s why there’s C,D,E, & F’s in our lives, because along the way, we’ll hit walls..we’ll get blown back..we’ll stumble and fall. Moments that hurt..moments that seem unfair..but they’re moments of transition just the same. And when you hit moments such as divorce, demotion, death, bankruptcy, sickness, and abandonment…as much as they hurt, don’t capitalize them. Don’t give them prominence in your Life-don’t capitalize the A’s B’s, D’s, S’s; don’t let these moments be the reason why you gave up..threw up your hands and sat down. As shitty and fucked up as these moments are, they are still moments of transition that today have no reason but years from now bear deep meaning…moments that have no answer until you take the next steps. It’s hard…I know it is, but there’s healing beginning at the doorstep of next. 

…and resist saying the words, If I knew then what I know now, I would’ve NEVER…..Because you had to go through that now to discover your never…what you’ll never tolerate or put up with again…that you’ll never again not speak up instead of staying silent..that you’ll never be talked to, treated, or abused again…

Now is necessary for Never. 

So has your journey continues today, don’t worry about Z…just get to B…then C…focus on taking just one more step.

And don’t worry… Z will be waiting for you…after whY. 

Don’t miss an episode of  The Sales Life w Marsh Buice Podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast platform.

When the legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk first started skating, he and his crew had to skate in empty swimming pools because the city shut down the skate parks due to insurance liabilities. Not to be dissuaded, he and his cronies jumped fences and continued skating in the concrete fishbowls. Conditions to skate at the competitions weren’t much better-patchwork at best.  With little to no sponsorship, the competitions were bootlegged strapped together-there was no real structure-figuratively and literally. The ramps were poorly built, so when it came your time to skate, you could feel the weak structure swaying underneath your feet-you had no idea if you were going to be the losing Jenga piece.
Because of the poorly built structures most fearfully turned back, but Hawk skated anyway.
Most turned back because they’re amateur in thought and Hawk was a pro in action.
Pro’s see their current situation for what it is-yes they see the abysmal structures, the shaky conditions…they feel all of the pressures that everyone else feels, but pro’s embrace the suck and “skate” anyway. Where amateurs look for excuses, pro’s just seize the opportunity...they’ll drop in, attempt, fall, fail, and face embarrassment…they’ll embrace the imperfection and say, “Move, I’ll do it.”
I had a friend who had to play recently at a wedding-everything was arranged-the date, time, venue, it was all ready except for one thing. It was an outdoor wedding, and the coordinator had forgotten about the sound…no mic..no amp..no power..oh shit! With the bride standing at the entrance of her perfect day and with dozens of friends and family in attendance, my saxophonist friend did the only thing he knew to do. He played..and he played his ass off. That’s what pros do-they take “it is what it is” and show you the magic they can make out of it.
Pros and amateurs do have something in common…they both want…but amateurs stop at want and pros push on because they are willing. No they don’t want to feel the acidic feelings of failing…Tony Hawk didn’t want to keep breaking his bones and losing his teeth…athletes don’t want to take the game winning shot …and miss…salespeople don’t want to work with customer after customer and be told, no; bought elsewhere; your price was too high; your trade value was too low...salespeople don’t want customers to drive off, walk out, and hang up on them-no one wants to be left standing alone in the ashes of rejection, but pros are willing to..they’re willing to look stupid, dust off, get back up, and if they if they only have a half-pint of strength left in their body, if they have pull up and lean up against something just to be able to throw themselves back in the fires of attempt, they’ll do it with no hesitation.
So which are you? You can start right now..because many want, but few are willing.
Amateurs want and wait for optimal conditions, but pros are willing to just seize an opportunity.
Catch my podcast The Sales Life w/ Marsh Buice on iTunes or your favorite podcast platform.

When we think of confidence, we tend to think of it in one big bulk item, but confidence comes in different forms-there’s Perceived Confidence and then there’s Earned Confidence. Perceived confidence is other people’s take on you. People size you up based on how you carry yourself..your swag, your dress, the way that you walk, the confidence that you radiate- from the way that you stand to the assertiveness in your voice, people literally buy the confidence that you are selling. And you must maintain a high perceived confidence no matter what kind of hell you may be going through because what you’re going through is not a definition of who you are, it’s only an indication of where you are and the start toward the way out, is through perceived confidence. People don’t want to hear the Whoa is me stories…you got shit going on in your life, but so do others, and they only want to do business with people who at least look like they have their shit together. It’s crazy how we let Life’s events shape our confidence. One minute there’s nothing that could stop us…and 60 seconds later, we don’t know if we can even make it to the next day. People don’t know the hell you got going on behind those eyes-they have no clue, so why include them in something they don’t have the answer? Only you have the solution and it starts with first believing in yourself.

But if this were a confidence test (and it is), you’d fail because perceived confidence is only 50%.

Earned confidence is the other half needed and it is accumulated through experiences....alllll experiences. I’m not just talking about the cupcakes, rainbows, and unicorned moments of your Life…I’m talking about the shit sandwich moments too. It’s a cocktail of all experiences-the flavors of the setbacks, rejections, ridicules, misses, and embarrassments, stirred in with all of the best month ever, records broken, in the land of milk and honey moments too. It’s taking every single moment-melding the highs and the lows to learn, recycle, improve, and yes…double down on risk, putting the effort back out there again, and again, and again, (x) infinity. That’s earned confidence-those stripes are merited based on the ability to never be satisfied and never be sat.

In sales you have to have both perceived and earned confidence because if you only had perceived confidence, the minute things blow up..the minute the wheels start to come off (and they will), if all you have is perceived confidence, you’ll melt right there like a snowman in Louisiana heat.

You’ve got to have both…you need to perceive that you are the shit..that you can, will, and must make big things happen. You have to swing as if no man or no thing will ever stand in your way…that no salesperson can hold a match to your level of knowledge and service…dude you have to set that thermostat of perceived confidence to 20 degrees above someone’s comfort level..not overbearing, but they gotta feel you.

Both confidences are dependent on one another. It first starts with how you feel about yourself; customers feel that energy and engage with you; based on your action-the way that you carry yourself, what you know and how you interact, becomes experience….some of it results in a sale, always it results in an education. As you make more sales, your confidence rises…and when you don’t make a sale, your experience increases..as you learn, recycle and put yourself back out there, the odds of success perpetuate.

Confidence…perceived or earned is all based on you. You control it…you influence it…you do it with the way you think, talk, carry, and do.

Customers will pay for your confidence…now you get to set the price.

You need doubters… you do…
I know you reeeeally want others to believe in you… I know you endlessly plead your case to your besties and your Aunt Laura, but you must have doubters in your Life. You need doubters because if you didn’t have someone to say that “You can’t”…if you didn’t have someone say “You won’t”-if you didn’t have those who didn’t believe in you then how would you ever grow?
Who would provoke to rise otherwise?
When I got to McNeese State University, I came in as an undersized offensive lineman –  truthfully I really I think I was brought in to just fill a slot.  I was #5 on the depth chart-meaning 4 other linemen would have to go down, fail out, or spontaneously combust before I’d ever get a shot at touching the field..and that’s exactly what happened (minus the combustion part). All of those playing in front of me either flunked out or got hurt, so like the Red Sea parting, I suddenly became the starting offensive tackle…for a day. Upon hearing the news, the coaching staff immediately began scrambling because they didn’t think I was “ready-” which is really code for they weren’t ready to cast me as a starter. So they ended up finding a kid at a junior college to immediately fill the open spot, but with only a week before practice started for the new season, the kid decided he didn’t want to play football anymore.
With no other options..no one to take from one position and slide into the vacancy, the coaches reluctantly gave me the nod.
And I’ll never forget that…
I set out to bust my ass-training extra-staying late, to earn that spot. I started that year as a sophomore never looked back and went on to become an All-American, All-State (Louisiana), and was elected Permanent Team Captain by my teammates… an undersized lineman who started out as #5 on the depth chart.
None of that would’ve been possible had they not doubted me first.
I needed them to doubt me…
Doubters make you prove yourself… not to others-they make you prove yourself to you. Doubters provoke you to raise your game up, test your faith, and they become your litmus test to see if you really want what you say you want. Have you ever told someone your far-fetched idea and as soon as they laugh, scoff, and look at you crazy you shrink? You downsize – minimize your plans because you didn’t have absolute conviction in your abilities and destination.
Doubters test your ignition – is it a spark or flame?  Do you want it so bad… do you see it so vividly that the second they doubt you-when they do a double take at your grandiose plans…the second you see that glimmer of doubt in their eyes or their expression, that only fan the flames even more? 
See when others judge you or determine your future only from the front porch of today- man that notion alone should ignite you toward a full-fledged inferno. Doubts are just opinions, but you are living, breathing talented absolute fact and they just kicked the ant pile. They woke you up to say, “Fuck this!” See there’s a difference between saying, Fuck You  and Fuck This…You is a defensive stance….This is a new mission-a mission where you stop telling and start showing…Up. It’s the point where you work at developing yourself and no longer wait to get picked. Your effort..your grit..your resilience is what puts you in the starting lineup of life. You’re already in motion when they “all of the sudden“ take notice.
 
By then it’s too late…
 
They underestimated you which is a good thing.  See, when people discount your abilities… when they underestimate you…when they pay you no mind… when you’re non-factor in their book, when they don’t give you any resistance-they don’t even object or get in your way because they don’t think you can do it and you just keep showing up working right there in their face… doing, growing, becoming what they never saw you in the first place…
 
But you did…
 
*Check out The Sales Life Podcast  less than 10 minutes long to get you ready for the greatest Life skill there is…Selling your way through Life. Find it on iTunes or your favorite podcast platform.
bigbox
Marcus Luttrell wrote a book that went on to become the movie titled Lone Survivor…& Marcus has a Heavy Box Mentality- he had to have one in order to become a Navy SEAL-the best of the best,  but he also needed to have a Heavy Box Mentality when he was recovering from his injuries and surgeries…
Even though people were urging him to join a gym, he refused… he didn’t need a gym-he had a gym right there in his mind and in that gym was his Heavy Box. Even though there were days that he could only do one push-up against the sink…even though there were times when his progress skidded back down to the bottom… that Heavy Box was right there. Luttrell pushed that Heavy Box into the corners of his mind, out of the way, but still within view- he kept it right there because he was determined to work towards picking that Heavy Box back up.
We all need a Heavy Box Mentality… a Heavy Box Mentality  is the gap of choosing between doing the easy or taking on the hard…that 5 seconds when you can make a choice to slide by with the routine or make that split second decision to yank the heavy box… you’re Heavy Box.
See, the reason why most of us don’t pick… the reason why we won’t choose the Heavy Box is because a Heavy Box Mentality is strictly voluntary… it’s not mandated… it’s not a prerequisite… it’s voluntary and most of us won’t step up and volunteer-to do what is hard in our own lives.
We pick the light box instead…
 So what are they heavy boxes in your life right now? What are the hard choices – the one staring right there at you…
The ones that trip you when you’re dark… the ones you stub when trying to find light… the ones you elect to go around instead of going through…
 I get it… going through causes you to sweat… causes you to strain… going through may cause you to admit that you can’t lift your heavy box…it means you’re defeated…
… but only temporary.
The fact that you stepped up, squared your shoulders, got a wide base, and wedged your fingers underneath…
…the fact that you yanked on your Heavy Box is a start and like Luttrell, it starts with first trying, then testing your limits, then-even if it’s at your base camp, working your way back to the Heavy Box ever so present in the rooms of your mind.
That heavy box is there, we all got ’em. That Heavy Box where you can take the easy dollar $1.69, 10 piece Burger King nuggets or you can grab that salad from Wendy’s that’s four times the price. That box that you can numb the differences through silence and alcohol or that Heavy Box where you sit him down and say, “We’re” done, this ain’t going to work.” That box when you sell just enough to cover your $3000 monthly bills or the Heavy Box where you say I need to make $3000, but I’ll make five and next month I’ll make seven..then you do the math- you break the numbers down to a daily plan and go to work on your box.
The box with no sweat, no strain, no fatigue or the Heavy Box where there’s no way out but through… 
It’s voluntary…
…and you got five seconds to decide. Always pick theHeavy Box. 
Don’t forget I have a weekday podcast The Sales Life w Marsh Buice found iTunes or any of your favorite podcast stations.