On Saturday it was my 4 year anniversary of being cancer free. This sparked a lot of self reflection, so here are my 8 rules for life inside and outside of sales that I’ve learned over the past few years.

1 – Seek Discomfort

Accelerated growth and the most meaningful life experiences happen outside our comfort zone. When we seek discomfort on a regular basis, we can rewire our anxiety from a “threat” detector to a “growth” detector.
This is an important skill to develop because both sales and life in general can feel uncomfortable at times.
Over time, learning to seek discomfort gets easier and leads to greater levels of personal growth and fulfillment. Having a helpful set of stress management tools and self-care strategies can help you push through the self-doubt, fear and anxiety you face on the edge of your comfort zone.
Kudos to Yes Theory for regular Seek Discomfort motivation.

2 – Try to “Inspire” instead of “Impress”

Too many of us spend every waking hour trying to impress our friends, partners, colleagues, bosses and buyers. This traps us into thinking who we “should be” versus who we actually are.
Instead, focus on inspiring others through your quirks, journey, authenticity, generosity, empathy, compassion, discipline and hard work. These qualities and actions are firmly in your hands to control every single day.
Get off the beaten path and inspire others to think differently by discovering your own and being your true self.

3 – The 8 hour work day is utter nonsense.

Any company or leader that is operating under the expectation that a human being can focus and complete high quality work for 7-8 hours (or more) per day is living in a fantasy.
On the best days, we’ll have 4 maybe 5 hours of deep focus time.
Every company and leader needs to stop focusing and rewarding those on their team who are working the longest. Instead their focus should be on removing distractions and maximizing recovery periods to generate the highest performance possible during these 4-5 hours each day.

4 – Teach something new you learn every day.

We live in a world where we’re bombarded with new information daily through books, podcasts, videos, blogs and social media. Our brain deletes most of this information because we’re overloaded.
Teaching forces you to pause, reflect and put what you just learned into context for yourself and others. This exercise allows your brain to integrate new information into your own experiences, memories and beliefs, which maximizes learning and retention for use again in the future.
Start that blog, social media account, podcast or website as they are great ways to teach others on a regular basis.

5 – Mood follows behaviour.

Our emotions and feelings create an internal momentum which can be hard to change.
The momentum of a “Good Mood” can make us resilient to setbacks, feel confident and remain optimistic. The momentum of a “Bad Mood” can make us feel like we’re drowning, trapped and unable to escape.
We can control this momentum with our actions.
When we’re at our lowest, mustering up the courage and willpower to take that one action that changes momentum will feel impossible. If you’re in a bad mood and reading this right now…
Step 1 – What’s one small action in your control that you can take right now to feel 1% better?
Go for a walk…
Grab a glass of water…
Take a shower…
Put your running shoes on…
Step 2 – Count yourself down from 10 seconds… Then take action.
Step 3 – Then repeat.
We can rarely think ourselves into a new mood and we can’t change negative momentum or moods by sitting still. It’s only when we manage to take that one tiny, yet monumental action when we’ll start change our mood and feel better.
Kudos to Rich Roll for “Mood follows behavior”.

6 – Leading with expectations is dangerous.

Expecting a partner or friend to act a certain way during a fight.
Expecting a vacation or wedding to be perfect.
Or expecting that deal to close or to get that promotion.
The higher our expectations, the less flexible and adaptable we become to the unpredictability of day to day life. This makes us vulnerable to crippling emotions like anger, fear and sadness that drive bad decisions.
High expectations are important, but knowing when to lower them are equally as important.

7 – “Nerd Out” whenever you can.

What’s that one hobby you absolutely love doing – that others may think is extremely “uncool”?
Whether it’s playing board games, reading comic books, building models, toy train collections or doing puzzles; we can all benefit from more “play” as an adult. Usually revisiting activities we enjoyed as a kid is the best place to start.
Embracing our inner Nerd on a regular basis can help us become more authentic, genuine and self-loving. Studies also show “play” is one of the most effective ways to recover from burnout and stress.

8 – “Who do you want to be when you grow up?”

We ask this question all the time to our kids, but never as adults.
In our twenties we start to replace personal growth with career growth. As a result we end up the same person we were at 24 when we turn 30; except now we just have a different job title.
Whether you’re 25 or 65 and reading this post…
Who do you want to be when you grow up?
An author…
A marathon runner…
A parent…
An entrepreneur…
Asking yourself this question keeps your mind focused on growth. It forces you to dream big and work towards becoming someone who scares the crap out of who you are today.
Now go back to rule #1 and seek discomfort.
Kudos to James Clear for the question.

Beyond These Rules For Life

Many of these rules for life that I’ve learned over the last 3 years have helped guide my approach towards improving Mental Health in sales. If my perspective in this post resonated with you, then you’ll like enjoy the training services I deliver to sales teams through Sales Health Alliance.
Check out the link below for details.

About The Author

mental health advocate Jeff Riseley

Jeff Riseley is currently the Founder of the Sales Health Alliance and Mental Health Advocate. With over a decade of sales experience – Jeff understands the importance of Mental Health in achieving peak sales performance.

Jeff combines his sales and Mental Health expertise to improve sales performance through a mix of sales mentorship and mental health best practices. His strategies have helped sales teams improve their sales process, while helping them become more motivated, resilient and better equipped to tackle stressful events within sales.


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