Today, Monday January 4, is not only the start of a new business year but a new decade as well. Whether you're a top producer or on the bottom of your company's sales board, whether you're an old pro or fresh out of school, you start today, this year, this decade with the opportunity to create a completely new future.
Maybe 2009 wasn't what you wanted it to be-that is certainly the case for a great many of us.
Maybe the 21st century hasn't lived up to your expectations yet.
Put all of that behind you now.
The Timing is Right for Actualizing the Possible
I'm not a mystic, but there are times when there seems to be a shift in the universe, where what was, no longer has to be, and where the possible really can become the actual.
Of course, we preach turning the possible into the actual all the time, irrespective of the day, the year, the decade. And it is true, we can turn the possible into the actual at anytime. But the turn of the decade seems to present a unique opportunity, one where change seems to come a little easier and where the impact of change seems more dramatic. It's a natural time for new beginnings.
The Change You Want Won't Happen by Accident
Even though this is the year to turn your possibilities into actualities; it isn't going to happen unless you make it happen. Thomas Jefferson observed about his own life that "the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have."
You too can have luck smile upon you by doing what Jefferson did his entire life-make your own luck. Jefferson was born into a family where he had money and status. He could have just sat back and drifted along with few worries. Instead, he saw possibilities for a new nation that would give citizens more freedom than nation had ever been known. He, like many of his contemporaries, wanted to turn that possibility into reality. He invested his time, money, and energy, willing to risk everything he had-including his life-in order turn the possibility into actuality. And his willingness to invest all he had resulted in changing his future from one of a soft, lazy gentleman of means to one of the most important figures in history.
Like Jefferson, you must be willing to make the commitment and the short-term sacrifice to turn your possibilities into reality. Fortunately for us, we aren't risking our life, just our time, energy, and at bit of our resources. Nevertheless, turning our possibilities into reality can be just as life changing for us as fathering a new nation was for Jefferson.
- Figure Out Where You Want to Go: Unless you know where you are going, you're just drifting aimlessly-maybe you'll drift somewhere you want to be, maybe you won't. Set specific, measurable goals. At a minimum set goals for:
- Gross sales dollars
- Number of new clients
- Number of sales
- Monthly and annual income
- Figure Out Where You Need Help: Examine your strengths and weaknesses, then figure out where you need specific help. Is you weakness prospecting? Maybe it's building a relationship based on trust? Possibly it's in the area of persuasion. Maybe you have several areas of concern. If so, which area if improved would have the most immediate and/or dramatic impact on your career?
- Get Help NOW: Now that you know where you need help, it's time to put your time, energy, and money on the line-acquire the help. Whether it's a book, CD, webinar, seminar, or sales coach, don't hesitate, get it and get it now. Yes, you'll have to work, you may well have to spend some of your hard earned cash, and you'll have to change your behavior which is always hard to do. In other words, it probably won't be comfortable and there won't be a guaranteed result.
Once you've overcome one area of weakness, start on another. Although we never get to the point where we have perfected our sales skills, over time we will continue to get better and better.
- Eradicate Your Failure Demon: Many of us have to deal with more than just weaknesses that limit our potential for success; we also must deal with a personal demon that is actively blocking us from success. That demon can come in many forms. It may be one that whispers "you can't" or "that's going to be hard, leave it until tomorrow." Once you believe the demon that you can't, you can't; once he convinces you to leave it until tomorrow, tomorrow will never come.
The "you can't" and "leave it until tomorrow" demons haunt many of us, but even more common is the "you don't deserve it" demon. The "you don't deserve it" demon takes our history and turns it into a bat to bludgeon us with. Because we failed in the past, because we didn't do this or that, because we don't believe we're good enough, because we don't believe we've worked hard enough, because, because, because whatever, we don't deserve to succeed. The "you don't deserve it" demon is incredibly powerful. It can defeat the best training, the best product offering, the strongest success commitment. It wears on us and influences us to unconsciously sabotage our potential success.
If we want to succeed, we must defeat our failure demon, for, if we leave it to continue working on our psyche, we have little chance of success. We must recognize our demon and then recognize that its argument is false-we can if we want to, we don't have to put off until tomorrow what should be done today, and we do deserve success. We must give ourselves permission to succeed-and then be ever mindful not to let our personal demon creep back in.
- Don't Settle for Failure: The above steps are critical but they're still not enough. You have to make the commitment to succeed. Yes, you have to know where you're going and you certainly have to improve your skills. In addition you have to eradicate your failure demon. But you still haven't done enough. You have to commit yourself to succeeding-to putting in the time and the effort, to seeing enough prospects, making enough presentations, signing enough contracts. You have to be willing to not quit until you've met your goals.
Too many of us are willing to settle toward the end of the month for just getting close. We convince ourselves that we'll make it up next month. Of course, we don't. We just keep settling and the next thing you know; we need a miracle to meet our goals. Settling is just another word for failure.
Now is the time to make your possibility into your reality. Take the steps necessary, commit yourself to improving your skills, eradicate your failure demon, and refuse to settle, and you'll find that a new year and a new decade can create a new life for you and your family.
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