Good Or Bad It’s Over

The toughest test you face was not the month you just completed, but instead the one that lies ahead, because regardless of whether you had a good month or a bad month, it’s over. Depending on your month’s outcome, you become a can or will questioner. If you had a good month you question yourself, “Can I do it again,” but if you had a bad month, you hastily ask yourself, “Will this happen again?”

It’s not to downplay the fact that you had a good month (the operative word being had), but all too often, instead of celebrating for an evening, we wind up celebrating for an entire month. We throw ourselves congratulatory parades-strutting around the dealership wasting time by offering unwarranted advice to others, getting life advice from our favorite manger, taking long lunches, arriving late to work (because you have a few errands to run of course), and sneaking out leaving early to catch the new episode of Duck Dynasty.  In short, everything that you did to make yourself successful last month is nothing more than a distant memory.  Achieving short-term success is like being on a strict diet. Instead of enjoying your favorite foods in moderation, you instead elect to deprive yourself of delicacies-determined to reach your goal. Upon accomplishment, instead sipping the savory nectar of achievement then setting your sights higher, you slide back into the warm bed of complacency-reverting back to old ways and habits. Deterioration begins with second helpings, bigger sodas, and an assortment candies in your nightstand. Hitting the snooze button, you skip a few workouts which inevitably leads to a string of month-long hiatuses. Before you know it, you’re out of shape and buying pants with the ”forgiving” (elastic) waistband. Our month is much the same way; we pick a goal and set out with deep determination to fight toward achieving our goal. Exhausted, yet satisfied with accomplishment, we take our newfound wealth and elect to treat ourselves to a month long extravaganza and when the money runs out, we’re left party and penniless standing in the heap of a trashed month.

When you have a good month, enjoy your month-today not tomonth. Adopt an investor’s mindset instead of a lottery winner’s frame of mind.  Lottery winners traditionally seek an abundance of instant gratification whereas disciplined investors nibble at today’s successes, yet have their sights set on the feast of future opportunities. Having an investor’s mindset enables you become a big-picture thinker-ensuring today’s strokes equates to tomorrow’s masterpiece. Be in a state of positive paranoia, constantly questioning, “Will what I am doing right now, lead to my ultimate goal?” It will take practice to develop this mindset, but once you do, you will drive instead of drift through your month. Remember, you can only coast in one direction- develop the discipline of monitoring the “strokes” of your day. Today, did you develop a relationship with an orphaned service customer? Did you call 5 of your old customers, just to say hi? How many phone and Internet leads did you convert into appointments? What one product are you working on each day this week? In short, what did you do to create opportunities for yourself today? Developing a plan of attack each day will eliminate the, I don’t feel like it today, mindset because your day is already scripted. Coaches script the first 10 plays of game and then make the necessary adjustments-you should too.

If you had a bad month…it’s over, done, finished, booked. Move on! If you want to achieve different results, then work at becoming a different attrACTION. The quickest way out of your slump is to step back up to life’s plate and take action.  When most people hit the wall, they bury their heads in the sand and seek to validate themselves by hanging out with people who are as miserable as they are. Begin by hanging out with pushers not pullers- only associate yourself with people who are pushing through obstacles while climbing to the summit of success instead of mingling with people who constantly pull you down because they are too timid to fight and too afraid that you may succeed. 

When it’s bad, perform an autopsy on your month. Autopsies are performed in order to find a reason for the sudden loss of life-only to discover it wasn’t so “sudden” after all. It was discovered that blockage had been slowly building up-eventually corking the flow.  Similarly, your month didn’t suddenly die; it’s what you’ve been doing (or not doing) that has caused the buildup of blockage. You stopped planning your days, you no longer kept score of your daily efforts, you looked for problems instead of possibilities, and because of that, the life of your sales career became choked out.

Every today will become filed in tomorrow’s yesterdays.  Regardless of the outcome-good or bad, it’s over. Today is called present for a reason-use your gift wisely.

I’ll see you next time on the blacktop!

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