In my career as a saleman and trainer, I’ve come across a lot of salespeople who’ve had addictions. If it’s not drugs, it’s gambling, the opposite sex, or whatever else people get into. It’s no secret that we are an addictive bunch of thrill seekers. The thrill of hunting prospects is how we make our living. We’re always looking for a high that can replace that thrill.
The high doesn’t exist, though. There’s no better high than closing a sale and getting a big a$$ paycheck from it. I’ve chased it just like you probably have and I’m reporting back that it doesn’t exist.
The next step is to channel that addictive personality of yours into something productive to generate income, something that will fill the thrill so there’s no more void. I’ll bet you’re thinking Okay, Ryan, that’s nice and all, but if it were that easy… Track with me here, I’m gonna do my best to deliver you from bondage.
First thing you have to do is create new habits. Notice, I didn’t say get rid of old habits? Thats because if what worked for me, works for you, they’ll drop off. Creating new habits isn’t exactly easy, but the process to getting there is. Habits aren’t formed overnight. Even the ones you want to form.
Creating a habit simply comes from repitition. Nothing more, nothing less. If we fill your time with rewarding habits, you’ll not have time for the negative ones. When I say negative, I mean the ones you know you need to ditch. In order to create a lasting habit, you need to repeat the ritual of creation every day, sometimes multiple times a day for a minimum of 21 days.
Yes, that’s three weeks of practice to make it permanent. Like I said earlier, habits aren’t created overnight but they are easily created.
How do you create new habits? Good question! Lemme tell you. First you need to make a list of new habits you’d like. For example, if you stay up late drinking, you need to make a new habit to wake up early. At the start, it will be a bitch, but if you bite the bullet you’ll end up going to bed earlier and drinking less. Knowing the consequences of one habit against the next causes you to get clear on which one you really want.
I like to pair my habits. For example, I not only get up early, I get up early with a mission. That mission is to have all emails, texts, chats, blog posts and gym time out of the way before 9:30am. This keeps me from staying out partying on weekdays. I know that if I do stay out, I’ll suffer from it. In one of two ways. Either from being tired and strung out or from the guilt of not doing the work I’m supposed to.
It’s hard to get ourselves to believe our own lies, but when we do, it’s dangerous. When you don’t believe your inner excuses or lies, you feel guilty when you don’t keep your word. I find that the guilt of breaking a promise to myself weighs enough to keep me in line most days.
What you’ll find is the thrill of the gym or more sales or whatever you aim for, will fuel your adrenaline way more than any quick fix drug. I’m not telling you to quit drinking and drugs, I’m just telling you how you can create new habits that counteract your unlhealthier ones, so you will put yourself in a position where you’ll be forced to choose.
I drink. I smoke. I’m aware of the consequences of both. Because of this, I use in moderation vs. what I used to do—going all in whenever the mood felt right (every day.)
After 21 days of sticking to the script, you’ll find a new you. Yes, it’s going to be rough at first, but as each day goes by it becomes easier and easier. The more you repeat the habit, the more it sinks in and sticks in your mind. Eventually, it just becomes second nature.
That’s all good about habits but what about addictions?
When you’re an addict like me, you seem to find yourself consumed in one form or another with something you like. If you like the wrong things, shift your focus.
Oftentimes, we love one aspect of the thrill but hate another.
A good example of this is loving to close sales but fearing the prospect declining your offer. While closing a sale is the best high there is, losing one is the pits. It sucks big donkey you-know-what. Especially if it was a deal you were relying on.
Eventually, one of two things happens to a salesman. Thing one is they get enough “NO” answers, that the pain of NO outweighs the pleasure of YES and they stop calling prospects. Thing two is they create the habit of ignoring NO and keep it from affecting their confidence.
You’ve got to learn to use the pleasure of winning to outweigh the pain of losing. What I’ve done is just like ignoring the voices telling you to get high; I’ve blocked out the voices of the prospect who say “no.” It’s not that people don’t tell me “no,” it’s that when they do, I don’t let it affect me as I move on to the next one. I block out the bad to make room for the good.
Another example is how we get addicted to our phone. Sometimes it’s sports, sometimes it’s social media. If you’re going to have the habit anyway, make it productive. Instead of scrolling ESPN, scroll LinkedIn. If you’re going to be on Facebook, use that time to prospect instead of trolling.
It’s as simple as switching a few things up over and over until you’ve fooled your brain into thinking that’s the way it’s always been and that’s the way it needs to stay.
Only three weeks and you’re good. Can you do it?
I’ve channeled my addictive personality into something positive and you can, too. You can find better ways to live your life before it’s too late. I’m no life coach, but I have a sh!tload of life experiences.
I’m not knocking programs that help people to recover from their addictions either. I just wanted to share what worked for me so it could help you, too.
Photo credit: Getty Images