Fear is nothing more than a lack of knowledge.

In order to survive any challenge that negatively impacts your selling career, you need to be prepared. Investing in self-improvement is the best way to prepare yourself for some unknown event that may pop up on the horizon.

Steeling Yourself!

You begin with a commitment to personal growth. Personal growth is a process of increasing your knowledge and effectiveness so you can serve more, earn more, and contribute more to the betterment of yourself, your family, and all of humankind.

It demands an investment of time, effort, and money. Keep in mind that if you’re not moving ahead, you’re falling behind.

Surround Yourself With Winners

Find other like-minded individuals and feed each other strategies for selling in these times, positive news, creative ideas, and referral business.

Be careful not to involve anyone in this process who doesn’t contribute. And don’t be the one wanting the gain but not giving your own positive input to the others.

To keep yourself moving ahead, I recommend that you allocate five percent of your time to personal improvement. If you work a 40-hour week, that’s two hours each week.

It needn’t be a two-hour block of time, although many of my students find that extremely helpful.

You could commit to half an hour each day. (Go ahead and do the math, it does add up to a little more than two hours a week that way, but you do want to achieve long-term greatness, don’t you?).

Areas of Self-Improvement

What do you work on? That depends on you.

Rate your skill level in the following areas that are critical to overall success:

  • Time management
  • Computer skills
  • Writing, composition
  • Focus
  • Self-discipline
  • Verbal communication skills
  • Dress and grooming
  • Business etiquette
  • Body language – reading and relaying
  • Reading skills
  • Math
  • Product knowledge
  • Paperwork/entry knowledge
  • Networking
  • Prospecting
  • Handling your personal finances

The Five Percent Rule

Five Percent of Your Time

If you find yourself getting nervous about your current level of expertise in any of these areas, don’t worry. The purpose of investing five percent of your time to self-improvement is to waylay those fears through education.

This educational experience need not be expensive or traditional (in case you’re like me and hated school). Many resources can be found at your local library.

Forget the ads for credit cards. Having a library card is the single most powerful card you can carry in your wallet or purse.

Can there be any better investment than in your own personal growth? Think about it. I believe you’ll agree that anything else you might invest in can lose market value, be stolen or seized for taxes.

On the other hand, the time you invest in bettering yourself will remain with you for life, contributing throughout your career to your self-confidence and your ability to defeat whatever life sends against you.

Five Percent of Your Income

In addition to the immense volume of educational materials available at your local library, I recommend that you create an educational fund for yourself. Set aside five percent of all of your net earnings into a savings account for education.

Then, when an opportunity for education above and beyond what you can find for free comes along, you’ll never have to say, “I can’t afford it.”

You want to be able to take advantage of courses at your local community college or university. Some private technical schools offer excellent programs, for a fee, that can help your career immensely.

Just like concerts, many excellent teachers bring seminars to your local area on topics specific to your industry or field. Watch for them. Schedule them into your calendar. Go and learn!

Rise Above Your Fear

Psychotherapist Alan Loy McGinnis addresses this well. He said, “All of us have weaknesses. The trick is to determine which ones are improvable. Then get to work on those and forget about the rest.”

In analyzing your strengths and weaknesses in the categories listed above, there are bound to be some things that you find easier than others.

Those that you find difficult or uncomfortable will likely make the biggest difference in your career once you educate yourself on them.

Initially, you may feel some hesitation to begin work on these areas. That’s quite normal. We hesitate most to do that which we fear most. And fear is nothing more than a lack of knowledge.

Explore every route that takes you higher than you are today. Don’t shrink from what you fear most. Don’t fear admitting your weaknesses. Exalt your strengths in your mind.

You’ll gain confidence for conquering those weaknesses and be prepared to do more than just survive.

Are you ready to invest in your success? Whether you are a sales professional looking to level up, a sales leader who needs help building a high-performing team, or a business owner seeking to accelerate revenue growth, we’ll customize a coaching plan and path just for you. Check out our coaching programs!

About the author

Tom Hopkins

Tom Hopkins is world-renowned as an expert and authority on the subject of selling.…

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