Thought this was a great place to start a new blog post. I loved this quote from Will Rogers, who was a famous actor in the early 20th century.
If you are “just sitting there” like the quote above suggests, you are in danger of getting run over. The sports world, the business world and personal growth in general demand nearly constant striving for improvement, There are a lot of people out there willing to hustle; while they are not the majority, there is enough of them that you have to keep moving to stay ahead. When you do manage to get a handle on things, you must keep doing those same things to stay on track. There is no “I made it” where you get to coast for a long time and do nothing. When you find a way to get the world bending in your favor, you have to continue those practices to stay on that track. When you live right and do the right things, the universe typically rewards that positive behavior and mindset. But you never get to have the luxury of status quo forever.
I have been guilty of this as well as the opposite in my life. There have been times where I thought, ok, now I can dial it back a notch and coast. In sales, the reason your compensation is structured to keep you hunting and closing deals is so that you are not going to get lazy. If you do, it won’t be for long, as the dip in pay will catch your attention quickly. If the type of sales you do is longer term sales cycles, there isn’t a day off to be had in some sense. You always have to be digging up new opportunities and putting things in motion, otherwise the funnel runs dry and you end up starting from scratch. “From scratch” in commission sales means at least 60 days if not longer before more money rolls in. There are some luxuries to the sales game, however, this is not one of them…
On the opposite side of the coin, I have also been guilty of not ever appreciating what I have accomplished. In my racquetball career, if I won a tournament, I was back in the gym by Tuesday. I was still sore from a grueling weekend, and yet back at it to get ready for the next one. I didn’t celebrate enough, give myself the needed pat on the back and “well done” message that was not only appropriate, but earned. I NEVER sat still, not even for a moment. I should have, there are times when it is necessary to let your mind rest and your body recover. There have been times I have done this in my sales career too. I was so used to being a road warrior in my racquetball days that doing the same thing in my job seemed natural. That previous method produced results, so why not replicate it?
As with most things in life:
BALANCE IS THE KEY.
You have to find the balance with all of the things you do and apply the correct amount of effort to not get run over, but not end up burned out either. I literally just thought of this equation, but I think you need to give 100% effort eighty percent of the time.
Here is how I can to that conclusion:
There are 168 hours every week
If you sleep 8 hours a day (and you should!) that leaves 112 hours.
If you work 50 hours a week, that leaves you 62 hours to yourself.
If you work out an hour a day, four days a week (and you should!) that leaves you 58 hours in a week for you to spend time with family and loved ones, do stuff around the house, grocery shop, hang out with friends, etc.
This gets you to that 80% mark of 135 hours of a week.
Each of these categories deserve (command) your total focus, effort and present-mindedness. This is how successful people operate and the very definition of focus: doing what you are doing while you are doing it. If you are working, you can’t be focused on our significant other or your dating app(s), your friend’s problems or struggles, or anything else. You have to give your full attention to what you are doing right now, and then move on to the next thing. You repeat that pattern throughout the week, giving maximum effort and focus on your work, your workout, your time spent with friends and family. In that remaining 33 hours, your mind can wander, you can daydream, play video games, or just stare at the ceiling if you wish. Any of these things listed in the previous sentence are a good way for your brain to rest and recover. It is a necessary part of performing at a high level of extended periods of time.
You need to put an operating system in place for maximum reward of your efforts. Your goal should be to find the balance in your life that facilitates you performing at as high a level as possible, for as long as possible, as often as possible. This will serve a twofold purpose: Getting the most out of each week, and avoiding burnout by having planned breaks intermingled throughout the week. I wish I would have known this way back when, but better late than never! I adhere to this as best I can now, and it is paying off handsomely. I suggest you follow suit…
I wish you luck in your endeavors.