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:
- Highlight all uses of the past tense with one colour pen.
- Use a different colour pen for the present tense and the future tense.
- 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.
- For visual words that suggest pictures colour one colour.
- For feeling and auditory words use a different colour.
- 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.
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?
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.
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 www.successmovescandidates.co.uk. 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.