There is nothing more exciting than an "up from the ashes" success story. We'd all like to start on top, stay on top, end on top, and forever be on top…but that's not usually how it works. Success is generally not a "point A to point B" journey. Instead, it's messy. We go backward, then forward, and too often, sideways. It's the Hero's Journey, right? Dream, struggle, victory. Every great story follows that arc.
Amid a global pandemic, business leaders have faced unprecedented challenges. Many industries have been slowed or have stalled significantly. Business travel, conferences, and face-to-face meetings have been at a standstill. What was once commonplace and taken for granted is now something that is a pleasant, yet fleeting, memory.
There have been other events that impacted business for a time. Think 9/11, 2008, and Black Friday. However, this event has been uniquely different in that it's affecting all parts of our lives. Business professionals are navigating these more challenging waters while being concerned about their health and their family's health. Many are playing teacher and tutor. Business is tough, but navigating through this has proven to be just as tricky in your personal life.
It's time, for many, for a good 'ole fashioned, up-from-the-bootstraps comeback. How many are ready for a I'm-sick-and-tired-of-being-sick-and-tired moment? We need to rise. To scratch and claw. Remember why we are doing what we do in the first place…and a plan to stage the most remarkable comeback of our career.
Good thoughts, right? But how?
Have one good day.
Just one good day.
Forget next quarter or end of the year. Just one good day.
What are the elements of a good day? Here are three things that will get you on the right path to stage your comeback for the ages!
Start Your Day with Purpose
Henry Beecher Ward said, "The first hour of the morning is a rudder for the rest of the day." How do you spend the first hour of your day? Too many professionals are checking email within minutes of waking up and immediately jumping into reaction mode. Many check their social media channels before checking in with themselves. It's a terrible way to start the day, and it sets you up for failure.
Start your day with intention. Start by being deliberate about the essential things, but perhaps not urgent. Exercise and get the heart rate up. Journal. Read a devotional or inspirational passage. Practice yoga or mindfulness. When you intentionally engage with your spirit, body, and mind, you create momentum on the inside. That will always precede momentum on the outside.
Stay on the Right Side of the Trouble Line
When you perform business-related activities, you can complete them during certain times – Pay time and No Pay Time. Pay Time is when your prospects and customers are open, and you could potentially make a sale. No Pay Time would be the time they are not available.
Draw a line down the middle of your paper and then a line across the top. On the left column, write No Pay Time. Then, list the activities that you should do when you are outside of selling time. Next, label the right-hand column Pay Time. Write down a list of activities that you can only do during this time. That line in the middle? That's called the Trouble Line. You must stay on the right side of the Trouble Line if you hope to have momentum. Doing email, expense reports, research, LinkedIn scrolling during Pay Time is a recipe for failure.
Do your job. Prospect, Sell, Service
Regardless of your industry, there are three jobs your company must do – and do well – to thrive. First, you must prospect. Too many sales professionals treat prospecting like it's a choice. If you are in sales, prospecting is not a choice, and the sooner you can adopt that mindset, the more effective you will be. Prospect as if you do not have a choice. In reality, you don't.
We must have selling appointments and be good at managing a sales opportunity. Getting in front of enough prospects who can buy from you is an obvious key to success. Yet many sales professionals don't. How many appointments do you typically have in a given month? How many should you have? Does your number of meetings match your goals?
Finally, in many cases, we have to service what we sell. Some may hand-off the new customer to a service team, but many are there through delivery.
The challenge is to make sure you are spending time in each of these. Too often, we over service our customers, which means I'm not prospecting consistently…and not getting enough sales appointments. Over servicing customers does not create momentum. Over servicing customers is often a symptom of "prospecting avoidance."
Have One Good Day. Then Repeat.
We create our future by paying particular attention to the present. Define what your good day looks like for you. Execute. Then do it again.