As another summer rolls around, I’m asking my sales team an important question.
It’s a question that gets to the heart of their character and the success they want to achieve.
And it’s a question I hope you’re asking yourself and your sales team, too.
What are you doing this summer?
No, I’m not asking about your vacation plans or the new grill you want to buy.
I’m asking about the gap you want to bridge — the gap between where you are now and the legacy you want to leave behind.
You see, our sales team, our friends, family, teens, even us sales leaders can hit the cruise control or just coast through another summer, not really growing or stretching ourselves.
Finally, when October rolls around, you look down to see you put on 15 pounds, you’ve lost the momentum that you started the year with, and you feel like you failed yourself.
Because you have.
Now — this might not be you, but chances are you’re looking for a kick-in-the-pants to get this summer started off right.
Because the truth is, we each have limitless potential inside of us. And I believe we’re only tapping into about 20% of that potential. We have so much more fuel to burn, more to give, more skills to learn, more to be grateful for, and, of course, more money to make.
Ok ok, you’re probably asking yourself “Where do I start?” So today I’m highlighting four habits to adopt and actions to take to grow your character and career this summer. No more excuses. Let’s get to it.
Four Habits to Adopt This Summer
I read 30 minutes everyday, without fail. And you should too. I read books on leadership, sales, personal development, you name it. These days, I’m reading two to three sales books every month (I used to only read 2 books a year!).
Why read? Because I always say that success leaves clues. And books are treasure troves full of clues on how to become successful.
Reading books is different from reading articles or watching YouTube videos. The ideas in books are distilled and crystallized, they are carefully crafted and expertly worded so that nothing goes to waste. I know that 30 minutes spent in a good book each day is vital for my growth. I’ve seen the results and they speak for themselves.
What should you read? Read whatever fires you up! But I highly recommend books on how to improve at sales. You can also read white pages, case studies, biographies of business titans. Find out who achieved your dream, and learn from them. It’s really that easy. And the best part, a good book will only put you back $10-$15. Cheaper than a poolside margarita. It’ll last longer, too. So this summer, make the commitment to acquire the knowledge and skills that will position you for big wins in sales, business, and life.
#2 Intern or Apprentice.
You might be saying, “I’m Director of Sales at such and such company, no way am I going to intern or apprentice.” Well… not so fast.
While this is especially meant for young men and women just starting out in sales, this also applies to you. It just looks a little differently. In your case, your internship or apprenticeship should look like mentorship. That is, you should find a mentor who is willing to spend an hour on the phone once a week or once every other week.
There is always someone who has achieved a greater level of success than you. So this summer, you should carefully select someone who’s a leader of industry. You can recruit a mentor on LinkedIn, from your local business circles, and even by asking people you respect to refer you to someone.
Then you will listen. You will ask questions, of course, and listen feverishly. You will absorb, scribble notes, ask more questions, listen more, and file the wisdom away in a safe place so you can revisit it often. As you spend time with this person, this mentor, they will elevate your thinking and your belief in yourself. You won’t just grow, you’ll grow more than you ever thought possible. Sure beats sitting around and watching TV and getting fat, eh?
By the way, here’s a video I made on the topic. In the video, I’m specifically addressing a younger audience. But the principles are so sound that it works for EVERYONE, including you. Give it a watch…
Another vital habit for growth is training. So this summer, you should train like your growth depends on it… because it does!
First and foremost, you should train your body and get fit. The science is conclusive that exercising reduces stress, sharpens your focus, and increases your confidence. And if confidence isn’t important in sales, then nothing is.
Second, train your mind. You’ll be reading books of course, but also take online courses that are industry-specific. Join a mastermind group, enroll in a leadership program, even consider taking a class at your local college. Always be training your mind! Almost nobody else is doing this, so you will immediately start pulling away from the pack. This is your accelerator. Your turb-booster. Use it.
Finally, train your soul. I’m Catholic, and I believe in prayer. I believe when our soul is right with God, we can see more clearly, live with more gratitude, and perform better in business and in life. I won’t get preachy, but I’m sure you understand there’s a reason the trifecta of mind, body, and soul is a thing. So please don’t forget to feed your soul this summer.
#4 Elevate Your Environment
The places you visit and the people you surround yourself with play a massive role in achieving success. What does your circle of friends look like? What type of people are they? Do they always go out on the weekends and drink? Do they do drugs? Fool around behind the back of their spouse? Or are they standup people with goals and a vision they are laser-focused on? You need to surround yourselves by the latter group.
In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear writes that our environment is the invisible hand that shapes us. For me, I only want to be shaped by a positive environment that feeds my success rather than runs it dry. And you should desire the same. So this summer, be sure to tighten up your circle. Trim the fat. Befriend some visionaries. Because you have to remember, success attracts success, and failure attracts failure.
The bottom line is that you’re either growing or shrinking this summer, and it’s YOUR choice which one it is. It’s up to you to stretch yourself and really become the sales leader you were meant to be. And while it does take discipline, the formula is tried and true and actually quite simple.
Read more, find a mentor, train hard, and finally, elevate your environment by hand-selecting like-minded, success-driven friends and acquaintances. If you do this, you’ll be surprised by the person you’ll be when October rolls around. And remember, October WILL roll around. It’s coming. It’s your call on whether or not you’ll be on top of your game and ready when it does.
Until next time…