Posts Tagged ‘sales career’

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.”

Check out & subscribe to my daily 5 min episodes of The Sales Life Podcast

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.

This weekend is absolutely gorgeous- cool temperatures & blue skies…days like this call for a good chicken & sausage gumbo. As I was leaving to run some errands, I saw a guy wiping down his car. Two hours later, he was still out there wiping down his car. He was meticulous about everything- he even wiped the wheel wells, & the trunk and engine compartment- he spent hours to make sure his car was on point.

What I found interesting is he was such a perfectionist on his car, but when it came to his well being, he was not. With chammy in hand, he had a cigarette dangling out of his mouth, 22 oz. Bud off to the side, & his pot belly was an indication he hadn’t worked out in years- if ever at all.

My question is this…what if he was just as concerned-hell, what if he treated himself half as good as his sports car? If he did, I’d venture to say he’d probably be around longer to enjoy it.

To show the world we’ve made it- that we’re “successful,” we’ll give our health up in the process. Marketers know this…they’re constantly hurling messages at us to wear this, drink that, & drive this one, and we fall right into their bait. We’ll sleep and work out less, work longer hours, extra shifts, swipe a few extra times to impress people we don’t even like.

Treat yourself better than the things you want to buy. Don’t treat your well being like a clearance item- foregoing tomorrow’s security for today’s insatiability.

There’s nothing wrong with having nice things, but at the risk of losing yourself emotionally, physically, and financially, ain’t worth it. Just go to a garage sale- look in your attic, closet, garage, and storage units at all the crap you “had to have.” When dissolving my marriage, I had to do a detailed descriptive list of all of the valuables in my home…by the time it was all said and done, thousands of dollars and years of finance charges, those “valuables” wouldn’t even equal a full month’s paycheck.

You’re already a millionaire. Scientists have noted that if they put a price tag on all of your key body parts it would be valued at over $10 million. Sports franchises know this- why do you think they have the best equipment and dietitians? You damn right they’re going to protect and nurture their multi-million dollar investments.

There are some areas of your health, once taken too far, no amount of money will buy it back. Taking care of yourself is cheap- compared to stints, surgeries, rehab, and big and tall sizes. I know a portly guy who spends $300 for each dress shirt- his flesh only touches the fine labels…me? Man I’ll rock a $30 dress shirt with a $10 bow tie and swag it out. I can pull it off because I work my ass off to look & feel better- and because of the investment in myself, I carry myself with more confidence on the cheap cheap.

Your greatest expense should be on the greatest brand ever created…

Brand You.

Check out & subscribe to my daily 5 min episodes of The Sales Life Podcast

I remember defensively saying on the playground, “Stick and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me!”

Well…that’s a lie!

We can recover from the accidental sprains, tears, and breaks, but someone’s negative words toward you seem unrecoverable. Ill spoken words stain the soul- they kill your hopes, dreams, and lofty ambitions.

I’ve had loved ones, family members, and so-called “friends,” say things to me that recounting even decades later, my body’s physiology changes-altering to a perceived reality, my heart pounds, blood pressure rises, and cold sweats break out.

Whether un or intentional, we’ve all had someone mentally tear us down. They told you that you can’t make it, that you won’t achieve it, that it’s impossible, that you’re too short, too fat, too dumb, too black- that you’re from the wrong side of town and you’re just like your daddy – someone, somewhere, sometime along the way spoke those ill fated words and tried to limit you…

…one day you began to believe those words. You got tired- you grew weary and those words delivered a blow that knocked you down to life’s canvas.

Check out & subscribe to my daily 5 min episodes of The Sales Life Podcast

It’s hard to get up – Adversity hits you six times to your one flailing punch. It takes six positive statements to counter that one negative comment and that’s just 1…God knows I’ve had more than one negative Molotov cocktail hurled at me. And words are sneaky, one minute you’re slapping the ignorance aside and the next minute those words take its toll- like dryer sheets, those hurtful words begin to cling to your psyche and weigh you down. Battered and weary, you fall in line retorting to others when asked, Oh, I’m just hangin’ in there!

Here’s what is the truth…I believe in you….you’re a work in progress, not regress…you’re a priceless original…you’re equipped with everything you need to be successful…you can-you must…you didn’t come this far just to come this far….

There’s your 6…your six positive comments to start your day. Now while you’re dropping a load of negativity, drop the guilt, shame, & regret too. There are things I wish I would’ve done differently as a man, father, & husband- things I’m ashamed and embarrassed of but I can’t…I can’t go back and change those days, but I can change my approach to the days to come. The only thing useful about the past are the lessons I’ve learned.

There are words people spoke into your life that you can’t seem to shake….letting go is a process…it’s released through action not hollowed words. Whatever’s holding you back, chances are it’s built by others and enforced by you.You are the one holding you back, not others. Others may have said it, but it’s up to you if you choose to believe it.  Their belief doesn’t have to be your truth. Surround yourself with the right people pulling in the same direction as you…educate and empower new beliefs by immersing yourself in tons of free blogs, books, videos, & podcasts out there. Don’t waste your currency of time buying off on other’s bullshit beliefs.

You can’t take back words nor time…but you can choose what you receive and how you invest it.

I’ll see you on the Blacktop!

burning calender
You’ve got 53 days, a little over 1200 hours, or if it makes you feel better,4 million seconds until it’s January 1. After we smash the black eyed peas & cabbage- after we realize that we way overspent for Christmas, again, comes the realization that we’ve got to set some goals. I know what you’re thinking, “Oh Lord here we go again!”..coming soon will be a deluge of posts and podcasts of how to set and stick to a goal…and most of us-to the tune of 92% of us, will break from these goals in days, weeks, or a few short months. (If you’re part of the 8% who keep to your goals, you disgust me.)
My question is this. Why wait 53 more days? Why not make today your New Year- your January 1- your New Year? Who says we have to wait for the ball to drop in Times Square to start building a better life?
Starting is hard… it’s hard because starting is beginning again (for the 12,317th time).  It’s a reminder that we’ve let things go for far too long. Whether it’s in our finances, waistline, or our workouts, we stand there looking in the mirror or at our accounts and beat the hell out of ourselves because we’re not who or where we once were.  We sentence ourselves to eternal condemnation…if we talked to others liked we talked to ourselves we’d have no friends… which is probably why we’re not friends with ourselves.
So here’s the deal… instead of waiting for the New Year on the calendar… make a New You starting now. Start now and you’ll be 50 days ahead. Starting now minimizes the pressure – the pressure of “the New Year.” It eliminates the psychological pressure you put on yourself, because instead of The Date,  it’s just an early start. You’re tricking your mind in a sense because instead of going all Beast Mode in January, working out three hours a day and being so sore that you’re walking like you crapped on yourself – feeling so bad that you just end up quitting anyway, start now and begin building incrementally. Instead of spending hours, just bust a sweat in 30 minutes with some sort of physical activity – whether it’s three days a week, Monday through Friday, or all seven days, start incrementally building your way into the New Year. And as you start your physical activity, swap out some of the foods for better choices- it doesn’t mean you eliminate eating altogether, it simply means that you satisfy your cravings – that sweet tooth, for healthier alternative. See, starting early-i.e. now (yes when you get off today),  you’ll get the soreness out of the way, you’ll begin to make better food choices, and you’ll start building a new you in bit sized increments. It’s making the tiny course corrections in working toward a goal without the formality of a January 1 date.
If finances is your issue …oh I know you plan on making $800 credit card payments for 12 months come next year (probably once), but why not make nibble at your debt by making payments earlier- by paying an extra $25.  It’s not huge-and that’s the what’s great about this start, it’s so subtly simple, it’s easy to do and not miss…think of it as a momentum investment towards getting your debt down. Hell, $25 extra each week- the money you’d would normally spend on a box of fried chicken and Yellow Tail wine, will get you a $200 head start toward bringing your debt down – and who knows, because you’re committed to the act, informally, you may just start adding a little bit more to see even faster results. You’ve got to just get things rolling-remember a snowball starts with a snowflake.
Think about it, you can do this with anything in life… if it’s reading more, eating better, saving for that vacation, being more effective in sales, or even starting a podcast… my January 1 started in October. I’d been putting off doing a podcast for years-waiting for the perfect time, equipment, and material, and I finally decided to just start. I said for six days each week,  I would commit  five minutes each day to share something that I’ve learned along the way. That podcast is what you now know as The Sales Life.
Make your January 1 today.
Check out the daily 5 min episodes of The Sales Life Podcast
I’ll see you on the Blacktop.

CHARLIEPLUMB

Check out the all of the episodes of The Sales Life Podcast

As told in the Team Never Quit Podcast, Capt. Charlie Plumb- a Vietnam POW for over 2100 days, spent many days hung on a meat hook and in total darkness-no radio, no TV, and no newspapers to stay in touch with what was happening in the outside world. It was so dark in fact that he couldn’t even distinguish colors. He goes on to describe that he and the other prisoners had nothing to do-all they could do was sit in solitary…but even in the horrible conditions he found himself in, he found that the solitary moments were some of his best moments because it spawned his creativity. It was in the solitary confinements that caused him to have to feed off of all of the life he’d lived thus far. And he wasn’t the only one…many of the POW’s did the same thing-one POW checked over his sailboat before mentally sailing the oceans while others played rounds of golf or recited long verses of poetry.

The solitude made them more creative…

Shrouded in darkness, cutoff from the outside world and likely assumed dead, his captors repeatedly beat him within inches of his life, but they didn’t want to kill him, they wanted to break him-they wanted to crush his spirit so that he’d kill himself. Plumb would bend often but he refused to break. His spirit never broke because instead of looking at everything that was happening to him- the thoughts of Why Me, the pricks of unfairness, the gouges of not knowing how much more he could take, he creatively turned into the deep recesses of his mind and brought into focus a life he’d lived thus far. With vivid creativity, his cell became mentally colored with cherished laughs, loves, and learned moments.

Plumb chose creativity over criticism…

Sales is art….

Life too is art…

Musicians and painters know this…every experience is a lyric; every moment is a canvas…

I’m learning not to be afraid-not to run from the solitude. We’re so busy running from here to there-so porous to the thousands of messages being hurled at us everyday…we’re so overwhelmed with agendas and obligations, that we’ve forgotten how to creatively make good art. We’ve put down our brush and instead picked up a gavel-we’re stuck-critically reminiscing the past and worried about a future that hasn’t yet arrived.

Recently, a salesperson shared with me that he’d started reading; the more he shared with me, the more excited he became. Today, as he stands in solitary waiting for the next customer, instead of listening to the negative chatter banging around in his head,  he’s now creatively folding his new knowledge into previous experiences that will in turn make him better, more confident and capable with future customers.

Today, don’t run from the solitary moments, instead embrace them. Find the creativity in the life you’ve lived so that you can better enjoy your life that is yet to come.

I’ll see you on the Blacktop.

In sales, we’ve always been taught to “mirror” our customers, but what do you do when your customer is rude?

janitor

When my daughter MacKenzie says her prayers at night, I let her free flow-whoever and whatever she wants to pray for, I let her roll. One night as she was praying, she prayed for a name that I’d never heard before-his name was “Mr. Vic.” When I asked her who “Mr. Vic” was, she told me that he was the janitor at her school. “I’m praying for him, because he’s always nice to me,” she said. The other day Mack forgot her lunch, so I told her I would drop it off on my way to work. With only a few minutes to spare, I rushed into her school and placed her Lunchable on the table next to the lunchroom entrance alongside of a half dozen other kids who forgot their lunch too.  As I whirled around a man mopping the school’s floors, stopped swaying the mop from side to side and with a big, toothy grin, asked me how was I doing?  In a rush, I smiled back and told him I was doing fine and in turn, asked him how he was doing, but I didn’t have time nor the inclination to wait for his answer. As I waved goodbye to the ladies in the school’s front office it hit me, the man I had just spoken to in the hallway was Mr. Vic.

Turning around I walked back down the hallway and asked him, “Are you Mr. Vic?” he smiled and said that he was and as I shook his hand I said,  “Thank you for what you do, Mr. Vic.”  Stopping his mop, he pridefully looked around and said, “Oh, I’m just trying to keep it looking good around here.” “No,” I said, “Thank you for what you do while you’re here.”  I went on to tell him how my daughter prayed for him and that I appreciated how nice he was to her. “Sir, I’ve been here a long time, but I’m not here for the money-I’ve been offered opportunities to work at other places for way more money, but I don’t feel like that’s the position I’m supposed to be in. Maybe one day, but right now, I’m right where I’m supposed to be. My position is right here with these kids.”
Life is a blur and then we die. It becomes a blur because, we’re so focused on titles that we give no thought at all to our position in life. We’re so fixated on how the words printed below our name on our business card read; so hellbent on trying to schmooze with certain people, so adamant about rubbing elbows with a certain others, and are so seemingly obsessed with who we can step on, beat out, or crossover in our quest for a title, that we’ve lost sight of the most impactful part of our lives..our position.
If not today, one day you could find yourself wearing a title that you don’t care for-maybe you’re working for someone that you feel is inferior to your skills and expertise; perhaps you’re being asked to shoulder more responsibility with no more pay; or it’s conceivable that you find yourself standing in the ashes of a once promising career-for years you climbed the ladder of success-literally sacrificing everything, only to find yourself today back on the bottom rung having to start all over again.
Ground zero is where most people stall in life and ask, “Why?” Why was I passed over for this promotion? Why am I the one singled out to do more work while others stand around and get the credit? Why did injustice prevail and ruin my life? People who ask why park in life and become bitter; people who ask while move forward in life and become better.
The better question is to ask, “What do I do while I’m in this position?”
  • If you work for someone who you feel is inferior to your level of expertise and knowledge, your job is to make them look better. You have to understand this one position is not the end game in life unless you allow it to be. Use your vantage point to not only shore up their areas of weaknesses but also to gain a bird’s eye education into the pressures and decisions that they must make on a daily basis. If they’re poor at building relationships, you help build it for them; if they’re unorganized, you keep them on task; if they’re short sighted, you help them set the long-term vision. Stop competing for their title and begin completing their position. Not only will you earn her trust, but also you’ll build the morale of the  entire store. Remember, you’re teaching those who work under you how they should think and act. If you want it done to you, do it to others; if you want it done for you, do it for others.
  • If you keep getting volunteered for more work, shut up and do it. It’s been said that if you want something done, give it to a busy person. Don’t think like those who want to get the most for doing the least. Learning and teaching a new skill keeps you out of your comfort zone, raises your level of expertise, and makes you more valuable. Don’t wait for something catastrophic to occur to decide that you need to raise your game. Stay ready, don’t get ready.
  • If you find yourself back on the bottom rung in life…you’re not alone. We’ve all been there. I worked hard and lived fast until in 2008 I lost it all. I was financially, mentally, and spiritually bankrupt and had to start all over again. With my ego stripped, my position removed, and my hope lost I was scorched earth. But out of the ashes come new growth. It was at that time that I had to take responsibility for my life, put my feet back in the stirrups, and ride life’s horse again. I learned how to appreciate the good times and the bad; I realized that I could never be satisfied with what I already knew, and I had to lean on God to remind me that I still had more to give and much more to do. What you’re reading is my position..it is my testimony to let you know that you are not alone.
When you leave a room or leave this world what will be said about you? Obituaries are for titles-all the awards you amassed, all of the boards you sat on; all of the ribbon cutting ceremonies you attended will be printed on that piece of paper. But eulogies are for position. What will your eulogy be? What impact did you make for those you were around? Use your position to friend the porter who eats alone at lunch; use your position to encourage the accounting clerk who can barely pay rent and day care; use your position to develop the salesperson whose last resort is the car business.
Why’s not the question. While is. Use your position to go make an impact. They’re waiting on you…
Thank you, Mr. Vic.

Proudly published in: