I met this really successful sales person when I was younger. I did not realize what a valuable conversation this could have been if I really paid attention, perhaps even took some notes maybe even tried to maintain the relationship. This sales person was selling something that I did not have a hope of understanding. He had some service he sold for the financial services industry, but it was so long ago and I was so young that I really do not remember. I do remember something he said to me which I never understood, until recently. I do not recall the exact wording, but something to the effect of – I wake up at 4am, quit work no later then 6pm. I work as hard as I can up until the point that I win at least $1M for the day. If I get to my number by 8am, I quit for the day. If I don’t, well I bust my rear end until I get it in. If I do not then I quit at 6pm, go home to my family and wake up at 4am and try again. He said he had many many short days, but he had several back to back long days. On the day that I talked with him, he had booked his $1M by 10am.
I really laughed him off. Thinking that was ridiculous. This was somewhere in the late 90s I think, and the concept of booking $1M in revenue per day was beyond me. I was lucky to have a $1M booking month at the time! However, now I remember him well. He was always up early. He always was razor focused on opportunities he was tracking, and he never let anyone distract him, unless of course he got to his $1M for the day. It seemed he rearranged his entire life to fit this model. Had I known better, I might have taken a pause and really considered his approach. It was definitely different then any other salesperson that I knew at the time.
Reflecting on this, I considered my approach. What is really important to me? What am I really trying to achieve? If I have identified that, then the next question – what am I going to do everyday to get there? What will I absolutely make sure I get done each day so that I can realize my goal? My dreams? Before the sun rises each day – what will I have already accomplished? Lately I have started to take on this approach. The most critical things for me, I have already accomplished before 10am. They make their way into my 365 list in the morning, and I focus on them until they are done. Some days it takes longer – like today. Because I pushed myself extra hard running this morning, I was unable to get to anything else until later. That is ok – completing my running has migrated its way to one of the top items on most days.
There was a time when physical exercise for me was at the bottom of my list, it might have got an honorable mention. Now I realize how vital being fit is to your overall performance in every other aspect in your life. I am at least 10X more effective then I was, simply because I can sustain energy longer, I can handle a long travel day without feeling exhausted, and I tend to be less impacted by negative emotion. Yes, getting that run in as one of the first things has become core to my day and that has risen to an absolute must accomplish – because it is now important to me. When something is really important to us, it is more than lip service that gets it done. We cannot just say something is important to us and it will just happen.
When you know something is really important to you, then you have no choice but to add it to your before the day is done list. Do you have one? What did you get done today when everyone else was sleeping!?
Guy Reams (430)
83 Days Left to 1st Marathon