Living, eating, breathing

I’ve only ever had a couple true dedications in my life and their payoff has always been equal to my input + a network effect. It’s the dedication that opens the effect of the network, it’s only when you live, eat and, breathe your own dedication that the network effect can come to work for us in a way that adds to that payoff.

In high school I had an uncanny dedication to American football, but I wasn’t interested in the historical stats of any team, or knowing all the particulars of the current players-du-jour, I was a student of the game itself, the positions I played, the weaknesses and strengths of our playbook. I studied film religiously; how I could improve my play and exploits open for the taking of our opponents.

It was a disastrous ‘career.’ The teams that I played on went for a combined 11 wins in 40 games collectively, we were by no stretch of the imagination, any good. Individually, a few of the athletes and I won minor accolades for our play, but my dedication was for nought, I was courted to play on lesser-tier college teams in tiny towns across the country and found myself not moving away for college after high school.

In sports there is a huge network in effect creating opportunities and challenges, particularly with such organized team sports as football where success is dependent on proper execution of coordinated individual efforts by people from many different backgrounds with their own strengths and shortcomings, a lot like a business, a political campaign, a volunteer organization is run.

In sales we get to have a direct effect on our network, maintaining and building it is how we develop the economic effect for our business and earn our paychecks. The dedication though is what attracts the network that writes those checks, are you dedicated to the outcome that your customers want and need? If you were in your prospect’s shoes would your level of dedication be enough to convince you to sign that contract?

Your life and job is on the line to produce for your company daily and oftentimes it can seem that the person you’re negotiating with is holding things up for no reason; well, have you given them a reason not to? Does your counterpart across the table see in you a dedication to overdeliver for them and the ability to do it? Do you know their business intimately? How about their personal motivations, fears, distractions and ideals? Are you consumed with the next call, meeting, deal, meal or other item trivial to their life and career?

Dedication in sales means being a friend, psychologist, career coach,  and business analyst. Your network will carry you through the hard times when they see that you do the same for them, but it means living, eating and breathing dedication to your customer, coworkers, employer and results. Your wife is in this network acting on your results, your children, boss, direct reports, indirect reports, customers, previous bosses, coworkers, friends, and family, not to mention the rest of their networks that push and pull on them. When you deliver maximum value to the entirety of your network it comes back to you amplified.

On Complacency

I’m due for some serious weeping, like Julius Caesar before me, I’m a man of 32 years that hasn’t even conquered the world, how could I have ended up on such a tragic trajectory in life?

Sure, I’ve described my current life as ‘living the dream I’d always imagined’ but Alexander the Great ruled all that he surveyed by this time of his life, being dead shortly thereafter is of minor consequence I’m sure.

Having the finest experiences is of top priority to me, food, drink, company, travel, art, I’m here for the good life. I smile frequently and laugh boisterously, life is to be enjoyed.

“Do what you love and never work a day in your life” is advice regularly given and often debated these days. I’m not sure that I subscribe to it myself, but I do enjoy the hell our of my work selling enterprise technology infrastructure. I’m often consumed by the job, pulling all-nighters to meet proposal deadlines, it’s often high-tension and draining, but I love it, especially the feeling of a big win after a contentious negotiation.

With a laser focus on my life and enjoyment some things suffer, old (sometimes new) friendships, family, I’ve regularly struggled communicating with my wife as I’m such a selfish jerk.

I’m also fat and that makes me unhappy, it’s a tall order but I’d like to be sexier, I’ve struggled to deny myself that last bite, or seconds, for a decade.

I’ve been complacent, reeping what I sow, and I find that it hurts me. Thinking about when I’ve see the word complacent, it never seems to preceed more good things for those that are described as such.

Alexander the Great was very likely a man that knew no such feeling of complacency, and a raging alcoholic, while an entire life patterned from his is likely unwise, he rarely had feelings of doubt and inadequacy.

Existence requires effort anyway, might as well get all you want out of it <I make note to repeat to myself when feeling complacent>.