Normally, I focus on sales training, but about four or five times a year, I’ll deliver a motivational speech. Last Tuesday was one of those days.
My topic was “Tons of Room at the Top: The Attitude & Altitude of Success.” I delivered the keynote to a group of sales pros who are feeling some economic headwinds: Rising interest rates; Inflation; Recession; Stock market ups and downs; Supply chain issues; Talent shortages; and Global uncertainties.
The message was that sales pros should not let external conditions – especially temporary ones – slow them down. Nor should sales pros use external conditions as an excuse. I’ll acknowledge that’s easier said than done, but we must be prepared and willing to press forward no matter how easy it would be to make excuses.
The speech title came from one of my favorite quotes. Former UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher once said, ““People think that at the top there isn’t much room. They tend to think of it as an Everest. My message is that there is tons of room at the top.”
Although reaching the top (however you choose to define that) isn’t easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight, there is a clear path to it. As you contemplate how you can make progress toward your Everest – even in difficult times – there are several encouraging things to consider.
First, you have total control of the process. You have the freedom and the right to succeed. You don’t have to ask permission, and you don’t have to wait for someone else to do it for you.
To reach the metaphorical Mt. Everest, you need to take to initiative and be proactive. Benjamin Franklin advised, “Plough deep while sluggards sleep.” Successful people are always on the move and don’t behave passively. Be the ultimate self-starter.
Perhaps even more important, avoid victimhood and blaming at all costs. It’s never somebody else’s fault. The highest-performing people accept blame when appropriate, and they also graciously accept credit when it’s due.
I also believe that the most successful people are gritty, which means “bravery, courage and determination despite difficulty.”
Achievement guru Angela Lee Duckworth says, “Grit is sticking with your future day in, day out and not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years.” Grit is especially important as we head into what looks to be a challenging market over the next couple years. I urge you to be resilient no matter what happens in the world.
This “Tons of Room at the Top” message is a liberating one. Success is always within your grasp. You can manufacture it out of seemingly nothing. To reach your Everest, you need to adopt certain behaviors and beliefs and make them part of your daily life. You have control of your life, work and business. Success starts with you and ends with you.