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Down, Down But Not Out!
I LOVE golf, and I love following Mike Weir, one of Canada’s national sports treasures.
He accomplished the unthinkable in 2003 and won the Master’s Golf tournament, the most coveted championship in all of golf. He put in a few more good years, and then the wheels fell off. An elbow injury, swing changes, loss of confidence.
It went from bad to worse and then finally, he almost fell off the map. He had more money than he could ever dream of, and could have packed it in and lived happily ever after. But this was golf, this was all he knew, this was what he LOVED to do. Well it all paid off last weekend. He was one shot back in the final round of the Byron Nelson tournament with a chance to win. He played a fantastic round, and came up two shots short. A bounce here and there and he would have won.
Check out these two articles about his exciting weekend and 2nd place cheque for $750,000.
The best part of the story was seeing the smile on his face as he walked off the course and was interviewed after the round. The feeling of self-satisfaction must have been overwhelming.
Don’t quit… EVER
Things will get difficult along the way
But think about the FANTASTIC feeling you will have when you get where you want to go!
I don’t care if you are starting a business, growing an existing one, or making time in your life to do things that you really want to do.
This is your one shot, so you might as well make the most of it.
Mike Weir did and he is finally LOVING what he has always wanted to do in this lifetime again – play golf 🙂
The Story Of “The Grinder”!
I heard the phrase “are you grinding it out” yesterday and it inspired this post!
The grinder was never a superstar at any sport as a kid, but what they lacked in talent, they more than made up for in heart and desire
The grinder had trouble maintaining their “A” and “B” grades from highschool in university, even failing one course!
The grinder, while firmly established in their career, was let go from a job
The grinder had several jobs over a few year period, struggling to find the right fit
The grinder was inspired one day, to pick up a pen and started to write
The grinder finally took a leap of faith after many months and started a blog
The grinder dove deep in to their profession and researched heavily in the internet marketing space
The grinder started to connect with incredible people online via social media one by one, day by day. They kept moving forward using the mantra “A Little Bit Every Day”
The grinder struggled with the demands of a day job, a busy family life and extra curricular activities; but still often made time to write and develop their network
The grinder like most people, has good days and bad days, but refuses to give up; keeps moving forward and constantly reminds themselves how close they are to their goals
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success” – Thomas Edison
The grinder is me, and I am proud to say that I refuse to give up or take steps backwards. Some days are better than others, but I constantly remind myself how badly I want it!
- Are you a grinder, or do you need to start grinding it out?
- Are you moving forward, or have you recently taken steps back further from your goals?
- Do you have a “don’t quit” mentality, or are you sabotaging your thoughts with “well I guess this is all I am meant to do in life”?
Keep fighting, keep connecting with incredible people, keep being inspired and having fun!
YOU ARE closer than you think 🙂
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Which “Version” of You Do You Want To Be?
If you have ever been in a funk during your career (especially now) you need to take a couple of minutes and read this.
Close your eyes and take several deep breaths. Think back to a time when everything was clicking with your current role. Reflect on why things were going so well, and what you were doing specifically (and how you were feeling) to make it all happen.
It is my experience that when people are confident, have a positive attitude and a bounce in their step, everything falls in to place over time. As I write this line, I think back to how great I feel when I am “on my game” while golfing! Dr. Bob Rotella has some incredible content on the mental side of golf. I see many parallels with the psychology of sales, and will continue to explore the similarities down the road.
I worked with a retailer in the past that put heavy emphasis on employees closing the sale with the first customer who walked through the door each morning. Why? Because that put them in a great mindset for the rest of the day. On a larger scale, if you make half of your sales quota in the first week of the month the pressure is off, and you can get to work and sell more comfortably for the next three weeks.
To be clear, relaxed does not mean taking it easy. More that you don’t feel the pressure of every sales call or every retail customer having to result in a sale immediately.
Many little things can throw us off and put us in to a funk for long periods of time. Remember when you did poorly on an exam or test in school? Did that make you a bad student? Of course not. I drew a total blank during one exam and failed the course.
That one blemish did not make me a bad student, but it certainly toughened me up, and I made darn sure that it did not happen again! The key is to shrug off those setbacks as soon as possible, and get back to your reality of success.
I wanted you to reflect on being in an awesome place with your role because you deserve to “return there” as soon as possible. I have wrestled with “self-doubt” demons several times during my career and felt that my current existence was just the way that things were going to be forever. Thankfully I would always snap out of it.
I am very respectful that the economy and other things out of our control can certainly affect our mindset and general demeanor for extended periods of time. But when every setback moves you further and further from your goals, job satisfaction and ultimately overall happiness, the negative spiral can be catastrophic!
If you need to hit “reset” with your current role …..
Splash some cold water on your face, take a good look in the mirror, and become that “you” that you really want to be again. You deserve it!
- Are you at the top of your game with your current role?
- Like a golf swing, are you “feeling it” now?
- If not, what changes can you make as soon as possible to get back to the best “version” of yourself?
So You’re Saying There’s A Chance…
Typically November is the time of year when sales reps decide if they can make a push to reach their goals (if they are not there yet), or “pack it in” until January 1st.
One year in the mattress business, I was lagging behind as mid-November hit. I was frustrated that the results were not there, and I was not “feeling it” anymore. Shortly after the “pity party”, my boss gave me a wake up call – and said that I could still do this. A trip for two including airfare and hotel to an exotic location was on the line for my wife and I. Giving up was not an option. We were able to qualify for awesome trips if annual goals were achieved.
I fully revised my account strategies. I went to the extremes as part of the plan. I evaluated how to get added business from the highest growth accounts, and the ones that were struggling too. I remember thinking to myself,
“I have to call that guy”?
Yep even the accounts that I did not like, I reached out.
I planned promotions, strategized with other reps, and squeezed every ounce of potential business out of the territory, without over stocking customers unnecessarily. My plan worked to perfection.
On December 30, I remember returning from holidays and going in to my home office for the best “fax of my life”. That was about 10 years ago – faxing was still cool -:)
My boss sent me the monthly goal update early, because I had achieved – I achieved by .5%!!!!!
I was so excited. I performed when the chips were down, when I could have easily “taken the rest of the year off”. Sorry Managers, it does happen.
I won’t end this with some big rah-rah you can do it pep talk!
Instead, just 4 words!
Believe, Plan, Implement, Smile (like crazy when you hit your numbers)!
ps. If you knew that question “So You’re Saying There’s A Chance?” was from the movie “Dumb and Dumber” staring Jim Carrey, you were right!
The Five Star 5 – 40 Years Update…
At the end of August, I decided I needed to lose some weight. I had progressively let myself go, and for the first time in my life wanted to see if I could commit to losing a few pounds.
I am very proud to say that I DID IT!!!!
I attempted to lose 10 pounds over a 9 week period, and on my last weigh in I had lost 12 pounds!
Here are the top five lessons learned over the 9 weeks:
- It is NOT an easy thing to do!
- I still needed a TREAT day once per week to enjoy my favourite foods
- Eating healthy 95% of the time takes a lot of work but is worth it
- Eating smaller meals more often did surpress my appetite
- A normal portion size is much smaller than I ever thought
- I have a new mindset that if I deeply commit to something, I can achieve anything I want. There were some rough days, but I rarely wavered from my plan.
My thoughts often shifted to the discipline it takes to write daily, correspond on social media on a regular basis and move my business forward “a little bit every day”.
Anything that you need to do on a regular basis can be accomplished if you dedicate to it. I am feeling more confident than ever and look forward to keeping the weight off.
Here is the link to my original blog post discussing my weight loss plan:
- What do you need to commit to today that you are needing to work on?
- Doubt that you can do it? Think again! You’ll never know if you don’t try!
If this inspired you to work on a personal challenge, I would love to hear about the results.
Please email me at: TimMushey@gmail.com
Are You Squeezing the Toothpaste Tube Too Hard?
I planned a Saturday golf game with my friends last spring. I was very excited because it was my first game of the year, and I really needed some time to unwind with the guys.
I ended up shooting one of the top 10 games of my life. I reflected that evening on why I had done so well, and there was a very simple answer. I was relaxed. I had only played two rounds of golf all winter, so my expectations were low. I just wanted to have fun, and did not think about scoring.
I started well, and kept the momentum going throughout the entire round. Typically (due to my infrequent play) I will have a great front nine, then a rough back nine, or vice versa. But this game was consistent throughout. I still had some bad shots, but was able to recover quickly.
With my golf game, relaxation and good shots breed confidence. I heard a humorous golf analogy many years ago and I often think of it when I am struggling.
- Pretend the golf club is a tube of toothpaste. What happens when you squeeze the tube of toothpaste too hard?
- Well of course too much toothpaste comes out!
- If you are squeezing the golf club too hard, inevitably you are going to make more bad shots than normal.
What happens if you have a bad day of sales calls, or perhaps a bad week or month in general? We all have confidence and feel great when things are going well; that is the easy part. The true test of character is how we respond when things don’t go our way.
Sales people and golfers need to have short memories. If you are “squeezing the tube of toothpaste” too hard on your sales calls and during the sales process, things may not go according to plan. If you feel under pressure to close more sales, you may “squeeze the entire tube of toothpaste” out on each call! You press, you are not yourself, your presentations and discussions have no flow, and you are off your game in general.
I asked my friends about their golf game that day last spring, and they said that it was not uncommon to have 10-15 stroke swings from one nine-hole round to the next. It proves that we have the ability to bounce back if we stay focused and regain confidence.
As usual, I watched the Master’s Golf tournament in April of 2011, and it was more exciting than normal. There were 7-8 golfers in the hunt until the last few holes. I am always amazed how golfers can keep outside distractions to a minimum and just focus on the next shot. Their focus is superhero-like, and they handle pressure remarkably well.
Rory Mcllroy was in first place after three rounds, the proceeded to shoot the worst final round in Master’s history. After the last round he said that he will learn from the experience and knows that he will be in the running for many more major championships down the road. His positive attitude was impressive.
To show his resilience, he came back at the next major tournament (US Open) and destroyed the competition by nearly 10 shots. That is an incredible example of putting a negative experience in the past, learning from it, and moving on quickly.
Sales and golf have many similarities which I look forward to exploring more in the future. Relaxation, confidence and a general sense that you will excel are all keys factors while “working” on the golf course and in a sales territory.
- Do you find that you are squeezing the tube of toothpaste too hard in your sales or business role?
- What factors contribute to these feelings “invading your body”, and making things more difficult in the field than they should?
If you are struggling right now, reflect back to when things were going very well, and you were full of confidence. Make some notes about those times, and do more of that!
Lessons Learned At Front Doors “Down Under”
I must admit something. “Hot Calling” is not a new and improved way to cold call. I took a door-to-door sales role in the summer heat of Australia on a backpacking trip in 1998. I called it “Hot Calling” in my head to make it sound more appealing! Everyone I told about this job after the fact thought I was crazy, but I explained to each of them how enjoyable the experience ended up being.
I needed some extra money when I was traveling the South Pacific. I ended up getting a job with a company promoting children’s encyclopedia programs. I did not realize the amount of door knocking and setting up of appointments that I would be required to do. My job was to secure follow-up visits with families, then more experienced sales reps would come back later and try to close the sale on a complete set of books. Yes, Google was still very new at the time!
A fellow backpacker told me the day before I was to start the job that they had a horrible experience performing this role, and I should quit immediately. I ended up giving it a shot anyways. I was planning on making new friends and having a great time. I went in with a positive attitude, and hoped for the best.
I trained at head office in Sydney and soon realized that I was in for an interesting journey! Thoughts of my stutter were front of mind, due to the nature of the role. What better situation to get nervous in then when somebody opened their door, and I had about 10 seconds to convince them that they should invite me in. I sucked it up, and continued with the training.
The managers made a point of having us role play door-to-door scenarios every day before we went in to the field. Initially I thought it was a waste of time, and I was disappointed that it took me away from the pool. It was our warm-up period, and would typically be done in the mid afternoon. We would walk the neighbourhoods later in the day when it “cooled off”.
The most important lesson I learned from this experience was how to handle rejection; and there was a lot of it! I had to be quick on my feet, handle their objections swiftly, with the goal of being invited in for a conversation. It was a positive step for them to open their door, but an entirely different challenge of getting them to commit to a future presentation.
Other skills like persistence, keeping positive and being enthusiastic were pivotal too. Each door was a new one, so I always put the previous one out of my mind quickly. A sale could be waiting for me at the next house, and I always had to be at my best.
Another key attribute that I worked on was focus. It was difficult to stay focused when it was still 30 degrees Celsius or warmer when I was working, but I made it through. I would often ask people for water, run through sprinklers, and wear a large cricket hat to protect me from the sun. In 6 weeks on the job, only one person would not give me a glass of water when I asked!
The team lived just like a big family. On a weekly basis, we all had specific chores to fulfill like cleaning the pool, buying groceries, and cooking for the team. Whatever needed to be done, we all pitched in to get keep the house and our “adopted family” running. You can bet that we let team members know when they slacked off from their responsibilities.
As I look back now, the daily role play for warm up was the key to success. It was like athletes preparing for a game. They need to warm up to get physically and mentally ready. As I practiced regularly, and knocked on more doors, I became more comfortable by the day. As time passed, my stutter was less of a consideration as I spoke to people during the pressure packed opening greeting.
The management team did a wonderful job motivating a group of young adults from around the world to do a less than glamorous job. We learned how to do one of the most difficult sales roles by staying positive, plugging away, and most importantly co-existing with team members that were strangers when we moved in together.
To this day, every time somebody says, “You did what?” when I describe the job, I am more than happy to share the story of my “Hot Calling” experience “Down Under”.
- Have you ever door knocked during your sales career?
- If not, have you have cold called face-to-face or on the phone?
- What did you learn from the experience as you reflect back now?