When No One’s Looking, Be Like Mike (Phelps!)

Oftentimes, self-discipline boils down to what you do when no one’s looking. Want to see what real self-discipline looks like? Check out this Under Armour ad (and be sure to watch until the quote at the end):

Even though I’ve never been a competitive athlete, I’ve come to realize that many of the best motivational videos are centered around elite athletes. I get it. I admire the motivation and self-discipline it takes to be an athletic champion because it takes a lot of those same qualities to have an elite career in sales.

A successful career in sales is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of hard work when no one’s looking or telling you what to do. Nobody cares about your career or your success as much as you do. Not your boss, not your mentor, not even your family – just you. That’s why self-discipline is so important.

Your self-discipline (and attitude) can make or break your next sale. Your self-discipline—what you do TODAY!—can make or break your month, your quarter, your entire year. A career in sales isn’t a “9 to 5” job, it’s a “do what it takes” job.

What’s Driving You?

Make sure your discipline is working for what is truly most important to you. It takes discipline to step away from a personal social event to answer a call from a client. It takes an equal amount of discipline to ignore that call when you’ve dedicated the night to your family.

Maybe this is your year to take your income from $60,000 to breaking 6 figures for the first time. Maybe this is the year you jump from $120,000 to $200,000. Or maybe you’ve even found the way to hit $325k, $500k, $700k or maybe you might just be one of the elite few to finally reach a million. Whatever you desire, it’s possible in the sales industry. But more than anything else, it’s going to take discipline.

You’re going to have to dial when you’re not in the mood. You’re going to have to shake off the loss of the dreaded buyer’s remorse phone call right before going into the biggest presentation of your career. And yes, you may have to run back to your hotel room during a relaxing beach vacation to process your own deal – or save a deal that’s gone sour. It’s just what we do. We do it because we love our clients. We do it because we want to win. Because sales is in our blood. It’s who we are.

Michael Phelps may be one of the best athletes that we’ve seen in our lifetime, but it’s because of his self-discipline that he’s stayed on top. And while he has a coach to hold him accountable to his goals (just like you should in your sales career), he still has to do it on his own.

When No One’s Looking

When no one’s watching, what are you doing? Are you dialing? Are you prospecting? Are you studying your sales scripts? Are you practicing and perfecting your sales presentation? Are you reading books, listening to podcasts, and reading blogs to hone your craft? Are you practicing self-discipline?

I sure hope so. Because I guarantee you there’s a competitor of yours out there somewhere who is.

Until next time—go sell some stuff!


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