Most people who begin a career in sales are a little pollyannaish over the trajectory of their career. When I began my VB career in 1998, I thought insurance salesman took clients golfing, out to lunch and then were done with their day at 3:00pm. Perhaps I’m exaggerating a little but I never expected to have to work as hard as I did. (My natural state is lazy. Not kidding.) I am incredibly glad that I chose to volunteer for success and do the hard work necessary to succeed in the great adventure of professional sales.
As I have watched literally thousands of new, straight commission salespeople begin their career,
I have noticed the following pattern:
- They are incredibly excited about being their own boss and not having any limits on their income. (They should be.)
- They expect to have staggering early success. (They are hopeful.)
- They think that success will be much easier than it actually is. (It isn’t.)
- They believe that every day will be rosy and they will love the work. (They are delusional.)
- They become discouraged by their lack of early success. Specifically they are discouraged by the rejection they get while prospecting. (They lose confidence.)
- They look for the “Magic Bullet.” They even buy books that espouse that cold calling is dead. (It’s not.)
- They think there must be an easier, softer way. (There isn’t.)
- Many give up. (They shouldn’t.)
- Some embrace the SUCK and find eventual and phenomenal success whatever that means to them. (They win.)
How Do I Skip Step 8 (Giving Up?)
So here is the question you have to ask yourself if you want to be a “success in this industry”: Can you make yourself do things you really DON’T want to do, to get the results that you DO really want? I believe that this one attribute is the key determiner in the success or failure or your business.
It doesn’t matter what business you are in, or career you have, the reality is that there are tasks and responsibilities that SUCK! If all of your work was puppies, unicorns and rainbows, you wouldn’t be necessary.
Are you willing to lean in to the hard work? The work that is sweaty? The work that is incredibly tedious? The work that doesn’t bring immediate results? The work that drains you? The work where you face unceasing rejection? (Am I making this work seem sexy or what?)
The reality is that a great deal of what makes successful people successful is that they are willing to make themselves do things they really DON’T want to do, to get the results that they DO really want.
I wish I had some magic fairy dust to sprinkle over you that would suddenly cause you to be excited about doing the work. The only person that can motivate you is you. The challenge of course is that if you wait until you are motivated, there aren’t going to be many days that you get out of bed let alone embrace the SUCK.
The only way I have found to stay excited, motivated, and willing to push through is to keep my WHY in front of me. Author Simon Sinek even wrote a book that every salesperson should read: Start With Why. What is your WHY? Is it worth embracing the SUCK for?
Many parts of building a business are exciting, enjoyable and greatly rewarding. You just can’t get to them if you are unwilling to put in the work. Resolve today to skip step 8 (giving up) and embrace the SUCK. I promise there will come a day that you are glad you did.
What’s the one thing you have to do on a regular, consistent basis that really SUCKS? Leave a comment below.