A friend came to see me six months ago.
He was in a state of panic.
He had been told by his boss that his job was at risk of termination because of unsatisfactory performance and that he had until the end of the month to produce positive results – or else.
My friend sells financial products. We met for coffee on a Friday. The last day of the month was nine days away which meant he had barely more than one week to close enough sales to ensure that on day 1 of the following month he would still have a job to go to.
And he was desperate.
He didn’t know which way to turn.
And could I help?
Now there is some history to my friend’s plight. Way back in February he had visited and discussed the stresses of his job.
He knew he wasn’t performing at an acceptable level and his boss was beginning to apply pressure that was not benefitting his comfort level.
He told me he was trying his best and that things just seemed to never go his way.
And he told me he was going to re-commit himself to achieving excellence – starting immediately.
And he talked about all the reasons why he was struggling.
And they were many.
– There were too many people in the business.
– The economy had made selling financial products next to impossible.
– Many of his competitors had superior products.
– People were too indecisive.
– People had no money to invest.
The above is just a sampling of reasons and despite those obstacles he had truly committed himself to the business and to his success but it just didn’t seem to be working.
It was so painful dealing with all these barriers every single day.
And now he was back and his situation was even more dire.
And I believed him. I believed that he truly believed he was committed to his success and that he was doing every possible thing to produce sales.
And so we talked about the difference between being committed and being obsessed.
And how committed means we do what we say we’re going to do and obsessed means we never stop thinking about what we want and never stop doing those things necessary to getting there.
Committed means we make 20 sales calls each day.
Obsessed means the only time we aren’t making sales calls is when are in front of customers trying to close sales.
Committed means we come in to the office in the morning, have coffee with our friends and then work really hard until lunch and then give our all in the afternoon.
Obsessed means we come in to the office in the morning, focus on the result we expect to achieve that day, go to work right away work and only stop when we achieved or exceeded that objective. Coffee with our friends takes place once all desired results are reached and lunch, well, sometimes that just doesn’t happen.
Committed means we make one last sales call before we head home at the end of the day.
Obsessed means we only stop making those calls when all targets have been reached or passed.
And my friend had slightly more than one week to save his career.
There was no more time for commitment.
Obsession was now his only pathway to salvation.
And so I said “Yes I can help.”
But there was only one way I could think of that would help.
I told him he had to become obsessed with sales starting right now.
We talked about how we only ever do one thing – we do what is important to us in the moment – and right now there could be nothing of greater importance than closing sales
And it had to become vitally important that he talk to every single person he encountered about how he could help improve their finances.
Every single person.
And I told him that for the next week he could use a spare office I have but only if he agreed to spend every minute making sales calls and that he could only leave the office to go to sales meetings he scheduled.
And that he had to cancel every non-work function he had scheduled for the next thirty days.
And that he had to be in the office by 6am each morning, Monday through Saturday until the end of the month.
And, at 6am, when it was too early to make sale calls he had to immerse himself in books, videos, YouTube clips or anything else that would either enhance his knowledge of his products and industry or inspire him to greatness.
And that today, Day 1, he could not go home until he had completely filled his appointment schedule for the next two days.
And the only allowable breaks were for using the washroom or pouring coffee.
In other words every moment of his existence was to be focused on sales and only actions that drove him closer to the next sale were permitted.
He could not chat with me or anyone in the office and he could not make any personal calls.
He would eat, sleep and breathe sales.
This was serious business and we were playing for big stakes.
And he accepted all conditions and went to work.
And in one week he closed more sales than he had in the previous three months.
And he remains obsessed to this day.
And his present life bares zero resemblance to his previous one.
– He loves going to work.
– His marriage has shifted from marginal to marvelous.
– His time with his kids is true quality time because he is just as obsessive about that time as he is about how he spends his work time.
And he told that that the turning point in his life was when he really “got” the difference between being committed and being obsessed.
And how true is this in so many areas of our lives?
Would we not do better if we were obsessive about living healthy lives rather than being committed to losing forty pounds?
Would we not do better if we were obsessive about being better husbands – all wives are already perfect – rather than merely committing to try harder?
Would we not be better if we were obsessive about finding that perfect job rather than committing to look for one?
If we really want something badly enough – if the pain of not having it is much greater than the pain of getting it – we will move mountains to get it.
So if we truly want things to change in our lives we must be obsessed with achieving those changes.
If not, we should be committed.
Till we read again.
P.S. I am confident that by this time next week I will have reached my goal of 5,000 books sold. Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours has sold 4,987 copies as at yesterday morning. If you would like to purchase your very own copy, please click here and those great folks at Self Connection will ship a book out to you right away. You can also order directly from me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org