Me, Myself, and This Guy – Part 1July 13, 2023
There’s an old saying in sales that people don’t like to be sold, but they like to buy.
If you think about yourself as a service technician, obviously you’re selling repairs, maybe maintenance agreements, maybe you’re trying to get the homeowner to consider replacing their system. And so we’re always in a situation where we want people to make decisions that are consistent with buying from us. But consumers are funny, because they can have any of 50 reasons to want to buy something. But they simply don’t want to be sold. The irony is thick.
Knowing that customers often dislike the sales process can be dangerous to certain personalities. Some of us will accept that as an excuse and will give up on the sale far too easily.
This Is On Me
But what I’m really talking about is the issue of personal responsibility.
Every now and then I’ll go back and read some of my own books. My first book is called The Upside of Fear. I wrote it almost 15 years ago. And when I wrote the book in 2009, I was writing about things that happened, you know, 10, 15, 20 years before that.
For those of you who don’t know the story, I spent decades of my life struggling, including 13 years in prison. I had led a very destructive life and was frankly an irresponsible person, to say the least.
The Light Bulb
Today I want to share with you what I wrote after my father died and how I made the decision in prison to change the course of my life. And here’s why I think it’s important.
I think it’s important because the whole essence of success in my mind is personal responsibility. You have to accept personal responsibility for whatever it is you’re doing, right?
It’s very easy to go out and blame the customers or blame the boss for whatever reason. It’s easy to blame the weather or blame the economy, or even blame your cheap competitors. It’s really easy to go out and blame everyone else.
The reality is that the sooner you can get to a place of personal responsibility (really owning that “I am responsible”), then the more successful you’re going to be. Now obviously you don’t control the weather. Obviously you don’t control your competition. But what you can do is control your responses to the weather and your responses to your competition, right?
Who Is Responsible?
So I want to share an excerpt from this book because I think accepting responsibility for your life and for your results is so important, and I truly believe it applies in our careers today.
I summed up what I learned as follows:
“Personal values are knowing to do the right thing. Character is having this strength to do it, and integrity is doing it when nobody else is watching.
These concepts were the basis of a new beginning for me; accepting these ideas would not be easy. It would take rigorous determination and painstaking honesty to build a healthy productive life.
Understanding who was responsible for my life and the quality of my life was critically important to moving forward into a healthy productive life. I had to accept that I had a choice in how I responded to the challenges that I faced. It was equally important to understand that the quality of my responses would determine the quality of my life. For most of my life, I had lived under a serious misconception that people who were successful were just lucky. I really believed that.
I remember looking at successful people and thinking, “If they had my problems, they wouldn’t be doing so well.” What I eventually came to learn is that everyone in life has problems.
At some time or another, everybody has health, money, relationship, employment, or other problems. The difference between successful people and the losers is not in the nature of their problems, it’s in the nature of their responses to their problems.
I began to realize that many people have money problems. The difference between them and me was that they had a job (maybe even a second job) in response to their financial setback. In my response to my money problem, I lied, cheated and stole.
Eventually, the quality of my life reflected the quality of my choices and I learned it the hard way by being sent to prison.
It took a long time, but one day it hit me over the head like a ton of bricks.”
Let’s stop there for today and we’ll pick up next week with the rest of the excerpt and how it applies to sales.