Sales professionals who are worth their weight in gold understand something that others do not. There is an inner-game of selling that they play with reckless abandon and a consistency that would baffle the experts.
What they do is ignore the sales results of their fellow team members. They do not attempt to compete with them. If there is a sales contest and the rep in question is in second place, she does not try any harder to win the contest for the simple reason that she is wholly uninterested in what the leader of that contest is up to. Instead, she competes with herself.
One way she does this is to set what are called self-rewards. She knows what number she needs to hit that week, or month or quarter, or whatever the time-frame is, and if she hits that number, she knows in advance what her sales commission will consist of.
Then she takes a reasonable percentage of that sales commission, and she decides to allocate that dollar amount towards a reward that will motivate her to stay focused and on task for the entire time period in question.
Setting self-rewards is simple. All you need to do is make a quick list of things that would motivate you to acquire. They could be as simple as going out for gourmet ice cream, a new set of cuff-links, dinner at an expensive restaurant, or anything else that might galvanize you to take actions you might not otherwise take.
The benefit to self-rewards is that they enable you to avoid being sucked into distractions – something that plagues most all of us.
The essence or core of time management can be boiled down to one simple statement: organize and execute around priorities.
Notice the two operative words: organize and execute.
Organize means you have to map out in advance what it is you intend to accomplish. It involves thought and planning. Even putting things in writing.
Execute means you must have the integrity and the courage to do the very things in your plan, in spite of all the interruptions, the unforeseen elements of life that derail you, and to make it a point to shun any and all excuses. Results are what count.
But notice, first, that all of your planning and execution are based on your priorities. What is important to you? What will give you the biggest bang for your buck at this time? That is what you must never lose sight of.
Remember this simple phrase, organize and execute around priorities, and you won’t go wrong in the management of your time – your most precious resource.
I gave a speech today on the UCLA campus. I was not speaking to young students, but rather, to a group of about 30 or so professionals. My topic was the Founding Fathers and afterwards a gentleman from that group approached me and asked me what I would consider to be some of the better biographies that touch on the Founders.
I’ve read quite a few the last several years, some fair, some not so engaging, but most reasonably good. Here is a quick list of the better volumes for those of you who may be interested.
For Benjamin Franklin:
- The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
- Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson
For George Washington:
- Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow
- 1776 by David McCullough
- His Excellency by Joseph J. Ellis
- Washington’s Crossing by David Hackett Fischer
- George Washington on Leadership by Richard Brookhiser
- George Washington the First President by James MacGregor Burns & Susan Dunn
For John Adams:
- John Adams by David McCullough
- John Adams: A Life by John Ferling
For Thomas Jefferson:
- Jefferson’s Demons by Michael Knox Beran
- American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson by Joseph J. Ellis
For James Madison:
- James Madison: The Fourth President by Garry Wills
- James Madison and the Making of America by Kevin Gutzman
- James Madison by Sydney Howard Gay
- James Madison and the Creation of the American Republic by Jack Rakove
For Alexander Hamilton:
- Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
- Alexander Hamilton, American by Richard Brookhiser
- Alexander Hamilton: A Life by Willard Sterne Randall
That should keep everybody busy as it’s kept me for the past several years.