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How to celebrate success during the pandemic? Salespeople and their leaders are asking this question.

This season, the pandemic has canceled President’s Club and moved Sales Kickoffs from physical meetings to virtual. Its left many sales professionals feeling that the work they did to reach the top is anti-climatic and empty.

In this Sales Gravy Podcast episode,  Jeb Blount and Victor Antonio discuss the keys to celebrating success and staying motivated this year and beyond.

We want to hear from you. What are you doing this year to celebrate success, reward yourself, and stay motivated? Send Jeb a text message at 1-706-397-4599 or just CLICK HERE TO TEXT.

Jeb: Celebrating Victories, Big and Small

We are here in studio blue with the great Victor Antonio, who I believe is one of the greatest orators of our generation. His presence on stage excites me. It’s incredible, it’s engaging, and his stories are real. The path that Victor took to get to where he is today is inspiring. You came up from poverty and you’ve built an empire since then.

I want to talk about some of the issues that people are dealing with today in that context. We’re in the third wave of the pandemic right now, and I’m hearing stories of salespeople who just feel down. One of the people in my insider group sent me a text message and it broke my heart.

She’s like, “I worked all year long. I put everything into getting to President’s Club, and then we had our virtual sales kick-off. I saw my name on a bullet point on a slide and it was just completely anti-climatic. How do I celebrate this? How do I tell my family and friends that I had this victory in my life?” It hurt me because I know how that feels.

I loved to walk on stage and get a trophy, I lived for that as a salesperson. In fact, I told my sales manager, “I don’t care about the money. I want to win. I want the trophy.” So in this world, I thought there was no better person than you to have a conversation with. What can salespeople do to celebrate their victories, both big and small?

Victor: Don’t Let Others Determine Your Value

It’s interesting to me that people want that external validation. A trophy is an inanimate object, you know what I mean? The real victory comes from looking at everything you’ve done. Take a moment to reflect and say, “Look at what I did!” and walk on your own mental stage. We all want recognition.

We all want our successes to be meaningful. But if I just nailed that year, my biggest trophy was always the check. That was my trophy. For people who need that external validation, why do you need it? Why depend on somebody else’s appreciation of you to determine your value? Appreciate it. Live in that space, man.

Jeb: Trophies Are The Past, Live in The Present

One of the things that I’ve always lived by is that when you’re in second place, your job is to take first place. When you’re in first place, you’re competing with yourself.

The problem with getting good is that you get in first place, you win the trophy, and you forget who you’re competing with. You forget that your job is to put the accelerator on instead of getting complacent. Looking at your trophies is living in the past. There are basically three places that you can live at any given time. You can live in the past. You can live in the present. You can live in the future.

The only place that’s real is the present right now, the future hasn’t been written, and the past doesn’t exist anymore. It’s just something that happened. One of the problems that we face when we’re struggling to motivate ourselves or feel that recognition is that we’re living in the wrong place. We need to spend more time in the present than these other places.

Victor: The Thrill of the Journey

I want to challenge your perception of your success a little. I think your joy really comes in the process of getting to the next level. It has nothing to do with actually reaching the next level. Everything’s a game of inches, and you’re a guy who lives like that. “How do I make it a little better?” “How do I fix that?” That in itself is your thrill. You’re always thinking, “What else can we do?” And there’s a joy in that.

For us, the fun part of the journey is to see if I can take it to the next level. Some people see that as effort or work or almost fatiguing. The person who was disappointed in just having their name in a bullet point on a presentation is one of those people. What they’re not looking at are all the things they probably did that year to adjust, to make it happen. Even if they hit the same number in a pandemic year, I think that’s a win. Now, if you killed it, congratulations! Really celebrate. High five yourself!

Jeb: Celebrate The Little Wins Along The Way

If you are building anything, whether it’s a sales pipeline, a sales year, or a business, it’s long stretches of grind and suck interrupted by a few brief moments of elation. So when you get the elation, you have to be able to celebrate it. You can’t celebrate too long, but I do think it’s part of the journey. In many cases, people don’t take the time to celebrate the little wins.

You have to be in the moment, enjoy the journey and the small victories along the way. Long stretches of pain, long stretches of grind, and a few brief moments of elation. That’s the formula. It’s not a lot of elation and a little bit of grind. It doesn’t work that way. You’ve got to pay for success in advance with some pain.

Victor: Little Celebrations Every Day

I want to go back to the person with their name on a bullet point. They think, “I did all of this work. I expected something at the end and for somebody to give it to me.” And what you’re saying is, why don’t you just give it to yourself every day on a daily basis after you do something cool?

I’d rather have a lot of small little celebrations over 365 days than wait for one big one at the end. A big one’s always going to disappoint me, but man, if I can celebrate 365 wins, I’m good.

Jeb: Changing Your Self-Talk

An optimist says, “Hey, let me move to the next thing, move to the next thing, move to the next thing.” And I think that optimism also allows you to change your self-talk. And one of the things that I read recently is that the way that we talk to ourselves is much faster than the way that we speak normally.

We’re speaking up to 4,000 words per minute to ourselves in our head because we compress the way that we talk to ourselves in our brains. Let’s say that you went to your sales kickoff and your name got up there, and then you felt like it was anti-climatic. If you’re telling yourself that over and over and over again, when you leave, you’re like, “Oh God, I didn’t get what I needed.”

And you become the victim, instead of saying, “My name was on the bullet point. I mean, there were a thousand other salespeople out there. None of the other people got recognized.” It’s all in the way you look at it and how you talk to yourself.

Jeb: Learn How To Fail Fast

In this environment, you have to learn how to fail fast. When you’re in a situation and you are trying new things, you have to always be iterating. I’ve probably got a hundred thousand dollars of studio equipment in a closet someplace because we tried them and they didn’t work. So we said, “Let’s do it again.” We didn’t say we’re never going to buy anything again.

We said, “We still know what we want to accomplish. What we’re looking for, this just isn’t going to get us there. Let’s do something else.” So we get better and better and better. I think this is also part of optimism. It’s looking around and every time you see something, explore it. You have to be present and say, “Look, this didn’t work.” And instead of beating yourself up for it, say, “I learned that it didn’t work. Let’s try something else. Let’s do something else.”

You have to keep trying. Do it again, do it again, do it again. Iterate, iterate, iterate. And I think that is a big part of me being in the present. I love iteration. I love doing something and finding out, “Okay. I can make it a little bit better. Let’s do it again. I can make it a little bit better. I can get a little bit better at this.” Over time, that creates small victories.

Victor: Just Be Better Than You Were Yesterday

I think it’s all momentum, isn’t it? Just be better than who you were yesterday. That’s all it is, right? That’s your motivation to be better— who you were yesterday. That’s the true competition because if you start looking at what other people are doing, you lose focus on what you should be doing and what is meaningful to you.

When you look at what other people have, you start saying, “Why don’t I have that? I should have that.” It really takes the focus off of what you really want. Your journey is your journey alone. It sounds so cliche, but the toughest road to success is the road back to you. It isn’t until you figure out who you want to be, how you want to roll, that you’re going to be happy. There is no external validation that can beat that.

I don’t know about you, but I have my own happy dance. I do a 30-second happy dance. And I do it at my desk. Nobody else sees it. Nobody else will ever see it. But it’s my dance. I love that because it’s my personal celebration moment. That’s what matters.

About the author

Jeb Blount

Jeb Blount

Jeb Blount is one of the most sought-after and transformative speakers in the world…

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