Becoming A Professional Requires An Investment, Are You Willing To Make It?

larry levine Dec 04, 2023
Becoming A Professional Requires An Investment, Are You Willing To Make It?

What are the first words that come to mind when you think about investing? Stocks? Real estate? Coins?

Becoming a sales professional requires a different form of investing.

"It hurts like hell when the world won't invest in you. But it's excruciating, almost more than you can bear, when you don't believe and invest in yourself."
Julia Cameron

As we kick off our time together, I ask you to reflect upon the above the quote and last three words, invest in yourself.

This is going to be a mirror moment for many of you... If you fail to invest in yourself, you will never be able to collect on yourself.

What does this mean to you?

When was the last time you invested in yourself?

Warren Buffett, the current chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, is one of the wealthiest people in the world. He’s also a master of investment. The two go hand in hand, of course; the more you’re ready to give, the more you can expect to receive.

His secret for success is, and for that matter, the most precious advice you can receive: “Invest in as much of yourself as you can, you are your own biggest asset by far.”

Here’s why it's the biggest truth of them all, and how to make this part of your life.

"The most important investment you can make is in yourself."
Warren Buffet

Let's face it, you don’t have to look that far to see those who decide to invest and spend time on their personal development, soon capture great opportunities, as they are always seizing the moment.

Simmer a bit on this quote courtesy of Tom Steyer,

"We will pay a heavy price if we insist on navigating the 21st century with a 20th century mindset."

Simply put, the way it was is not the way it will be.

What got you to where you're at will not keep you there.

You must be willing to get off the comfy couch. You must get outside of your physical, mental and emotional comfort zones. You must be willing to push the envelope, to get comfortable being uncomfortable, and invest in your growth.

Would now be the time to rise up and become that sales professional you were destined to become as opposed to living in the sales rep safety zone?

Unfortunately, many in sales are consistently inconsistent and will turn their head and mentally say, "No thank you, I'm comfortable just where I am at." And you know what? That's OK, just accept the fact that at some point in time you will be replaced by a sales professional.

Is your thought process, behavior, attitude and approach to your sales career helping or hindering your growth?

Allow me to throw some stone-cold truth at you right now.

The average person (mirror moment) is not willing to invest in their self.

Follow along with me on this one... Go up to someone and offer them an average version of something that will better them for free, or have them pay to get the real deal, life changing results.

The average person will take the free version. My sales folks, this is why most people can’t finish. It is harder to quit when you have invested fully in yourself.

A free version simply has no investment. There's no skin in the game. It makes it much harder to give up on something you’ve paid money for.

A person with the free version can quit without any thought.

A person that hasn’t made any sacrifices will quit. The person that hasn’t invested their own money will quit. Why is this? Because whatever it is has no worth to them.

Investment creates worth.

This is why I firmly believe sales professionals are invested. They have developed habits, routines and rhythms that guide them to stay at the top.

Sales professionals are called professionals for a reason, are you willing to invest and do the work?

HOW DO YOU VIEW YOURSELF?

The way you view yourself determines the way you invest in yourself.

Some of you right now just might be asking yourself... What the heck do you mean by this? I ask you to please follow along.

Imagine a doctor who is embarrassed being a doctor? A nurse who covers up the fact they are a nurse. Or a teacher who doesn't want anyone to know what they do for a living.

With honesty and sincerity, how many in sales can proudly say the same?

How many in sales hide behind other names to dilute the fact they are in sales?

They call themselves account executives, product specialists, customer relationship agents, relationship managers, or even resource managers, just to name a few.

Sales professionals are proud of who they are, they celebrate it!

Sales professionals understand selling is one of the most fundamental and important functions within society. Without selling, how does money move through the economy at the rate that it needs to?

When you look into the business mirror, are you seeing a sales rep or a sales professional?

Click on the image to order your signed copy of Selling from the Heart

ARE YOU WILLING TO MAKE THE INVESTMENT?

"Without hard work and discipline it is difficult to be a top professional"
Jahangir Kahn

Fail to invest and put in the work and you will never find true success.

You may have heard of Malcolm Gladwell and his 10,000-hour rule. He studied and discovered that the most successful people are the ones who have put in the hard work. They are the ones who dove into their craft and studied it. And they worked and worked and worked on it some more.

You can’t expect success to come to you just because you want it to. You must be willing to work at it. You must become disciplined and determined.

You must adjust your mindset. Every morning, look in the mirror and say to yourself, "I'm a sales professional. Today I will do the things no one is doing to achieve the results that no one is achieving."

Sales professionals:

  • Are deeply committed to themselves.
  • Are committed to a strong work ethic.
  • Are committed to a process and a plan.
Will you commit to investing in doing the things necessary to change the course of your sales career?

Will you commit to doing the work, or dodge it, settling for the average sales rep's mindset?

  • Becoming better is simply, better.
  • Progressing is simply, progress.
  • Potential is simply, potential.
Sales professionals invest in themselves.

How many of you have invested at least 10% of your annual income in your own professional development in the past 12 months?

Sales reps believe it's not their responsibility to improve themselves. They find excuses not to attend seminars, workshops, online learning, or even purchase series of books without their company paying for it and requiring it of them.

Sales professionals invest in themselves. They view themselves as professionals.

They have developed a professional mindset. Professionals understand that they must constantly and continually "sharpen the saw." They diligently read books, attend industry related conferences, listen to podcasts, and invest in online learning.

They have coaches and mentors to help them become even better.

Let's stop and think for a moment... Can you imagine your tax accountant delivering your tax returns and then mentioning they haven't spent any time updating themselves on tax laws for years?

How about the doctor going into surgery to work on one of your family members, thoughtlessly saying, "It's been years since I've bothered to take a class or upgrade my skills."

Why is that sales reps find excuses and sales professionals just do it?

INVESTMENT REQUIRES A MINDSET CHANGE

The legendary Kobe Bryant once said,

"I have nothing in common with lazy people who blame others for their lack of success. Great things come from hard work and perseverance. No excuses."

Shall we all drop the mic now?

Soak a bit of this in for a moment...

Sales professionals understand that the initial achievement is just the tip of the sales iceberg.

Sales reps stop as soon as they reach the peak... such as achieving presidents club.

Sales professionals seek feedback and critique as thoughtful insight.

Sales reps view this as someone criticizing them.

Sales professionals accept responsibility and hold themselves personally accountable.

Sales reps blame others, point fingers and makes excuses.

Sales professionals grow after failure.

Sales reps sulk, pout and cry after failure or lost deals.

Sales professionals strive for continuous growth.

Sales reps strive to achieve.

Sales professionals live for the truth.

Sales reps live for opinions.

Sales professionals commit to self-investment.

Sales reps commit to self-deflection.

INVESTING IN YOU WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE

The investment that you make on yourself will become the most profitable investment in your life.

Your sales life nor your sales results will not get better by chance, only by change.

Don’t wish for an easier life, wish that you were better! The good news is, every day is an opportunity to become better. Better tomorrow than you were today.

Like Gandhi said:

Be the change you want to see in the world.

Investing in yourself means adding value to your life, which in turn adds value to others (these being your clients).

Opportunities start to appear, and doors start to open. My sales friends you must become intentional and consistent for big changes to happen.

The best investment you can make is the one you can’t be taxed on and the one not even inflation can take away from you. It's the investment in you.

I will leave you all something to think about courtesy of the billionaire investor Mr. Warren Buffett...

“Ultimately, there’s one investment that supersedes all others: Invest in yourself. Nobody can take away what you’ve got in yourself, and everybody has potential they haven’t used yet.”

One more from Mr. Warren Buffet,

"Your potential is something that will help you have a more interesting life, but there is no better time to work on that than today."

Choices, Chances, Changes. 

You must make a choice to invest in yourself or your life will never change.

Originally published on Larry Levine's LinkedIn

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