If you still have your job….keep investing. In a few years this crash will be a distant memory and our 401k’s will have stabilized and come back. Two ways to capitalize on this global nightmare are: Invest more than you normally would in an index fund through a brokerage account (that way you can always get your money) and also take time to better yourself. Currently, I’m learning piano and finding it to be extremely frustrating and relaxing at the same time. If you continue to invest in America and yourself, you will have a generous nest egg when you need it. Stay the course, my friends. – David
I was probably 9 or 10 years old, at the local Sears with my Mom and Dad and my parents were buying a dishwasher.
My Mom was so excited about this because, you see, we never had a dishwasher. My Mom washed all of the dishes by hand every day.
My Mom was an immigrant….my Dad was in the Army and met her in Germany in the 70s. They moved to the United States shortly before I was born with my two brothers and sister, none of whom spoke English.
Having been born during World War 2 in Germany, my Mom was not afraid of work. I don’t think any German is afraid of work (insert joke here).
But America was and is the greatest country in the world and that means a housewife in the suburbs should have a dishwasher.
If I had to guess, I’d say less than 10% of the US population does NOT have a dishwasher, but it wasn’t always like that.
My Dad grew up in a small house in Follansbee, West Virginia that didn’t have hot water. His mother had to heat water on the stove and then haul it to the bathroom and dump it in the tub. They also had to get deliveries of coal for their furnace and shovel it in the house…and then constantly feed the furnace. My wife’s grandfather had to do the same thing. We’ve definitely come a long way.
Back at Sears, the salesman came over and my Dad said, “I want this one”. It was the cheapest. The salesman said, “let me show you the differences between that one and this newer model…the newer model has a sprayer on the top drawer and this model doesn’t which means your dishes on the top won’t get as clean”. My Dad, went quiet for a second and then said, “Give me the newer model.”
Why did that scene stay so vividly in my head all these years? Was it because I didn’t expect my Dad to get sold to or did I just witness the best dishwasher salesman in the Sears organization?
I honestly think it’s because the salesman was there to help the customer make a smart decision, and not to upsell.
As sales pros our job is to show the customer how they will truly benefit from our product. At this point, almost everything is commoditized, but we do have the best product at the best value and we will make the customer the happiest. What I’m trying to say is, don’t be afraid or ashamed to sell because absolutely nothing happens until something gets sold.
This is what I often hear from sales reps, “we’re drinking buddies. We got so wasted last weekend!”
They’re talking about their customers…Some of the time anyways and they’re bragging about their “epic hangovers”.
That’s your sales strategy?
I was that guy. I loved drinking, I loved hanging out and I thought I was the best sales rep on the planet.
Looking back, if anything, I lost sales and may have even lost a few years of my life too.
It’s complete bullshit that sales are made in the bar. I spent so much time with such a small handful of customers and I could’ve spent that valuable time with prospects or prospecting or even reading a book.
I completely stopped drinking a few years ago and have been selling more and more ever since because I’m able to think clearer (no hangovers), I’m able to work harder and longer (no hangovers) and I’m way healthier.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t drink at all. I’m saying I drank too much for too long and it was time and money spent poorly.
Spend your valuable time at nights with your family and when you’re able, prospecting, following up, and reading and personal development. You will make more money and you won’t be hungover the next day.
1. Stop watching TV – I’ve all but stopped watching TV but I do make exceptions. I’m trying to learn French and German and I will watch shows in those languages in order to learn. But I definitely don’t watch HGTV or the Food Network. D-U-M-B.
2. Spend 15 minutes every afternoon going over what big things are going to happen the next 1-10 days. This is the time to set meetings and plan your work.
3. Work at night to make tomorrow go smooth. Ben Franklin said, “One today is worth two tomorrows.” For example, I used to deal with engineers on the west coast. I’d send them emails at 7pm eastern and have the info I needed by the time I got up in the morning.
4. Limit your hobbys. I love hobby’s but you have to limit your time doing them otherwise they’ll suck your bank account dry.
5. Close your Facebook and Twitter account. Unless you’re making money off them they’re a huge time suck. I’m glad I never joined either. Twitter is stupid. So is Facebook. LinkedIn seems to have some value, though. I’m sure I’ll get some arguments on this one.
6. Exercise and keep at a healthy weight. Take care of yourself and you will be able to make more money longer.
7. Read books – the Libby app contains more books than anyone can read. And they’re free. Audio books too. There’s a catch – you have to have a library card…but that’s also FREE! Get it!
8. Make your bed every morning. I saw some dumb video where a general told the graduating class to make their bed every morning….then I thought about it. Now I do it every morning and so do my two young boys, ages 8 & 6. I have to remind them daily but I absolutely love it. I’m not sure why but it makes me happy.
9. Slow Down. Drive slower, eat slower, have sex slower. Enjoy the moment and try to avoid rushing through life. These ARE the good old days.
10. Ask for feedback. Ask how you’re doing, ask how your boss likes a specific project, ask your partner what you can do to make them happy. Ask ask ask. Once you start you won’t stop!
A wise man once said to me, “Sooner or later you’re going to get offered a promotion. Whatever you do, don’t take it.”
At the time, I was a salesman for a pesticide manufacturer. The senior sales guys told me how much they made and it was mind-boggling.
“Yeah, when you get promoted you get a higher salary, but for what?” He continued on, “with this job when you want a raise, you just work harder and smarter and sooner or later bigger commissions show up in your bank account.”
“But don’t you want to climb the ladder? Become CEO?” I asked.
I was a young 25 year old at the time and didn’t realize he was giving me both prescient and shitty advice at the same time.
Being a salesman is, if you’re smart, the best job ever. And the best sales jobs are those that have a small or even NO salary. Everything comes from commissions.
It’s the best because you make your own life. The harder you work, the more you make. And if there’s no shortage of product, that is you’re selling software or cars or chemicals, you can make a killing. Mid 6 figures and above.
The reason you don’t want a high salary is because it’s easier to have a flexible schedule when the company only pays you if you produce. They don’t care if you start work late on a Tuesday when you’re making them boatloads of cash. But if they’re giving you a high salary, they expect you to be around at all times.
When I asked him about climbing the ladder he said, “being a CEO takes an inordinate amount of time, the stress level is through the roof, and most CEO’s only last a few years before they’re fired.”
He was right. Let me make myself clear…there are times when it’s stupid to turn down a promotion. But you really have to consider if it’s really something you want….