I was having lunch with a few colleagues
the other day in the office. Someone asked if I was looking forward to my
upcoming vacation, and before I had a chance to answer, another person
commented, “it must be nice to go on vacation again, weren’t you just skiing?”
Unfortunately, I was not having the best of days, and I let my agitation with
this person get the best of me. I blurted out, without thinking, “if you put in
even half of the time and effort I have since January 1st you too
would want to go on vacation”. I quickly walked away and later apologized to
everyone that was in the kitchen at the time of my outburst.
Stress! I have been under a tremendous
amount of stress lately. I tried to watch some March Madness games last night
at my neighbors and could not focus on the game. I found myself walking home
and going to be at 10:00 PM. I was tired. I got a decent enough night’s sleep
last night and felt good coaching lacrosse practice this morning. I guess I
just needed the rest.
You see, I made a few adjustments in my
role internally at my company as well as with my freelance schedule, and as the old
saying goes – I’ve been burning the candle at both ends. As a career sales
person I have never been a nine-to-fiver. And this couldn’t be more true of the
past 80 days. I’ve always explained to sales people, you can work 30 hours per
week or 65 hours per week, the key is making sure you are always exceeding
expectations (your own and those of your boss). Being my own boss, I have much
higher expectations for myself than I do of my team, and my goal has been to
And so this has been my mission. I
consciously chose to set extremely high goals for myself for the first quarter.
Knowing that I had a spring break vacation planned at the end of the quarter
meant that I needed to exceed my goals by mid-March and I accomplished my
goals. I sit here today feeling good that I exceeded my sales goal while maintaining
a full schedule of other responsibilities. But, I still feel a little upset
that I was short tempered with my coworker earlier in the week. I blame it on
Sales people tend to be viewed as
happy-go-lucky. “Hey man, how’s it going” – “great, couldn’t be better”. Sales
people never own up to being stressed out or having a down month or quarter.
Happy-go-lucky always. We are sales people, so we are good at covering our real
feelings. And so it has gone for me, everything has been great, and for the
most part is has. I mean really, while I’ve been stretching myself thin, I have
also exceeded goals. But, in reality, I do need a break and so it is time to
recharge my own battery.
A sales person should monitor their
behavior on a daily basis. When feeling stressed out at work or at home it is
time to take a break. A break may be as simple as taking a walk around the
block at lunchtime. Or, if you’ve really been going hard at a relative non-stop
pace, you may need to disappear and head to the beach for a few days. Whatever
works for you, hiking-camping-skiing-shopping-a walking tour of Boston, do
something non-work related and relax (or try your best to relax).
There are too many people in the
business world that do not fully understand or grasp the concept of being a
career sales person. They don’t understand the sacrifices made every day, every
week and every month that we take on ourselves to ensure our company is
generating revenue. They are unaware of the nights spent at networking events
or traveling to visit out-of-town clients, time spent away from our families.
And, to a certain extent, they don’t care. We chose this profession. With that
in mind, avoid burnout, and take break. Recharge Your Battery!