This is a little different. I haven’t really done this before.
Last week I wrote and posted a blog entitled:
7 Nations Salespeople Should Visit (Click on this link to read that blog)
I received some really great feedback on this blog…and a lot of it. The reason I think this article resonated with so many people is that there were over 20 questions (23 to be exact) that I challenged you to ask yourself.
I wrote that:
The QUALITY of your questions will determine the QUALITY of your career (and life).
The blog was built around words that ended in –Nation. Ya know, Reincar-NATION, Illumi-NATION…lots of good NATION words. I thought I took you on a tour of all of the right “nations”.
…But one guy—and there’s always that one guy—informed me that I had “forgotten” a very important NATION. In fact, he got kind of pushy with me…”Dude, I can’t believe you didn’t have determination in your blog. It seems this would be the MOST important nation to visit.”
He fronted me out. Normally, I wouldn’t even acknowledge stuff like this, but he is a loyal CAP Equation subscriber and we are in bible study together, so I can’t really blow the guy off. I have to see him every week!
You have to figure that, after all this time in sales, I have developed some super effective methods of shutting people up. I pulled one of these foolproof strategies out of my bag of tricks. I simply told him to draft a 1,000 word blog on the word “determination,” and send it to me.
That’ll shut him up, I thought.
Got that ‘know-it-all’ off my back.
And then the blog article below arrives in my inbox this morning. Crap! And it was really good—really thoughtful—a darn good piece of writing.
What the heck am I supposed to do? I gotta’ publish it, right?
So, here we go. This marks the first time I am allowing some random, run-of-the-mill, CAP subscriber to AMEND to one of my blogs.
(All kidding aside, Arthur, and his wife, Nicole are friends and wonderful people and I am so impressed with Arthur’s thoughtful nature and writing ability.)
Enjoy this…it’s really good!
The Eighth Nation
A 951 word blog amendment by Arthur Saldanha
In his most recent blog post, Joe B discussed seven specific “nations” which we, as salespeople, need to visit. I was quite surprised to find that one didn’t make the list and wanted to share my thoughts on this eighth nation. I truly believe that after we have gained citizenship in the seven nations Joe discussed, there still remains one last, which will determine our longevity and success in the business.
I would propose that this eighth nation is this:
Why am I doing what I am doing?
I mean this both existentially and practically and have found that both approaches serve me well when the going gets tough. Full disclosure: Unlike Joe B., a giant in our industry with over thirty years of experience, I’m an infant, with just over thirty months in the business. So, while far be it for me to dictate what makes one successful in this business, I can speak to what has kept me in it for this long, despite setbacks, failures and exhaustion.
Quite simply, I find that when I return to this one thing, identifying my “Why,” I am re-energized and revitalized. As author, Simon Sinek, stated in his well-known TED talk about The Golden Circle, “Nobody cares what you do until they know why you do it.” We have to—as Sinek’s book proclaims—Start With Why.
For me, with the question “Why am I doing what I am doing?” at the hub of my efforts, each action I execute—prospecting, meeting with brokers and other paid networking partners, closing groups, and enrolling policyholders—is a spoke emanating from that center. So with each effort, I must ask on a more minute level, “Why am I doing what I am doing right now?” Said another way, “How does what I’m doing at this moment serve the overarching `Why’ of my vocational purpose?”
Each of those spokes must propel us forward, driving us towards the end goal of serving our “Why.” Here’s the catch, though: That “Why” needs to be bigger than yourself. It needs to be selfless. It needs to be a catalyst that thrusts you further and deeper into a career in which you make a living in the SERVICE of other people, not at the EXPENSE of other people.
When our “Why” is shortsighted and self-oriented, the joy we feel—if any—upon achieving our goals is brief, fleeting, even impotent. But when we use our gifts and talents to serve a “Why” that serves others; we don’t just leave behind a trail of lasting success. We leave a legacy of lives touched and changed. And that is a joy that lasts and that further fuels us to stay the course, to maintain our trajectory, and work towards the next milestone of success in our career.
At this point, you might be thinking, “Enough with the rainbows and unicorns. What does this have to do with determination?” Quite simply this: Determination isn’t just about true grit or putting our nose to the grindstone or burning the midnight oil. Or any other euphemism you can think of that makes determination sound, well, not fun.
When we see determination as a “have to” our work becomes a chore. But when we have a “Why” at the core of what we do, that “have to” transforms into a “blessed to.” And when we are blessed to do something, we have no choice but to pass it on. When our determination stems from a solid, focused, others-centered “Why” and our day-to-day activities—the minutiae and specifics of our business—have purpose that stems from and supports that central “Why,” we are blessed to be a blessing to everyone around us, from our clients and prospects to our families and neighbors. And the reciprocity that this kind of determination generates only serves to further fuel the engine of productivity.
I have to admit here that there have been a few times in my short 30-odd months in the business when I have wanted to throw in the towel; just quit and work a safe job earning a salary and enjoying comfortable benefits. To be honest, I’m in the midst of one of those times right now. But what keeps me going, what gets me out of bed every morning is the knowledge that my work has meaning and that the services I provide not only help companies stay productive, profitable and competitive in this precarious business landscape but, just as importantly, they help protect these companies’ employees—my end user clients, the policyholders—stay financially stable as well, during these tough financial times. Said another way, I help hard-working Americans protect everything they have worked so hard for.
This “Why” has no direct impact on me. It shouldn’t really matter to me if a policyholder of mine goes bankrupt or has no way to get back on his feet after a critical illness or injury. Should it? I mean, it’s not my life. But if the well-being of others doesn’t matter to me, then there can only be one other reason I do what I do: the money. And that is not a driver of determination. That’s a reward of it.
When we focus just on money, the money won’t come. But when we focus on people, the money will always be there. You see, the money comes when we no longer see it as our goal, as our “Why,” or as a source of our determination but, rather, when we recalibrate our vision to see income as a reward of achieving our goal, as a realization of our “Why,” and as a byproduct of this eighth “Nation”, determination.
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Joe Buzzello is a nationally recognized expert on direct selling and sales leadership. He has built legacy sales teams and experienced unprecedented success in individual and business-to-business markets as well as the network marketing industry. Joe has held executive level positions for Fortune 500 companies, but he has never strayed far from the art and science of selling, which he loves. In early 2014, Joe began writing, speaking, and coaching through his proprietary platform, The CAP Equation©. Please visit Joe at: http://www.CAPequation.com