Have you ever faced a situation in life where you had a huge dream, or something really big that you wanted to accomplish, spent time trying to figure out how to do it, but eventually got a point of feeling so overwhelmed with all of the information out there and everything that you learned, that you felt like the information and the things you did to prepare for it actually became a roadblock? I think a lot of people have had that happen. I’ve had that happen in numerous situations, and if you’ve heard my story, from my beginning days of being a sales rep, that is one of the things that happened to me. I had all of this information about how to sell, who to call on, what clinics to go to etc…and it led me to a point where I was sitting in a parking lot with my head in my hands, feeling so overwhelmed and trying to figure out which way to turn.
But, for today, the thing I wanted to mention, because it’s fresh on my mind is my experience with triathlon. Yesterday, my wife and I competed in the Canada Half Ironman in Whistler, British Columbia, and one of the things that was on my mind during the bike and run, because they last so long you have plenty of time to think, was about how I have always been fascinated and captivated by triathlon. I’ve always loved competition, whether it’s athletic competition or sales or business competition, but I’ve always loved competition, and triathlon is something I have always been drawn to. Many years ago, I started reading books and watching videos and studying difficult training methodologies related to triathlon.
What amazed me the most about it was that people who trained for triathlon were so incredibly fit and in good shape as a result of training for multiple sport. I was really drawn to that. In fact, I’ve always been drawn to things that are challenging. The thing that was so difficult for me is that I began to read and read and read and my mind became so filled with information about all of the options out there of how to train and what to do and what to participate in, that I got to a point where I just felt so overwhelmed about which way to turn and what guidance to follow. It’s strange, but the concept of just signing up for a triathlon or just starting to train wasn’t fresh in my mind because I was so focused on trying to figure out how to get there.
Fast forward to now, almost three years ago. My wife, who was actually my first girlfriend when I was 14 years old, and I reconnected. We hadn’t seen each other for 20 years and on that first night that we reconnected she was telling me about how she had became a triathlete and how it was her passion. She told me, “You should go buy a bike and we can start doing this together.” In my mind, all of a sudden, it clicked. I thought, “That’s it. I need to take action. I need to get out and I need to do this sport.” (Also, I was trying to impress her of course).
All of the information can only do so much. I could fill my head with all the right training knowledge but if I don’t actually get out and do it, if I don’t start putting one foot in front of the other, start pedaling my bike, start swimming, all of the information was going to do nothing for me.
So I did it. I decided to take action. I went out and bought a bike the next day, and immediately bought a bike trainer for indoor training, and I decided that I was going to start working on being able to do this sport. I realized that, for me, it wasn’t about having to have the perfect training plan, it was about starting to run more, starting to learn how to road bike (I had always been mountian biker), and getting back in the pool and swimming. I had been a competitive swimmer for most of my life.
I was thinking about all of that yesterday. At this point, I’ve done over 40 races. We have traveled all over the world competing in triathlons in the past three years and it’s all because I decided to not focus on all of the information that was in my head, but decided instead to take action and put one foot in front of the other.
I think that lesson has so many implications, because there’s so many things that we approach in life where we have information overwhelm, especially with so much advice out there on the internet that we have at our fingertips, (which is absolutely incredible), but it’s easy to get overloaded with information. The most important thing to remember is that information is great and learning is great, but if you’re not taking action, all of the learning is going to do nothing for you. I think it’s such an important thing to think about in every area of life, but specifically in sales and in business. You can learn how to properly use a CRM. You could learn the right way to post on social media. You could learn the right way to cold call, whatever it might be, but if you’re not actually just doing it, then all of the learning is going to be meaningless.
You have to make sure that if you’re learning, you’re also taking action and that you’re not wasting any time. It is so much better to take action, put one foot in front of the other and start competing than it is to learn how to compete.
So today ask yourself…
- What is my biggest goal and project that I am working on right now?
- Do I spend more time planning or taking action?
- What is an action I can take right now to move that project along, or get closer to my goal?
Start taking action and watch your success skyrocket.
I’ve compiled years of practical tips and personal experiences in to The Living Sales Manual so that you can deal with the stress of overload and get back to living life and ultimately closing more sales as a result.