Become a Quitter at Quitting
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“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.”
In my last post “Put Two Feet In” I mentioned that we must be quitters at quitting. I will stand by that statement and guard it with my life.
Take a second to reflect on the past. I’ve been doing quite a bit of soul searching and self-reflection lately and realized that I have quit many things during my short 23 years on this planet. I didn’t practice the piano when I was younger and stopped receiving lessons, I got bored with Tae Kwon Do and quit, I dedicated countless hours to practicing and playing baseball wanting to play in college and decided not to play, and I could keep going if I wanted to.
Why have I been doing a lot of soul searching and self-reflection lately? Because I’m not really enjoying life right now. We all have these dreams of our ideal lives and…most of the time…it doesn’t work out as planned. I never, for the life of God, even wanted to consider about getting a sales job post college, but I did. And like I’ve mentioned in previous posts I’m actually enjoying it to an extent. However, lately I’ve had probably a million thoughts running through my head. I wanted to write this in my journal, but decided I’d rather share it on my blog for others to relate to. Sharing is giving, right?
Anyway, during the last few weeks I haven’t been performing very well out in the field. Specifically, the week of August 2nd through the 7th. During that week I closed two accounts. Fuck. As the week went on I felt like giving up. Quitting a job that I, in a sense, voluntarily show up to every morning since I don’t clock in. I was having a hard time out in the field letting objections from customers get to my head. It was affecting my performance and day after day I was letting it drag me deeper into a hole. Instead of walking door-to-door thinking about how I could have better rebutted the previous customer the thoughts running through my head were somewhere along the lines of, “fuck my life why the hell am I doing this?,” “this is bullshit I could be doing something else,” “I’d rather be working for minimum wage,” and the list goes on. I was putting a front up at the office. Smiling and appearing as if I was still confident and happy, when inside I was hurting and down right miserable.
Fortunately, on August 5th, 2010 I knocked on the door of a man by the name of Frank in Yorba Linda. I saw him the previous day and he blew me off. Since I was in a shitty mood I decided to knock on his door again and see if I could get my pitch and presentation in before he closed the door on me. First of all, I was shocked he actually answered his door. I had knocked on his door a previous six times without him answering knowing he was home. Frank comes out stands behind the gate and listens to my pitch. As I moved into the why I was there he stopped me and said that he didn’t want to upgrade his services, but wished me luck going to the doors down the street. This kind of caught me off guard, but I went into deeper questioning and so forth. Skip forward a bit, he looked at me straight in the eyes without the slightest of movement. Our eyes locked and after a few moments of silence he said that my pitch was good, my overall appearance was good, and that I was personable–to him all great qualities to have in the field. He said that he understood what I was going through. I asked him how he knew what I was going through? He pointed to his withered faced and said “I’ve done sales my whole life. Started off commission only just like you going door to door and made a damn good living off of it.” I asked him is he had any advice for a young guy like me just starting off. Frank said, “Stick with it and don’t give up. You’ll have your ups and downs, but guys who can overcome the downs and stay persistent will make it.” He also told me not to rely on what we call “go backs” that they mean shit. The only day that matters is the day you speak with the person and you better damn well get them to sign on the dotted line.
He also told me many things of which I’ve learned in the office. Set short-term goals and learn from the best. To set realistic goals, ones that I don’t fall short on every day, week, month, but ones that I accomplish and set a higher standard for next time. To look at the best performing person in the office as my mentor. To ask questions and keep track of my closing ratio always trying to improve on it. To have a vision that’s crystal clear. A plan of exactly how I’m going to get to where I want to be a year from now.
As I walked away from Franks house I had more thoughts and emotions running through my head. This guy has done sales his whole life and has obviously done well for himself. He was a complete dick, asshole for that matter, the first time I saw him outside and that day he shared with me his story and gave me advice and words of encouragement that will stick with me for the rest of my life.
I’ll be honest, I was going to quit my job after the 7th. I was going to set up a one on one and tell my leader that I was throwing in the towel and calling it quits. But after my encounter with Frank my whole perspective changed. I also couldn’t build the courage to actually tell David face-to-face that I was done. I look up to him and he’s done a lot for me. I didn’t want to see the disappointment on his face after I told him that I was quitting. I’m glad that I became a quitter at quitting.
Now you’re probably wondering how I did the following week (this last week August 9-14). I started the week strong by closing 2 accounts on Monday. I thought to myself that “hmm, something’s working here,” and came to the conclusion that it was the change in my attitude. I finished the week with 6 accounts ending up 2 short of my goal of 8 for the week. I’m going to be fully committed this upcoming week. I’ve decided that I’m going to stick with this NO MATTER WHAT for at least a year and see where I get.