Defining Moment

Are we willing to call ourselves out first before blaming someone or something?

It’s always easier to blame others, and sometimes they are at fault, but what have we done to cause the situation? How have we contributed?

And, more valuable to consider, is this even worth getting upset over?

Most things that happen are so insignificant that the best option becomes not saying anything at all. We can tap down the ego with a dose of humility.

Have we ever made a mistake before?
Have we dropped the food right before serving it?
Have we cut someone off in traffic?
Have we held up a checkout line with a lot of items?
Have we parked poorly between the lines?
Have we messed up an order?
Have we had one of the days where we just struggled?

So do other people.

Before causing a scene or yelling at someone or getting angry we need to be willing to look at that “mirror” and tell ourselves that we are in control.

Our actions, right now, define us.

Humility.
Empathy.
Compassion.

These are the traits we want others to exude when we mess up or are having a bad day.

We need to take that into consideration next time we are in that situation.

How will that moment define us?

Defining Moment2022-08-11T20:13:34-04:00

Fast and Slow

We can get it in our heads that if we’re not moving forward, fast and furious, then we will be left behind.

This is one of the self-limiting beliefs I had for many years. The notion that there is some race.

What I’ve come to realize is that we can all move forward, extremely fast, but it comes at a big cost. We rush projects, we rush parenting, we rush our partners. We are so worried about the days ahead that we forget the moment we are in right now.

We can all go fast.

But it’s the ones who can be still that achieve the most happiness.

They gain perspective on the world around them. They ponder decisions. They develop new routines by analyzing current ones. They open their eyes to new possibilities. They think.

This can’t be done when we are moving a mile a minute. It’s impossible.

The only way to speed up is to slow down. Retool the engine. Refine the skills. Be thoughtful about the next course of action.

With that, we can have the opportunity to move at a greater clip while recognizing that it’s important for intermittent stops.

We have to give ourselves this time to pause.

It’s the only way we’ll ever get ahead.

Fast and Slow2022-07-09T17:45:12-04:00

Nuclear Reactor

We all go through anguish and despair and none of those emotions should be taken lightly.

We need to lean into those. Embrace those. Sit in the suck of those moments.

But then we have to have perspective. We don’t really know how it’s going to turn out from here. We don’t know what will happen. We don’t know where this will lead us in our life.

And, hopefully, that will give us some assurance that we’ll be okay. Because we’ve been here before. Maybe not exactly, but we’ve felt these feelings and been in similar waters.

All we can try to do is have a positive perspective on what will come next.

As the Stoics have said, we can’t always control what’s happening but we can control our reaction to it.

Think. Cry. Reflect. Get emotional. Be with those thoughts and feelings.

And then endure and embrace the potential opportunities that lie ahead.

We can’t know for certain what will happen. But we can control whether our outlook will be positive or negative.

We do have that choice in the matter.

Nuclear Reactor2022-04-14T14:06:36-04:00

Being Present

One day at a time.

One conversation at a time.

One moment at a time.

Instead of hoping and envisioning what could happen. Be present with what is happening.

This moment matters the most. Cherish it and give it our all.

We may not know what the crystal ball holds for us in the future but we can make this moment the most glorious it can be.

Happiness isn’t found in dreaming of the future; it’s in living in the present moment.

It’s about just being.

Being Present2022-05-06T13:33:04-04:00

Boiling Point

Water is just water. Until it gets hot enough and starts to boil. It’s still water but now it’s boiling hot and creating a new, gaseous state that wasn’t there before.

We don’t know exactly when because there are many factors to get it to the exact temperature. It depends on the amount of water, the consistency of the heat applied, and outside factors (like salt).

But, at some point, when the conditions are right, it boils.

The same can be true for the work we want to put out in the world. It never gets noticed, picked up, or becomes helpful to us or others until we actually create it, consistently, over time and put energy or “heat” into the process.

We have to be willing to endure the long arduous process of creating with nothing happening. Sometimes, it can be like watching water boil.

But, like the water, we have to be willing to stay consistent and wait it out. We have to be willing to believe that the generous work we are giving to the world will be noticed and appreciated.

When the conditions are right, our time will come.

We may not know the exact time but we’ll be ready.

Boiling Point2022-03-18T17:45:03-04:00

Fools Rush In

Hurrying is a fool’s errand.

It means we were unprepared. We failed to anticipate obstacles and we had to rush to hopefully make up for those pitfalls. Potentially, that enters in more new obstacles or mistakes.

When we are always finding ourselves in a hurry, rushing to finish things, putting out fires, or “busy”, we must first have the awareness to look within at what we can control.

Although it’s easy to blame the outside world for meetings, extra work, or the lights that keep turning red it becomes much more powerful to recognize the control we have well before these even enter into reality.

Creating systems and rules to be better-prepared upfront can eliminate the need for countless “on the fly” decisions when we are behind.

Preparation can become one of the sharpest tools in your arsenal.

Fools Rush In2022-07-17T09:04:37-04:00

Chillin’ Out, Maxin’, Relaxin’ All Cool

The need for patience always comes at the most difficult times. The times when we need to take a deep breath or a “chill pill” we are normally racing around a mile a minute and worrying.

That’s where the practice of patience becomes an important part of our accessory work.

Sitting in thought. Or silence. Or going through past scenarios and how we could’ve handled them differently are all necessary practices to learn more patience.

It’s hard work. It’s uncomfortable work.

But it’s powerful.

Even sitting with our eyes closed for 5 minutes a day will bring us the mindfulness to exercise patience when we need it most. Maybe some days we might need more time, too. That’s okay and we should reward ourselves with it.

We’ll only know if we put in the work in the first place and see how we feel.

Let’s become prepared for those future moments by getting uncomfortable now and learning how to deal with them.

Patience becomes a great ally we want on our side.

Chillin’ Out, Maxin’, Relaxin’ All Cool2022-07-07T20:49:21-04:00

Stressed Out

Stress: a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances

Stress, in the general sense, is caused by our unwillingness to accept the situation we are currently presented with. 

If everything was going as planned we wouldn’t be stressed. We’d feel good and we’d probably be in control. 

The next time we feel the onset of stress we have to look at the situation that is transpiring and recognize that we may not be in control of something or someone. 

Life is always going to be a struggle and it’s when we can control our emotions when we can’t control the situation that we have the best opportunity to let the stress subside more quickly and deflate a highly intense situation. 

By being accepting of these adverse circumstances, we give ourselves a better chance to let the stress pass by without causing undue harm. The harm that can end up being worse off than what got us stressed out in the first place.

Stressed Out2021-09-27T09:55:59-04:00

Compounding Efforts

Similar to yesterday, the earth made a full rotation. We didn’t feel it but we know it happened. We are back to the same spot where we started.

But are we?

The sun may be hanging in the sky but it’s in a slightly different position. Incremental but different. The weather is too. And so is that tree you might be looking up at. 

It’s all changed. But it’s so small we don’t even see it. 

Warren Buffet once said, “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a seed a long time ago”. 

That’s how growth looks. It’s small, almost microscopic, that we don’t realize it’s happening at the moment. But it’s happening to us and around us. 

The book we’re reading might inspire us to start something new and magical which leads us to become happier. 

The garden we wanted to start might soon become a banquet of nourishment for a local shelter. 

The person we mentored might go on to create something important that impacts the world positively. 

Our actions today can create a better world tomorrow for ourselves and the others around us. 

We must be willing to plant the seed and keep watering it every day. We may not be able to see it grow quickly but we know the work we are doing is generous and necessary and will produce fruitful results, one way or another. 

We don’t always know what those results will be but we’ll never have the chance to find out if we don’t start today.

Compounding Efforts2021-09-21T11:34:21-04:00

Reppin’ It Out

As a beginner learner, it is highly important to focus on the number of repetitions (reps) you get versus making the motion perfect.

Far too often we try to critique the technique and that can limit us from trying and learning over and over and over again.

We are better off shooting 100 shots however we feel is best for us versus getting say our footwork perfect or the proper knee bend or extension of the arms through the shot, etc.

Sometimes, letting people use their natural ability to figure it out by themselves is much more effective in the long run than telling them exactly what they need to do.

Experience is the elixir that can set our success in rapid motion and put us on a path toward accelerated learning.

Reppin’ It Out2021-09-21T11:34:52-04:00

Progress Isn’t Perfect

We can often get discouraged if we compare ourselves to what others are doing. It’s easy with the access we have to social networks. We get a glimpse of how everyone else appears to be prospering while we are paddling like hell in a circle.

We read their books, see their bodies, and admire their art. We convince ourselves that in some way they are better than us and it causes us to question ourselves and our mission.

What we fail to recognize is they once started from a blank canvas, they had a shitty first draft, and they couldn’t do a pull-up. At some point, they were a beginner. They struggled. They had to tear down their castle many times in disappointment and rebuild it better and stronger than before. They have the calluses to prove it.

Progress isn’t perfect and there is no stopwatch on when you might be done.

Progress can be slow but slower movement in the direction we want to head is better than being stationary with no plans to get started at all.

It doesn’t have to be big or bold, it just has to be something you care about that can strike that first flame to start the fire.

So maybe down the line when someone is admiring our work we can pause and reflect and raise a small grin and remember the time we stared at a “blank canvas” and weren’t sure where to begin.

But we did.

We have the calluses to prove it.

patience

September 28, 2022

We can often get discouraged if we compare ourselves to what others are doing. It’s easy with the access we have to social networks. We get a glimpse of how everyone else appears to be prospering while we are paddling like hell in a circle.

We read their books, see their bodies, admire their art. We convince ourselves that in some way they are better than us and it causes us to question ourselves and our mission.

What we fail to recognize is they once started from a blank canvas, they had a shitty first draft, they couldn’t do a pull-up. At some point, they were a beginner. They struggled. They had to tear down their castle many times in disappointment and rebuild it better and stronger than before. They have the calluses to prove it.

Progress isn’t perfect and there is no stopwatch on when you might be done.

Progress can be slow but slower movement in the direction we want to head is better than being stationary with no plans to get started at all.

It doesn’t have to be big or bold, it just has to be something you care about that can strike that first flame to start the fire.

So maybe down the line when someone is admiring our work we can pause and reflect and raise a small grin and remember the time we stared at a “blank canvas” and weren’t sure where to begin.

But we did.

We have the calluses to prove it.

Progress Isn’t Perfect2022-04-22T20:09:46-04:00

What Are We Fighting For?

Each day we might find ourselves in situations that call on us to battle others. Inevitably, some of these situations might be warranted to protect ourselves and our families.

But have we considered the ones that aren’t?

Our battles can be justified strongly with our ego and the “win at all costs” mentality.

But the question we might consider asking ourselves beforehand is, “What are we fighting this battle for anyways?”. Although we may end up feeling we got the “W”, at what cost did it come?

Could humility, patience, and perspective took us on a completely alternative path. One where understanding and compassion guide our emotions and lays the foundation for future decisions on battles.

A path of our choosing where we never have to battle in the first place.

What Are We Fighting For?2021-07-29T16:49:51-04:00

Headwinds

We can try to fight through the headwinds and appear to chop away slowly without realizing we are actually losing ground if we use our stubbornness to guide the way.

Sometimes going a different direction might appear to be taking a step sideways but catching the prevailing trail winds can propel us further and faster on the path we wanted to be on all along.

We have to consider the long-term effects of taking the “safe play” and letting the sunk costs of past decisions affect us for the road ahead.

Trust and decisiveness during difficult times can make all the difference.

Headwinds2021-07-25T21:16:54-04:00

Are You In The Sandbox?

Have you ever watched a kid play in the sandbox?

Some waddle in, others go full-throttle, while plenty scope out the landscape before they enter.

I’ve never seen a kid not go in when the thought of playing in one is presented to them.

Kids are not held back by self-limiting beliefs. They don’t question what could go right or wrong.

They want to play, test, taste, and then iterate.

It may not be the iteration you think of but they iterate.

They build a castle, they knock it down.

They start to dig and then stop.

They drag a rake to make a road, and then they fill it with water for a moat.

Kids instinctively have an idea in their head, baked out or otherwise, as they enter the sandbox.

Then they keep ironing it out. Over and over. attempt after attempt.

It’s not about how great their masterpiece is or isn’t. That’s not what is most important.

It’s the fact that they went into the sandbox in the first place.

Are You In The Sandbox?2021-03-19T10:41:48-04:00

Patience: Part 1 of 8 – The Evolution of the Modern Day Sales Professional

patience

In Part One of this Eight-Part Series, I wanted to touch on what I feel is arguably the most underrated of all attributes to have as a sales professional, Patience.

I can understand why this is the case, though. For years the adage has always been to “sell, sell, sell” and “more, more, more” and it basically has been wired into our DNA that we aren’t doing enough and need to keep pushing harder. Although sales have changed drastically in the last decade, this mindset still exists.

It’s okay to move fast, there is nothing wrong with that as long as expectations are laid out but what causes a lot of issues is when we move at a different speed than the potential client and moreover when we try to push the accelerator when the potential client and we haven’t taken into consideration the true timeline of the potential client.

In any dealings with any human being, the quicker we can get to the right decision is always better. It means we can move forward to the next step and continue to grow. Nobody can argue that. I make sure I do that on (almost) every call with a potential client. We want to make sure we are on the same page in regard to where we stand. That’s fair. Where I messed up a lot early on with this is that if there is a needed break in the normal cadence or a timeline shift I might not have picked up on these cues and my “follow-ups” weren’t always on point. Luckily, I learned this early on and is still something I practice consistently.

You must not get happy ears when talking about the timeline and have to fully understand the next steps, future decision, evaluation process, or whatever other points on the map that need to be hit before a partnership is finalized. Patience is the secret weapon here. I’ve seen it all too often where we want to “get it in before the end of the month” and start to sound selfish and pushy. Generally, this has come with pressure from management to want to close business. This is where you need to really go with your gut. I’ve had this situation happen a lot. I always go with what I think is right. Except for a couple of times, and luckily I avoided disaster.

I’ll share a quick story that relates to this.

I was working a fairly substantial potential partnership that gave us the green light to move forward but had delayed multiple times due to internal hurdles. I had a great relationship with an internal champion and was getting fed a lot of intel so I knew where the hold-up might have been. In the meantime, they (my champion) was also dealing with a lot of challenges in their own role and things that had surfaced that were unforeseen.  He went dark on me for many weeks which was uncommon. I respectfully reached out a few times here and there not being pushy and understanding what he was up against. 

No answer. No response. Weeks piled up. 

After about 8 weeks passed with no response, I started to get pressure from my manager as our expected close date was approaching even though I had been transparent all along where things were at. He asked me if we should reach out to someone else there, my Champion’s boss, to get an update. I refused and pushed back knowing that person was mainly controlling the budget but not too involved in the overall choice. If we overstep my champion that could put a serious “knife in the back” feel to my champion and alter the partnership altogether.

I knew they were partnering with us and things like this just come up. After repeated pressure over and over I finally caved and said I would call his boss and try to get an update. Fortunately, the day I called he was out of the office and I decided not to leave a voicemail. Before I called back another time days later, I reached back out to my champion and fortunately received a response.  A little luck is never a bad thing.

But I was right. He apologized profusely for the lack of communication and shared what had been going on and how it’s been a nightmare over there due to some unforeseen business challenges with their organization. It wasn’t that he was trying to avoid me but he was just busy with his full-time job. We were all good and were able to proceed and keep the relationship going forward. 

Luckily, that situation didn’t hurt me but it confirmed a valuable lesson.

When you are a sales professional and are responsible for a quota you have to own that quota 100%. You have to do what is in the best interest of the client and yourself and trust your judgment all the way. You also have to remember that the person(s) you are working with has 40 other priorities to deal with on their end not counting personal life issues and things you have no idea might be going on. Having the proper level of patience shows that you respect their situation and that you have a relationship built on trust and communication, hopefully, established early on, and that wins in the long run. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and trying to speed up something that isn’t meant to be sped up can put you in a bad position. 

On that note, there is one other piece of the patience puzzle I wanted to touch on. The micro-side of patience.

The micro-side is something extremely important as well and it involves each and every interaction with a potential client. 

How many times have you received an email later in the sales process and just replied straight back to exactly what they are asking for? I bet the answer is almost 100%. 

But I’d suggest a different route. This is a great example of where patience can work in your favor. Why are they asking that question? What additional conversations have happened internally that posed that question? Does the answer, one way or another, change the direction? A question generally has much more meaning behind it and I always pick up the phone and try to get my potential client on a quick call to clarify. It allows us to make sure we are fully on the same page and we understand each other and it also recalibrates the next steps and timeline and confirms we are still in line with that as well.

Responding quickly just to get it done isn’t always the best approach and sometimes it takes additional time and energy to flush out a situation and learn the nuances and reasoning behind it.

This is most important when it comes to phone calls and the speed of your messaging, response to questions, and time on the phone. When you are trying to rush to just get through it you miss a lot of valuable information that is helpful during the partnership discovery.

Sales are like professional dating that if you build enough rapport and trust early on in the conversation you can go well past the intended endpoint. If things are going well, why rush through it. Be thoughtful, be insightful, ask deeper and curious questions, get to the bottom of something you don’t understand.

All of these things happen when you have a mindset focused on patience and an understanding that you are in control most of the time but the times that you aren’t you need to be okay with taking a deep breath and letting someone else lead even if it doesn’t match up with your expected timeline or path to finalizing the partnership.

Remember, patience is underrated so this might be one of the biggest areas you can find improvement in right away.  Start to think about areas in your entire sales process, both internal and client-facing, where you can start to leverage a more patient attitude and style and I’m confident you’ll start noticing a big change in the overall structure of your sales pipeline, relationships, and eventual partnerships.

Thanks for reading!

Carpe Diem,

Brian

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Patience: Part 1 of 8 – The Evolution of the Modern Day Sales Professional2021-03-19T10:43:06-04:00

The Evolution of the Modern Day Sales Professional

patience

You don’t need me to tell you this but this is a TON of information out there on the sales profession and a million different opinions on what you should do and how you should do it. From prospecting new clients to navigating the sales cycle, to follow-ups and referrals, it’s borderline exhausting. It’s a big topic, I get it. But it can also be confusing for a lot of the new people that are trying to sell products whether you are “carrying your own bag” for an organization, are running your own business, or are pitching investors and gaining proof-of-concept in a start-up. I think there is an easier way.

I want to strip that all away for a moment and focus on the key characteristics that I feel are essential across the board for any sales professional to succeed. I’ve seen it first hand and it’s not complicated. It’s just logical and takes time to refine and sharpen. However, if you put the time into each and every one of these I am confident that you’ll be able to reach new heights in your career and start to understand the relationship element that is so vital in any partnership.

We are in a new era of sales with much more information out there for the buyer, and frankly, a much savvier buyer which I love. The reason I love it is because human interaction and relationships matter again. Honesty matters. Integrity matters. Respect matters.

I don’t think these things ever went away but a lot of software products were ahead of their time before the client could actually form an opinion and do thorough due diligence. Now, with much more information at their fingertips and the curve from innovators moving to the early and late majority there is more of a level playing field and buyers are back in control.

Times are changing and I feel this new age of sales is going to weed out a lot of those sales professionals that stick with the old way of doing it and fail to make the shift. You are going to have to have true empathy, you are going to actually put the client first, you are going to be professional and brutally honest in your responses when you can do something and when you can’t.

I think the hardest part about sales is all of the BS and bad habits people have learned for years that they try to wedge, fit, or shimmy into an already broken process. They drive to regurgitate what they learned in a book 10 years ago. It doesn’t work that way anymore. People are too smart. That all changes today.

I don’t have all the answers, far from it, but what I do feel I have uncovered is a clear path that new and old sales professionals alike can be cognizant of and continue to build on as they develop their “in-game’ skills. These are not tricks and tactics but the characteristics that will be paramount to future success. None of these should be a surprise but I hope they make you think a bit more about how you project yourself in your business dealings and where you can find areas to improve.

Here are the main areas I am going to focus on:

  • Patience
  • Empathy
  • Candor
  • Humility
  • Consistency
  • Persistence
  • Punctuality
  • Respect

Over the next 8-part series I’ll break into each of these areas, share some personal stories, and hopefully get you to focus inward on self-awareness and how we can improve in all of these areas. Like a video game, we all have different levels of each of these, and some rank higher in certain areas than others. I expect you to be strong in some and weak in others. What is important is that we know we can improve in all of these areas and my goal is to get you to think differently about each and every one of these and how it applies toward working through partnerships in your sales career going forward.

Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

Carpe Diem,

Brian

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The Evolution of the Modern Day Sales Professional2021-03-19T10:43:06-04:00
  • Joel Runyon Profile Headshot

Joel Runyon

JOEL RUNYON

EPISODE 26: Endurance Athlete | Founder, ImpossibleHQ

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Episode 26 was a blast!  I met Joel in August when he came to speak at our company and share the journey of the past 9 years and how this whole thing came together.  It’s an incredible story of perseverance, patience, grit, and a little luck.  We go in depth on a variety of topics and he shares a lot of great insight on his daily routines and how he prepares for these long races.

About Joel:

Joel Runyon is an athlete and entrepreneur. He is the founder of IMPOSSIBLE – a company dedicated to helping people push their limits and do impossible things.

In 2017, he became the youngest person in the world to run 7 ultra marathons on 7 continents. Along the way, he raised $192,000 for Pencils of Promise and built 7 schools.

He is very bad at saying “no” to a challenge.

Find Joel Online:

Website: https://impossiblehq.com/

Instagram (Personal): https://www.instagram.com/joelrunyon/

Instagram (ImpossibleHQ) https://www.instagram.com/impossiblehq/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/joelrunyon/

……..

If you enjoyed this interview you may also like my Just Get Started Podcast Interview with Marshal Mosher, Co-Founder of Vestigo

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Joel Runyon2020-02-01T19:49:05-04:00
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