My life so far has been a series of great ideas, massive amounts of passion and hard work and eventual abandonment of the “great idea” for the next one. Over and over again, this pattern has repeated itself in my life. I have never stuck with a single idea all the way to its end result, except for one: my marriage.
This post is not actually about that one wonderful exception (maybe I’ll write about that one another time), this post is actually about how to become a “finisher” instead of just continually starting a new thing when I don’t have instant success.
Let me give you a little background,
About a year ago I changed careers once again, another store for another time, and became a Food Service Disposable & Janitorial Supply Salesman for a growing regional company. Things were going pretty well and I was starting to make some headway and there were some internal changes and challenges within the company. Nothing to do with me directly but things that might at some point affect me. These changes made me start looking at sales stats and project out some potential numbers and the results had me thinking about moving on to another sales job.
One of the possible opportunities was in car sales, don’t ask me why that popped into my head but it did. So I called my uncle who was in car sales for 20 years before his retirement and I asked him to give me the straight dope on the details of car sales and his thoughts on if a six figure income was possible in this economy. We talked generalities for a little while and then he reached through the phone and slapped me in the face!
His words are permanently inscribed in my brain: “Eric, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. You need to stop jumping from job to job because things start to get a little tough and dig in and MAKE IT WORK!” I have heard those words before from other people but hearing it from this uncle who has never said a negative word to me in the many, many years I have known him made me take it to heart.
So the learning process begins…how do you switch from a “starter” to a “finisher”? How do you look past the negatives and do the work that needs to be done? How do you make it work no matter what obstacles are in the way?
To be quite honest, I don’t know for sure.
I do have some ideas that I would like to share with you:
1. Change your perspective – Put on some rose colored glasses
In our everyday lives we get so used to doing things a certain way and thinking about things from a certain direction that we kind of put blinders on. One thing that I think will help us get out of our own way is to take those blinders off. Think of the problems from somebody else’s viewpoint, how would they react to the problems you are facing? What ideas would they come up with if they had to deal with the pressures and ego’s that you are being confronted with?
When you think about the things you don’t like about your current job or career or business try writing them down and then put on your rose colored glasses and say “if I was the best salesman in the world in this industry, how would I overcome this problem?” or “If I was a multi-millionaire who started with nothing and built up a very successful business in the ________ industry, how would I handle this problem?
For me, thinking about how my uncle would handle the situation I was in actually gave me several very good ideas on how to overcome particular roadblocks.
2. Be more like Albert Einstein
We all know the story of how Albert Einstein found over 10,000 ways that would not light a light bulb. But how many of us have actually stayed with something long enough to really see what the results would be. Mr. Einstein said “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” And I know that I could use a little less “smarts” and a little more perseverance in my life.
I see it with my kids all the time, they give up so easily and I just recently realized that they are just following in the example I have shown them. I can just hear the thoughts in their minds “why should I study an hour or two a night? My dad never sticks with anything and he seems to be doing okay so why should I be any different?” If only there was some way for me to show them how much more difficult I have caused my own life to be by not finishing any of the things that I have started!
3. FLY BABY FLY!!!
Zig Ziglar said “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude” maybe we need to start taking flying lessons. What the heck does that mean? It means, maybe it’s time I started looking at my own attitude and not worry so much about the attitude of those around me. Maybe we should realize that we can’t control the thoughts, actions or attitudes of those we work for, work with or are in charge of. We can only control the attitudes of our self and only if we consciously and actively think about it.
Why should I change my attitude? Well, in my case, maintaining my current attitude towards the one I work with and the customers I am trying to serve is basically the same as putting a steel cage around my income that keeps everything else out and doesn’t allow anything inside to grow. Blaming others, letting their personality limitations affect me and my future, and even worse letting their negativity seep into my thoughts and deeds are going to keep me from achieving just about anything except mediocrity.
I don’t know about you but I have basically had ENOUGH mediocrity in my life, I am ready to soar with the eagles and be counted as one of the greats of my generation!
Are you ready to join me?
Are you ready to make the changes and excel beyond even your wildest dreams and aspirations?
Let’s Do It!
Until Next Time…