In most careers, and in life in general, success tends to be measured over long spans of time. Selling is unique in that we have the long-term goals to achieve, but we also measure our success on every lead, every sales call, every attempted close and every sales period. We need to define our own measure of sales career success.
It is difficult to feel successful in a career where most of our interim goals result in failure, so you need to focus on the larger picture and define your own measure of sales career success
Success: What does it mean to you? Does it mean more money, lots of friends, a nicer house, a better car, trips around the world, fame, power, better relationships, more toys or more achievements? For many people, success is something they don’t already have. For others, it is keeping what they have. And for still others, success is the thrill of the chase.
Success means different things to different people. However, true success can never be a race with humanity or your neighbor. It isn’t a contest between you and a sibling or a business associate. It isn’t winning or accumulating. Success isn’t a comparison of you to anyone else. If this were true, then you could determine your success level by deciding whom you would compare yourself to.
To me, success is who you are becoming. If you focus on that, then you will never have to worry about getting more or keeping what you have. For many people, this philosophy is strange, but in 55 years of life, I’ve learned that I will never have it all, see it all, learn it all, become it all, do it all or share it all. It’s not that kind of world. Success is the ability to live the kind of life you choose without interference from or dependency on others. And yet it’s important to realize that, when life comes to an end, achievements won’t matter if we haven’t helped our fellow man in some way.
In your reach toward your goals and personal fulfillment, consider the following thoughts before you go any farther. Develop with your own definition of success or challenge your current idea of success. Then shake off your fears and go after your dreams.
Watch Out For Unfulfilling Definitions of Success
Traditional success thinking says that more is better, bigger is better and nicer is better. However, I have friends who have it all (so they think), and they still aren’t happy or don’t feel any sense of peace. I have business associates who have fame, power and wealth, and they are still searching for the meaning of life.
Success: Journey or destination?
The popular definition of success is that success is a journey, not a destination. But after years of thought, I’ve realized that success is neither a destination nor a journey.
The process of attaining success is filled with disappointment, frustration, stress, anxiety, failure, risk, sacrifice and loneliness. That doesn’t sound promising, so why would anyone begin the process? It is also filled with achievement, satisfaction, happiness, contributions to the lives of others, personal growth, valuable life lessons, recognition, peace, harmony and freedom.
Each of us in our day-to-day lives create our own personal statement of the meaning and purpose of our lives. We leave behind a legacy of either value or nothingness; we make that choice, given the variety of decisions we make and actions we take along the way. We create our destiny one day and one choice at a time.
An old cliché says, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” Success also isn’t a destination, but how we handle and enjoy the present, moment by moment. The way each of us lives in the present is personal and should be too individual for other people’s judgments, opinions or interpretations to have much influence on it.
What is the measurement of success?
Measuring success is an elusive concept. How do you measure happiness, well-being, health or any of the other intangible objectives that many people have as their definition of success?
Every one of us can teach someone something. We can all share a little of what we have with someone less fortunate. And all of us can learn to understand that if success is about possessions, power, fame, ego, money and influence, then we will never be satisfied with whatever we get — we will want more. I don’t mean to imply that these things aren’t good or worthy goals; I am suggesting that once you have them, if they are how you define success, you may never be able to quiet that inner urge for more and bigger.
Write Your Own Definition Of Success
Everyone in life wants success and happiness. But these mean different things to each of us: Some people want successful relationships. Others want financial freedom. Some people want challenging work or careers, great kids, freedom of choice and the ability to control their destinies. Some want fame, power and influence. Some want leisure, while others want to learn and grow.
Many people say they want more success but can’t get specific about what that means for them. They wander through life from day to day and year to year without a clue about what they really want, and then they act surprised when they don’t get it. Life does tend to give us what we desire, work for and believe in. But if we lack a clear vision, unrelenting belief, and consistent focused action, then we will inherit the appropriate results.
Go for your goals
Success and happiness don’t happen by accident. They are the result of purposeful pursuit of what you want and believe you deserve. Don’t limit yourself with self-defeating thoughts, beliefs and actions. Dream big dreams, never give up and don’t let others talk you out of your dreams.
The interesting thing is that you will never have to worry about what you get as long as you focus on your own inner development. Success and its outer symbols tend to be attracted to those people who have shown they can handle the smaller successes in life with integrity, a grateful heart and humility.
The search for greater success while leaving other important issues in its wake is a mistake that many people make. What good is financial independence if you are terminally ill? What good is power if you are alone and unhappy? What good is fame if you are a prisoner to that fame?
So, how would you define success for yourself? Avoid clichés or someone else’s definition. What does it really mean to you? Defining what success and happiness is for you is the first step toward achievement.
Don’t let anything stand between you and success
It has been said by many people smarter than I am that “the only limitations we encounter in life are those self-limiting ones we place on ourselves.” If this is true – and at this point, I am neither agreeing nor disagreeing with this premise – then why do so few people reach their full potential? Why do so many people feel stuck, out of control and without hope in their lives? Why do so many people give up or operate out of blame, anger, guilt, resentment, and self-pity?
If this question were answered in a book by the same title, it would never sell because the people we are talking about don’t want to take responsibility for their lives. They insist on pointing fingers toward something or someone else for the cause of their station or circumstances in life.
I have met thousands of people who believe they don’t have any choices. They think they are stuck in a job, business, relationship, way of life, neighborhood, climate or career. But people aren’t trees. We can change what we don’t like. But we don’t because of fear, comfort, procrastination, wrong motives, others’ emotional manipulation of us and our acceptance of these reasons.
The truth is that each of us came into this world headed for greatness in some way. We were engineered for success at birth and conditioned for failure along the way. We have forgotten our heritage. We have the most magnificent organ ever created: a mind that can create whatever it chooses. There is nothing we can’t do.
What inner mental images may be holding you back? Is it the fear of failure or success? Is it the fear of rejection or public scorn? Is it an inner feeling of unworthiness? Or is it some other emotional issue or scar that you have failed to recognize or deal with?
I urge you to reflect on the meaning of success before you travel into another year of your life. Work toward what is important to you, but be careful not to sacrifice all your present moments in the process.