Act Your Way

As a salesman, I’ve called on companies to sell office equipment, office supplies, printing products, marketing, signage, waste hauling contracts, professional coaching and training, and even frozen meat. That one didn’t turn out so well.   I’ve called on owners, managers, and any departmental director you can think of – facilities, IT, Finance, Marketing, Human Resources.  I’ve dealt with thousands of “gatekeepers”, been “rejected” thousands of times, been yelled at a few times, hung up on, lied to and kind of “cheated” out of opportunities. 

And yet, I still sell.  I stay in the arena. My role is a little different now than in my earlier sales days, but sales never really goes away.

Here’s what I discovered.  Once you get in the trenches of sales, or any fear-inducing action, the fear subsides and training, experience and gut-drive take over. You’re not fearful during the call, just before it, when you are thinking about the call.  Jump in! The water isn’t so bad.

It’s true; my greatest point of fear and trepidation is always before doing the things I fear so much. The moments before the cold call, the phone calls, the presentation, the marathon, or that difficult conversation – that’s when I feel the most fear. But once in the arena – on the phone, in front of the prospect, hitting the trails or in that tough conversation, fear is replaced by action.  As David Schwartz said in his best-selling classic, The Magic of Thinking Big, “Action cures fear!” 

So, get out there - quit living in the before of your priorities and get into the action. 

Which really comes first, the feeling or the acting?  I’ll do it when I feel like it. NO!  Zig Ziglar, world-famous speaker, teacher and motivator said, “Do the thing until you feel like doing it.”  In other words, act your way into feeling.

A friend of mine, who was a non-runner, set a goal to run a marathon. Then he acted….and completed the marathon as planned.

Years ago, I set a goal to make an appointment with myself several times every week to do the thing I feared, and, therefore, procrastinated most: Phone calls. I executed and five minutes into each call session, I was focused, energized and eventually reached my goal.

Take action. Just do it. Don’t let how you feel about it determine your willingness to act. Just act and if it doesn’t produce, make adjustments. My guess is that it will produce if you follow through.