Success Moves Logo

Who Are You?

Tell me about yourself?

Take a few moments to explain your career ambitions, do it now. Just write what comes in to your head, don’t stop to think.

Now with a collection of highlight pens I want you to go through your writing and do the following:

  1. Highlight all uses of the past tense with one colour pen.
  2. Use a different colour pen for the present tense and the future tense.
  3. Work out which is your most common tense, Future? Past? or Present?

Now with a different set of colours I would like you to highlight the sensory system you used.

  1. For visual words that suggest pictures colour one colour.
  2. For feeling and auditory words use a different colour.
  3. Work out which is your most common sensory system?

These are just two of the patterns that will appear in your thoughts around your sales career. Do you realise now how much you are restricted by them?

Whatever your least favoured patterns above I want you to rewrite your career ambitions. You may find it unnatural but do it anyway,  it has tremendous benefits. Opening up new options, allowing you to see yourself a little differently.

We are all quite different to each other, from fingertips, shape of hands, nose, hair colour and nature etc. It follows therefore that every person is in a world of their own with their thoughts ambitions, plans and dreams.

Your mind controls your destiny. Success comes without its support. So to enjoy real success it is necessary to control your own mind and have it work for you not against you.

So where do our different career dreams come from. My father said to me at age 7 he knew he wanted to fly and travel. As he had not at this time done either how could he have known something so passionately that shaped his life for the next 60 years?

On the other hand many people get to 60 and still have not found what they truly want to achieve in life.

With my personal coaching clients I help them probe deeply, careful not to add content or lead their decisions in any way. It never ceases to amaze me how something so deeply unconscious when clarified can cause overwhelming joy and total conviction. It has always, in my experience lead to boundless energy to pursue that goal. It is clear that if there is something over the fence really worth having then we just find the way to jump over and get it, however high the obstacle is.

Progress Now

What are the three things you would have liked to have achieved at this precise moment in time?





What are the three things that have stopped you getting there?





Now, what could you have realistically have done differently looking back to have produced a better outcome?






Imagining it is six months from now, what action do you think looking back from then you might have regretted not taking?






So, what decisions can you take now, and just how good do you feel making those positive decisions?





Decision Making

When new situations develop you must rationally, logically and completely without emotional influence make a decision with reference to your goals.  For this you need the strength of wearing a blue shirt when all about you are wearing a white one. Few are not influenced by wanting to fit into the group norm. Those few go by many names, innovators, ideas men, entrepreneurs, leaders, and winners. Churchill referred to a particular elite group of men as “The Few”.

If I could magic any experience or qualifications on to your CV what would you choose?


If you could have any job on the world right now, what would it be?

I asked that question for a period in a recruitment business that I owned many years ago. The answers that I got amazed me. Hardly anybody was doing what they really wanted to do. There faces lit up as they described to me their passion. Then their face would drop and come back to earth as they asked what I could get for them.

“The happiest sales people are those that sell something they believe in and have a passion for.”  

If you are doing something that you love any money that you receive must be like free money. Nobody has to pay me to go to the cinema, go swimming, go on holiday. That is the mindset that you need when planning your next job. I am not suggesting you ignore money, merely leave it to one side a minute to allow you to really focus on what you want to do.

Life is like a railway journey in some respects. At each stop we can get off and go on a number of other routes. Some are major junctions. Some like Gatwick or Heathrow offer all the air route choices as well. The point being whatever route decisions have taken us through life we need not continue to make the same choices or even use the same ‘decision model’ to make those choices. We, whilst benefiting from past experiences, need not be locked on a path if that path no longer leads us to our goals. We can decide to be a different person from tomorrow, with new habits, a new lifestyle, new goals. We don’t have to stay on the same train, we can get off, we have choice.

A new direction holds adventure, challenge excitement. Go towards it with a spirit of adventure. You future path starts now. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. That part of you that that is a little bit nervous, that energy needs to be directed towards ensuring that your goals and action plan are as fine tuned as they possibly can be an adjusted as new feedback and feed forward comes in.

Human nature being what it is, finds the need to conform to groups overwhelming. To have their approval we like the same rock groups, where the same clothes, even change our values and beliefs to what the group view would be. Anyone who has worked in recruitment knows just how testing it can be for someone to change organisations. Many have a three-month honeymoon period for settling in. Personally I settle in immediately and get going. Trouble is I don’t make a good large company person because I keep to my values whilst respecting theirs. Conformity and rigidity continues.  To be a success in this environment takes diplomatic skills as much as being good at what you do.

School leavers, new graduates.  Don’t have reference material to know how to choose?  In many ways this does not matter.  As soon as they try their first job they get something to analyse, what aspects they like and don’t like will give them a direction.  However it is not just area you want to go in but what so do you want to do in it.


Ambition comes in two forms. The first is a raw powerful energy that is not harnessed or directed. The second is a set of clear goals that a person really wants to achieve.

So if somebody says that they are ambitious the first question I ask them is, “for what”?

When an ambition is at the raw energy level it is powerful. I regularly observe highly ambitious and motivated people fail in their career and become frustrated. Ambition without direction is like a speedoat without a rudder. Like all power it can be used for good or bad. It can your personal power can be manipulated leveraged by someone else to help them achieve their goals.

Now one of the greats resources of leverage available to you is by you doing the manipulating. Who can you help get what they want, and benefit indirectly.

Who has got an interest in you getting what you want?

Who would benefit directly and indirectly by you attaining the steps you seek on your way to you dream?

As a careful thought. Who will be threatened by you achieving success?

Whose nose will it put out of joint?

Get real. Most people resent people around them that they perceive as being more successful than them. If you are in a group of ten peers and you get the promotion. Whilst they congratulate you with a smile on their face. Many of them will be saying different things behind your back. Can you honestly say that someone else’s success has not given you a negative feeling? Well the thing to do is turn that energy into spurring you on to your own success. Learn from them, find out their secrets.

Progress Now

Here is something I want you to do now. Send the following e-mail to at least 12 people that you know personally.


I am doing this exercise that I just read on a website I would like you to answer as honestly as you can the following question, which I have answered for you below. It is based upon the idea that others know us better than we know ourselves.

What are my three best qualities/talents/gifts with reference to work/careers?




What do you think is my weakest point, my Achilles heal that might hold me back?”



It is important to get at least 6 feedback and focus what keeps coming up.

This blog was written by Alex McMillan BA MSc DIC Cert Ed. Alex is the CEO of Success Moves and has a background in the recruitment and training industries.

Success Moves Logo

The Right Company for You

All companies have a culture whether they know it, designed it, or it just evolved. So when you join one be aware you are joining a cult. And like any cult there will be formal and informal group behaviour rules. These rules will govern a value system, how to behave in certain circumstances, even a dress code. If you don’t know the rules you are unlikely to survive let alone prosper. My thirty years in career consultancy has shown me that time and time again career success goes to those who fit best into the cult.

So how do you know what culture to look for?

The answer is to know yourself. As a professional recruiter I can tell you 90% of you out there don’t! Here is a quick test. Answer these questions.

What really motivates you?

What are your career values?

Where exactly do you want to be in one/five years?

What core career beliefs do you operate by?

What are your ambitions?

Where do your ambitions come from?

Did you find that on asking yourself the above you did not have to think? The answers were straight there with clarity? If so move to the next question.

Are all of your short and long term goals really yours or those of your peers, parents or friends?

If yes you are in the 10%. If not I would not put money on you becoming a great career success. Make no mistake the ocean of opportunity out there is full of sharks. Once your ship sails you don’t want to go overboard!

Here is how to be in the 10%.
Firstly establish for any new employer their corporate culture. This tends to indicate a company that is going places. I cannot think of a single exception. The cultures are obvious to the customers. McDonalds, Marks and Spencers, Microsoft, Virgin, Amazon. Clear identity and values.

The secret of judging how well defined the culture is found by looking for commonality at all levels.

So it is not how they dress that is important but how they dress relative to each other. It is not the particular value set that is important in itself but that they and you share common core values.

So look for commonality in every aspect of them. How they answer the phone, dress, talk to each other, plan out their offices, incentivise their staff, train their staff, report and accounts, marketing, advertising styles, competitive stance etc.

How would you describe the culture of the following organisations?

Nat West Bank


British Army


Which above organisation do you think would have most of the following core values?

Team work
Attention to detail
Benefit to others

You see, the evidence is all there.

What from the above are the three most important values to you? Now which company do you think you would be happiest in and develop most working in? Why?

Now for those of you in the 10% you have to get to the 1% of serious sales successes. You will achieve that by knowing your personal profile, match it to an aligned organisation then you will be somewhere which will appreciate and develop your talents best.

The final ingredient is having some talent. Talent is a choice not a gift. I firmly believe that everyone is incredibly talented, they just have to recognise it.

Success Moves Logo

CV Techniques

A CV is essentially a sales document. It needs to stand out as the one worth calling in for interview. A good CV design also improves your chances of a higher starting salary. Managers invariably look at them when deciding value.

Many managers have a different opinion on what they would like to see in a good CV Design. On their first look at a selection, they will typically give 5 seconds on each to get say 30 CVs down to half a dozen or so worthy of closer scrutiny. If your best achievements are on page two, there is a good chance you will never be seen. They also look for factors that are relevant to them. They like them to be short, sharp and to the point. Professional recruiters often comment that the vast majority of CVs that they receive greatly under sell the owner. Remember to the recipient the CV represents your whole life’s achievements!

Success Moves Logo

The Magic Question

The Magic question you must ask at the end of the interview is.

“Is there anything about me that holds you back from offering the position?”

It is magic because if there is anything on their mind you have just given them the opportunity to bring it up now and you will get a shot at dealing with it. If you don’t a negative thought will fester and they will not offer. It is also magic because the later part fop the question presupposes they are considering offering you. The whole question of course shows you are keen and everyone wants to offer someone that is keen to work for them.

Success Moves Logo

Negotiation Tips

The following list represents the techniques and beliefs applied by the most successful job hunters. Read this list and think about each one before an important salary negotiation.

  1. Know your goals exactly.
  2. Higher aspiration levels win higher rewards.
  3. Skilled negotiators with high aspiration levels are usually winners irrespective of power.
  4. Large initial demands increase the probability of success and the option of compromise.
  5. People who make small negotiations during negotiations fail less.
  6. It is best to avoid making the first compromise.
  7. Perceived power is more effective and influential than real power.
  8. An early start date is very effective in forcing compromised settlements.
  9. When people want and expect less, they are satisfied with less.
  10. Applicants typically raise aspirations after success and reduce them after failure.
  11. Fear of losing a job offer makes candidates compromise more than they should.