I was at a crossroad. In front of my eyes, I saw two very different scenarios, two very different visions of how my future can be.
Not an easy decision. I relocated from Germany where I spent most of my career in sales. I have done very well. The niches I was working in were overpaid, and I had a pretty remarkable life.
So here I was in the United States … my English was not good. My first option was that I was offered a sales job with the opportunity to become the district manager.
My second option was to follow the voice of my heart. I wanted to help people. Not the salesy kind of “consultative selling” – really help people to become more successful and happy. Also, I wanted to create a future for myself where I do not have to work crazy hours and drive to the office or appointments every single day.
I knew I wanted to empower people. Bottom line.
Farmer or Eagle?
As I said, not an easy decision. The trainer I owe my 15 years of sales success to is Mike Bosworth. Since I attended his training in the late 90ties (Solution Selling) I had sales success. But for as long it rang in my ears: “You are not one of the eagles”.
You see, Mike had classified salespeople into two categories: Eagles and Farmers. Obviously, Eagles were the more unique, rare type. The super sales guys. Mike said that both kinds are needed (to me it sounded like: dumb kid, I love you too). As you can see in 2016, I am still not over the fact that I am just a “farmer” (; I tried to comfort myself with the thought that eagles leave behind a lot of burnt soil.
It takes an eagle to start a new business in a new country when you can not speak the language well, right? Successful entrepreneurs are eagles, aren´t they?
I was so full of doubt. I might have good stuff to say. But … in English? Aren´t there like a trillion unsuccessful blogs around already? Isn´t it true that most coaches can never make a living? What if I fail? What if people hated my grammar mistakes more than they love my content?
A path of insecurity and risks. Am I delusional or can “my thing” actually work? I mean most new businesses fail. That´s a fact.
I wrote my first few posts and won my first coaching client. Lucky enough someone took the time to write a detailed email on how my article had helped him. My first client was so happy that he referred me to my second one, and I could also gain fantastic regular readers. Mike Bosworth, the legendary sales trainer, was one of my first newsletter subscribers.
That was like a breakthrough. I could see that even though I still have to learn and continue learning it will be possible to make a great living while doing my own thing. Following my heart´s desire.
And the craziest part? Mike Bosworth asked me to work with him. That´s probably the only sales-related job I´d ever accept. I am now in the process of becoming a certified trainer for Mike Bosworth Leadership.
Not too shabby when the guy you looked up to for 20 years and who made you very successful asks you to work with him. What this guy does is and has always been top notch.
And as you read this my blog is ten months old and has lots of wonderful readers.
The nature of doubt
It´s not conventions or the society who keep us from living our dreams. When making a seemingly irrational decision, you feel like an outsider. Not only will you have to make it work but you also have to defend what you are doing. Against yourself and others. Especially should you fail.
These doubts nearly kept me from following my dreams. But then I realized: it´s not important what others think of me or say about me. Or if I act against conventions set up by our society.
What matters is that you can accept yourself.
I had to accept that I am not an eagle. And not the tough, dynamic career type. I just played him for years. I had to accept that career, and social status is not more important to me than my beliefs and my desires.
And the hardest part that I had to learn: Not you, the society, or my lack of formal education had made it hard for me. You did not keep me from starting to live my dreams a long time ago. I did.
And when I got pretty sick for the first time in my life I realized: You have only one life. I don´t want to live it for headhunters, role models or buying sh … to compensate the pressure of playing something I am not.
Getting to know yourself
A “psycho-hygiene” diary can help you learning about yourself and understanding yourself better. To distinguish between boundaries set by yourself and real ones. I will publish an article on how to write such a diary soon.
Accepting yourself if you are different
It does cost a lot of courage to act against conventions and the rules of our society. And against your own. But if we do not accept and like us for who we are we create our hell. We will do things just because we think we have to.
We will make decisions that do not suit us. We will live a life that does not make us truly happy.
Can you accept yourself and your desire?
I have decided to follow my desire, and I feel triumphal about it. Whenever I feel like I am at a dead end, I ask myself: Is it an external problem? Or am I just having a problem with myself? Is it related to accepting myself?
Most of the time it´s not about the judgment/opinion of others. But just about my own or my perception of the expectation of others.
Ask yourself: Where do I have problems sometimes accepting who I am or what I would like to do?
That is the first step towards a life in which you can truly be yourself.
Here´s the deal
Mike´s current program, Story Seekers® helps salespeople and other people to excel in roles that are not even them. It can also support anyone in a sales related role wanting to do their own thing.
No matter if you are selling yourself (for instance job seekers, consultants, and many other influencers) or if you are in a sales role (sales manager, online marketers, salespeople, realtors, fundraiser, lawyers, entrepreneurs…).
Story Seekers® offers a proven framework for
- influencing without authority
- building instant trust
- influencing change utilizing the power of story
- creating an instant connection
Today, I would like to ask a favor of you:
Please have a look at the Story Seekers® program. I bet you know a few people who could do with more sales/clients/new donors. Or maybe you know a sales manager with an underperforming team.
I would love if you could send me referrals.
To sweeten the deal:
Let´s make it a triple WIN. For every referral that books our class (per person! if it´s a company or more than one it´s for each person), you receive your choice of $ 150 Amazon gift card (or PayPal), or you bring 3 and can come for free.
It helps the person you refer; it helps me, and you get a small (or if you chose the free class BIG) reward just for recommending a legendary trainer.
Click to learn more, grab a brochure and send your referrals: STORY SEEKERS®