Are you a star?
We all have our ups and downs. I've had my fair share of downs. You could say the best part of my career has been defined by downs.
My definition of a sales "star" is not how many times you win, rather how many times you lose and willingly learn, grow and keep going. How much rejection are you prepared to take? How much constructive criticism or just plain criticism are you able to absorb? How much instant gratification will you forgo and still stay on task and motivated? To me, that's the ultimate measure of your character. Most people give-up after one or maybe two losses. Stars keep going!
The thing to understand about a "star" is they don't try to shine. They just do.
I don't believe there are unrealistic goals ― merely unrealistic time frames and pressures put on people to achieve them. My experience tells me goals will take on average just over twice as long as you think they will take to achieve. And it's this extra time that de-motivates and discourages people from staying the course until the goal is achieved.
Let's be honest, most goals are ambitions, right? Of course they are, that's the point. Goals also give you direction and meaning and should form the key outcomes of your strategy. But ambition more often than not makes goal setting prone to miscalculation and guesstimating.
Whenever I estimate a goal I apply my 2.2 Rule. You do this by estimating the best possible time to achieve a desired outcome and then you multiply the outcome-time by 2.2 and you will be somewhere near the right timeframe. I have applied this rule successfully with all types of executions from gross business revenue, cutting costs, reducing debt, sales targets, and even project management time-lines for estimating pricing. And it works.
The 2.2 Rule examples:
- I have a strategy to earn an annual income of $400,000 in 2 years: (2.2 x 2 = Real time 4.4 years).
- I have a strategy to create 300% sales growth in 12 months: (2.2 x 12 months = Real time 26.4 months).
- I have a strategy to deliver this project in three months: (2.2 x 3 months = Real time 6.4 months).
The '2.2 Rule' factors in everything you didn't plan for and foresee; which is usually significant. If you achieve your goal quicker ― great, power to you, but if you fall short, you are not left disempowered and in dissolution regarding whatever it is you set out to achieve, which invariably leads to quitting.
Many sales managers put unrealistic expectations on their new salespeople, which does little more than set the team member up to fail. I believe everyone has the potential to shine in their own ways; some just need a little more time to refine and develop their shine. Some may even be in the wrong sky, ie. the wrong job, career or role. And that's okay, the 2.2 Rule gives you time to reflect, refine and change approach if and when you need to.
Many of you that read my blog regularly know how big I am on process. You must have the right process to facilitate the right outcome. If you have achieved a goal in the past you will invariably use the same process to reproduce a similar goal.
If you have the right process, don't get caught up in setting unrealistic goals or you will find frustration and failure closer than you think. And don't be too disappointed if you haven't achieved a goal in the past or you are failing to achieve a goal today.
"Challenges are simply opportunities to gain clarity for what is truly important to you."
If something is truly important to you, then fight for it! Don't give up. It's okay to quit your approach and tweak your strategy, but don't give up the end game, keep going!
Do I shine all the time? Hell no! My sky has been darker than most for long periods of time. I don't get too caught up in the darkness, nor do I resign to it. But, when it's my time to shine, I take my opportunity to blaze away like there is no tomorrow.
Your time to shine is right now!
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Trent Leyshan is the founder and CEO of BOOM Sales! a leading sales training and sales development specialist. He is also the creator of The NAKED Salesman, BOOMOLOGY! RetroService, and the Empathy Selling Process.