Yesterday, I was asked what tips and advice I would have given a younger version of myself just starting my sales career.
This prompted the topic for this week where I share some key learnings today that would have reshaped my approach back then.
1. It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
When I started my career, I was filled with tons of energy and enthusiasm to make my mark on the corporate world. In my first role, I was tasked with booking appointments for senior sales professionals to sell photocopiers and a range of digital solutions.
At the time, I was convinced that through strong performance, I would be promoted in a matter of months and in no time, I would be leading a region.
I was wrong - Ultimately, I kickstarted my journey with the mindset of my career being a sprint as opposed to a marathon. This short term way of thinking led to a narrow approach to my work.
I was constantly looking for the next step instead of focussing on taking incremental steps towards a broader career goal.
Looking back, I would tell myself to play the long game with a sense of urgency that drives consistency in my day to day activities.
2. Self-belief is Mandatory
Throughout my career, I have had doubters. People who either aren’t supportive or simply didn’t believe I would be capable of some of my achievements to date.
In some instances, the doubt has been understandable although, beyond anything else, I have come to learn how important it is to have self-belief in order to realise my full potential.
That being said, self-belief shouldn’t be a given - It is something that should be the result of the time, effort and energy put into becoming best in class within your field.
Believing in yourself should be the by-product of your commitment to your own learning and development, not something you should feel entitled to.
Talking to my younger self, I would advise myself to make a commitment to the pursuit of becoming an expert in my field while maintaining an aura of self-confidence that can positively influence others.
3. Take the Path of Most Resistance
Looking back on some of my early career choices, at times, I would be looking towards the shortest and quickest route towards the outcome I desired.
At the time, this felt logical - Who wouldn’t want to deliver a result, in a faster and more efficient manner?
The reality was, there were many times where I could have opted for a more challenging path that would have stretched my capabilities although as I look back, there is often a huge amount of value in taking the path of more resistance.
You learn, develop and grow which helps shape you to become the best version of yourself. Advising my younger self, I would encourage myself to embrace being bold and taking challenges head-on.
The outcome will lead to new insights, more resilience and a broader set of skills that will lay a foundation for the future.
If you would like to scale your own sales results, don't hesitate to contact me directly via my website for an initial discussion.
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Disclaimer: All views expressed in this article are my own and do not represent the opinions or views of my current employer or any entity whatsoever with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated. This post is for informational purposes only and any advice should be followed at the reader's own discretion.
©2019 by Alex Alleyne