What to Change When Nothing’s Working
You know that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you take a risk?
Not before you take a risk. We ALL know that one. There are whole pockets of Medium, LinkedIn, and cat posters devoted to that type of risk feeling.
To be clear, I DON’T mean the —
“I don’t know if I should do this aka I know I should but I’m going to voice my frustration at my own inaction in the hopes that your empathy will recognize the apathy in yourself and embrace my choice of safety and comfort over actual growth”
— feeling. NOT that.
I mean after you’ve taken the leap. Congrats. You watched that video. You posted that article. You had that talk.
For 1,800 miles I asked myself that question.
In the spring of 2016 I left my favorite, and the greatest, city on earth for a dream. Only I wasn’t going to New York. I was leaving it. For Denver.
I love everything about NYC. Yes, even how it smells like piss, garbage juice, and the poorly bathed in the summer. But seriously, it's New York! What's not to love about this place! Just look at the view from my Hell’s Kitchen rooftop!
Life was great! Friends were awesome. Work was fun. The West Side Highway and bike path are the greatest gifts to running since Central Park and I could be in the Hayden Planetarium in 20 minutes. But unless I changed something it’d only ever be a planetarium.
Regret will kill you faster than cigarettes so chase your dreams while you breathe.
I spent May packing, planning, plotting, and finally loaded up a moving van and made the long drive of second guessing across the country.
I had one sale the entire month of May.
You just picked up your life, your livelihood, your relationships, your friends, your network, and moved yourself across the entire country with a 7 year timeline at best and you only got one measly sale the month before and you’re in your twenties and —
I think you see where this is going.
June was the same story. No sales the first two weeks while in a new apartment and new city with a new manager a new team and a new office. I limped along for the last two weeks and finally hit quota with 10 minutes to spare in June.
In July I hit 270% to quota.
If you think that’s a fluke you’re selling yourself on the same bullshit cat-posters line from the beginning. So let’s talk tactics. How do you change up your ground game when ground game doesn’t work? Gain some elevation and a new perspective.
So now that you have some context, here it is…
How To Get Out Of A Rut
1. Know Yourself
Call it self awareness. Call it introspection. Whatever. Turn the bullshit meter you use on direct mail and all other forms of crappy advertising back on yourself. Are you buying what excuse you’re selling to you? Would you if you were your own “follow up call”?
I didn’t think so.
I knew I was in a rut and I was digging it deeper. Every. Day.
2. Change Your Stance
Whether a batter in the box, a salesperson on the phones, or a CEO trying to resonate with employees you have to implement pattern disruption on yourself.
On cold calls I used to sit. On demos I would stand. Flipping that sounds strangely like Opposite George from Seinfeld but patterned behavior equals complacent behavior in the conceited. Patterned behavior equals patterned success in the self aware.
3. Manage Your Mood
Everyday on the drive into work I would blast Sugar by Maroon 5 in headphones and force myself to sing along out loud. When I left the office I would listen to a #DailyVee Episode on my ride home to put whatever issues of the day behind me. I had a picture of my dad as my phone lock screen / background the entire time. And I refused to join in coffee-machine talk (because seriously, what is a water cooler?) complaining about whatever flavor of bullshit those employees happened to be serving that day.
What did all that do?
The bubbly pop music burrowed into my brain and Stockholmed me into a good mood to start the day. The lack of complaining helped me focus on the work instead of the work of work. The photo of my dad inspired me and put me a little on edge (eldest sons will understand). And #Dailyvee got me looking forward to a longer horizon — why I drove to Denver in the first place.
Btw, love you, dad. Happy birthday!
4. Create Your Own Confidence
Some of you aren’t your biggest cheerleader because somewhere along the lines someone told you that pride was a sin. That makes for a soft society.
Own your wins. You’re reading this? Then you’ve had some successes, big or small. Yes, you do.
“I let Austin take the reins on that project last spring in Chemistry and now he’s running for Class Secretary!”
— Timmy von Nowheresville from B.S. High School can find a success to take pride in. Get over yourself and stop hiding behind your fake humility that is just an excuse for a lack of ownership on Steps 1–3.
Every time you don’t accept responsibility you disempower yourself. Keep doing that and you’re buying a timeshare in your rut.
5. Back To Basics
This is particularly important for Sales. Every time I’ve gotten off balance. Every time someone on the Mafia (my team name at work; Mirolli Mafia) has struggled. Every time you haven’t been seeing eye to eye with your spouse. Missed several days of your diet. Not made time for your blog.
Time to get back to basics.
For sales people, listen up. How do you normally sell things? No — not your product. I mean how did you sell your buddy that Logan was the best damn movie you’ve seen in a year? Or that Karen really isn’t right for that new role?
Was it an ROI conversation? Rapport? Feature comparison? Personal anecdote?
That’s your basics. Get back to that style and tone. Get your confidence back. And pipeline for your “July”.
Stay curious. Stay brave.