You’re going to get passed over for that promotion.
I could go on and on.
In the moment, experiencing these types of negative outcomes feels like the worst thing in the world.
Some of the first thoughts that probably go through your head are “What can I do to get back at X?” or “How can I make X feel just like this? Or worse?” We’ve all been there.
As much as you would like to retaliate, you shouldn’t. You’re better than that. Why stoop to their level?
Allow yourself to experience whatever emotion X caused you to feel for as long as you want. You are human after all.
When you get that out of your system, it’s time to change your perception of the event and take the high ground. Just like the stoic philosophers preached, you may not be able to control what happens to you, but you can control how you respond to it.
You can start by reflecting on the experience and asking yourself what you can learn from it. Maybe you could have done things differently or better.
Then, try to think about how you can best move forward. Formulate a plan that will allow you to succeed like you never have before. Commit to bettering yourself and don’t stop until you get what you want. Show X what you’re made of, and let your actions speak for themselves.
In the end, it’s not about throwing “I told you so” back in X’s face when the time comes. It’s about being a person of character, turning obstacles into opportunities, and reaching new heights. That’s the sweetest revenge of all.
When I worked in a restaurant my parents owned, maybe I could have helped them grow their business. They really only wanted me to count money. And then they got rid of the restaurant.
Another time in elementary school I tried partnering with a neighbor to sell fancy fans and bookmarks from China in front of our house. Little did we know our neighborhood was not a great market for this product.
Then after college, I was gung-ho about sales. I thought “just get in front of a customer and ask a lot of questions and be comfortable asking them to buy.” I thought those were the secrets of how “it all works.”
Who knows where I would be if I learned to sell throughout my teen years instead of working as a busboy/waiter in various restaurants.
I imagine the earlier anyone (myself included) learns the things on this list, the earlier they can start making big changes for themselves.
Enough reflecting on the past. This article is all about moving forward.
If you are reading this, and jumping into sales, or considering it as a career path, here are 11 things I wish I knew about sales earlier. These are not in order of importance.
1. Selling is an amazing career choice
In highschool I didn’t think about how selling works. I worked as a busboy/host/waiter and I just “did my job.” I served tables and they gave us money.
My bosses never explained to me that by “asking customers if they wanted to add a soup to their order.” You might say that is more a “marketing tactic” as opposed to true selling, but it was a lesson that impacts the “sales of the restaurant.”
It is easy to get caught up in the day to day when you have a regular job not realizing the vast opportunities if you start to pursue a sales career.
Then there is the amazing feeling of a close.
2. There is a process
When I worked at Abercrombie & Fitch I only thought about customer experience. My numbers weren’t on the line.
Be a happy, awesome “store model” and greet everyone, and I might get to work extra days and holidays for minimum wage and the chance of having overtime.
If only I knew that this attitude was a part of “their process” and if I had known I was part of some sales process or funnel, I may have been more helpful. I knew the term “cross-sell” and “up-sell” at this point, but I never really knew “how” to do it, and at what point of the interactions.
Looking later in my career when I interned to sell insurance, it would have been nice to know that organizing events at small fairs were a lead generation tactic which was part of a “process” from beginning to close.
Imagine if you could listen to some of the worlds most successful people sharing their stories with you, 10, 15 years ago. Sure my parents were great and instilled values like work ethic, but there is some incredible wisdom you can get from audiotape courses.
You can learn leadership from the likes of Dale Carnegie, to the sales techniques of Brian Tracy, to the success principles of Napoleon Hill. They change lives.
4. Consultative selling
I did not learn about this until a couple of jobs after college. I knew about asking questions and helping people find what they were looking for in a store.
It was late that I found out how valuable that skill is in looking for ways to build a business. By uncovering peoples needs and presenting benefits, you can truly help customers get what they need.
This is also a great way to build professional relationships and find business opportunities.
5. Open-ended questions
I was fortunate to build the habit of asking open-ended questions when I worked at a water park. In fact, asking open-ended questions was seen as a matter of a potential traumatic neck injury.
When you are rescuing someone who has a potential neck injury (falling on their head, whiplash, etc…) you want to make sure you don’t ask them yes or no questions to which they will respond by shaking or nodding their heads.
I knew the skill, but I did not know the tremendous potential in becoming a better salesman by improving this skill. And not only a better salesman, but also a better person. You can even transition this skill into consulting or coaching.
And open-ended questions is also a highly effective tactic throughout the end of the sales process too for closing.
6. Tracking metrics
I did not even know what metrics were until I worked at a major Fortune 50 company. When I worked in retail I saw that the store had sold “150 jeans” but never realized this was a measurement that gets tracked all the way to the top.
That would have been an interesting conversation with the managers. They never really told us too much. I guess it was on a need to know basis.
There is incredible potential in setting the right metrics and how it can be used in daily life for personal goals. And today, with all the analytics tools, metrics are a supernova subject.
Looking back before the age of digital media started driving down the prices of audiotapes, I probably would not have been able to afford lectures from the best. I did, however, spend a lot of time in the library as a kid. I did not read the same books I do today though. I preferred fiction and poetry.
Moving on to when I started working… If you are reading this, I urge you to pick up a book about your business or about sales, or success in general. Think and Grow Rich is a good starter.
Early in my career when I started selling I merely just “did what my boss told me.” “Organize events, call this person and report back what they said, my boss would say.” I was so “busy” I did not spend enough time truly learning the skills.
I thought I was selling. So cute.
8. Selling myself
I was a “good employee.” In some place’s I was an exceptional employee.
While I often sold myself on a job role or sold myself in believing in the company, I did not sell myself on the products and what I was doing.
What a difference can be made if I thought:
“This restaurant has the best Chinese food in this town!”
“Our collection of pants will last for years both style and quality-wise. Oh, and these tops will make you look fantastic.”
“This water park is the most well maintained and family-friendly water park in the city!”
9. Objection handling
Objection handling is two parts.
First, it is the automated response psychology of overcoming “no’s” by taking their no’s, and reflecting back without making an argument.
“Yes I can understand why you think that,” then coming back with a response that suits the situation.
Second, there is preparing for objections ahead of time. This is one of the skills that can only be improved over time.
At one point I only knew the term “handling objections” but taking time to plan for the future and having a good answer for everything is a good skill for both life and sales.
10. Benefits, benefits, benefits
When I used to see infomercials, I was merely amused by them. I never had a boat to plug up with a spray nor did I want to spend money on a vacuum when I already had one that still did the job.
I ignored advertising completely.
But if you spend the time to study advertising, marketing campaigns, and sales pitches around the world, you can learn so much.
It doesn’t matter if I don’t want a new SUV.
It doesn’t matter that I don’t plan on buying the fancy overpriced bottle of champagne.
What does matter is someone out there is learning about all the great benefits of how a new product will improve their lives.
And you can learn from the way the person behind the sale does it – often by sharing the benefits to a customer.
11. Success Mindset
An interesting interaction happened to me the day I wrote this article that made me come to a realization.
I reached out to an acquaintance in search of a business partner. This lead to a conversation where I shared with them something personal (albeit positive) I believed about myself.
They happened to not see my point of view and responded with “no you are not.”
It was the first time in a long time where I responded with a child-like “yes I am”.
The funny thing was before she said “no I was not,” I only half-heartedly believed what I said about myself, as I said it jokingly.
It was then that I realized the true power of belief. Belief in yourself. Not only selling yourself but also having a deep-rooted success mindset.
Even if others do not see it yet, and even if you are still working towards what you want to become, you can work every day toward making it a deeply ingrained belief. Adopting a success mindset is something no one can take away from you.
This article republished with permission from original author.
I have recently received a lot of questions in regards to student loans and what are the best strategies in order to pay them in the most efficient way possible. Well for those who have questions…. here we go.
Subsidized vs. Unsubsidized Loans
The key difference to realize here is SUBsidized loans are loans that you do not have to start paying interest on until you graduate college. In order to qualify, you must be a ½ time student and be in a financial situation where a loan will help you with the burdens of college expenses.
Unsubsidized, are just the opposite. You do not have to qualify, the interest of the loan starts adding up immediately, and unlike a subsidized loan, there is no 6-month grace period for you start paying after graduating.
Student Loan Interest Deduction
If you have student loans, the current amount of interest that you can deduct is $2,500. The easiest way to figure out how much of your loan is tax deductible is to do the following:
Divide it by your average interest rate
This gives you the amount of your loan that is going to provide you the highest tax deduction benefit
You have $50,000 in student loans, with an average interest rate of 7%.
$2,500 divided by 7% (.07) is approximately $35,714.
What this means is that the difference of $14,286 is not providing you any sort of tax benefit if you qualify for the tax deduction.
Which loans do I pay off first?
The amount of your loan that does not provide you any tax benefit, considering the highest interest rate, should be the loans you prioritize first.
From there, as you make your monthly payments, you will see that your total loan balance decreasing, you are maximizing your tax deduction, and pin-pointing the loans that are working against you.
Loan Repayment Financing
The goal here would to be lower the amount of interest you pay on your student loans. However, beware if you speak to someone who says they can lower your payment, your interest rate, but increase your term.
The reason why is that despite you saving “money” on your payment each month, in reality you are just paying more interest than if you just kept your normal payments.
Always consult with someone that you know who is knowledgeable in the subject before making a big decision such as refinancing your student loans.
Income Based Refinancing
Be very careful when it comes to refinancing your student loans that are “income” based. The reason why is if you expect to be receiving raises or promotions in the future, this can negatively affect you in the long-run.
A friend of mine refinanced based off of their income, which was around $35,000. After working at their company for a few years, they received a promotion, a raise, and that ended up hurting them because of income based refinancing.
Now, they are stuck in a payment that is actually larger than it was originally, which is not a benefit, but added baggage onto their financial picture.
If you are someone who’s income is not going to be fluctuating over the first 10 years of their career, then maybe income based refinancing makes sense. Just be cognizant that sometimes, it pays just to keep things the way they are.
Loan Repayment vs. Investing
This is a tricky question and it all depends on two details:
What is the interest rate you are paying on your student loans?
How much risk do you need to take in order to make more interest than your student loans?
According to Investopedia, “Approximately 10% is the average return for the S&P 500 since its inception back in 1928. Adjusted for inflation the “real return” is more like 7%. Also, worth noting that nearly half of the gains from the S&P 500 resulted from dividends. “
What this means is, if you are to invest your money, you need to invest in a way where the amount of “return” that you earn is more than what you are paying for your student debt.
Before you begin investing your extra money, it is very important to set a goal to have 3-6 months of your yearly income in liquid cash. I had an event last year on my home that was an unexpected expense. By having extra money for me to use, I was able to pay it without having to worry what account to take from.
When your interest rate is higher than 7%, historically, you can expect to obtain similar returns if you were to invest in an index such as the S&P 500.
Congratulations! You are now on track to becoming financially independent!
If you enjoyed this article, please share with your friends, and I will continue to post more help on various subjects that are important.
If you have any questions or suggestions for more articles, please contact me directly.
Examples are hypothetical and for illustrative purposes only. The rates of return do not represent any actual investment and cannot be guaranteed. Any investment involves potential loss of principal.”
Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Cambridge and RFW Wealth Advisors are not affiliated. Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.
Indices mentioned are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. These are the opinions of Joshua Krafchick and not necessarily those of Cambridge, are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed or acted upon as individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Instagram can help you fulfill your dreams, here is how.
You undoubtedly heard of the power of Vision Boards, and how they help you turn your greatest dreams and desires into reality.
Perhaps you have one already, or you created one for a school project when you were eight, not knowing the tremendous value it held.
It is a way to visually define who you want to be, where you want to go, what you want to do, and more. This is traditionally done with a collage (collected from newspapers or magazines) of words that empower you, photos of what you wish to materialize, people you wish to surround yourself with, and more.
Do not overcomplicate the board with questions of how or why.
By creating the board, you are taking action, and your mind will unconsciously absorb your own messages to help guide you where you want to be.
What does this all have to do with Instagram?
Simple. Let Instagram be your board.
You do not have to put your true identity, and you can keep it private if you wish.
While the activity of clipping and searching magazines for your success tokens probably has its’ own effect, Instagram provides its’ own benefits.
Once you have a physical board you can expand through Instagram.
Hashtags and social media can guide your own dreams and desires, to you. Or at least help you connect with others with similar interests.
Get started today. Making an account is really easy and start sharing the words, items, and people that can spark you.
WISH YOU SUCCESS!
P.S. The one challenge to be aware of is making sure you give credit to photographers and/or look for public domain or creative commons photos. You can start here: https://www.flickr.com/creativecommons
Good health is not something that we can buy. However, it can be an extremely valuable savings account.
As Americans, we are highly susceptible to living unhealthy lifestyles.
We all have our flaws whether it’s:
Not having enough time
Too busy with work
Or just sheer laziness
Personally, I have worked hard to chase what I would consider my dream, and have found in order to do so you have to live a healthy lifestyle.
According to the United Nations’ International Labour Office, unhealthy lifestyle choices cost U.S. businesses in upwards of $12 billion annually. That makes you think about whether spending $50/month on a gym membership for yourself or your employees is probably worth it.
Most people do not consider their health as an investment, but research shows that 23% of adults that are obese earn $35k or less each year, whereas only 5.6% of Americans who are obese earn $100k+.
Why do you think CEOs wake up really early to get in a morning workout?
BECAUSE IT MAKES YOU PERFORM BETTER IN ALL ASPECTS OF LIFE!
As we approach every New Year, we set to lose weight or save money. Funny enough, they are actually both linked to one another! Studies have shown that regular exercise will substantially decrease your chances of heart disease and less risk of heart disease, meaning more money that you will save in your lifetime!
It has been proven by various studies that for those who exercise vs. doesn’t exercise, saves over $2,000/year!
Not only does working out help you save and earn more but making time to get in a work-out helps in a variety of other ways.
For example, it will release endorphins that will increase your happiness. Happiness is linked to increased performance in the work-place because people, who do business, enjoy doing business with people who are happy!
If you are someone who is unhappy or even depressed, you may tend to binge-eat junk food more regularly. Doing so will increase your cholesterol levels, similar to how credit card debt can clog someone’s personal finances.
On the flip-side, mortgage debt could be considered “good cholesterol” because home prices have increased substantially over the past 30 years.
A good starting goal is 2-3 hours of exercise each week.
It doesn’t have to be anything too intense, but going for a walk or taking a significant other to a dance class is moving in a positive direction to help improve your health and wealth.
Breakdown your $100 million into different percentages and categories, for example, “$30 million is in the stock market, you own $50 million in properties, you have four cars worth a total of $1 million, etc…”
Breakdown the costs of the objects in one of your houses (or all).
What industry have you mastered?
How much money to do you need to live, annually? (i.e. taxes, food expenses, etc…)
What does your closet look like, and how do those tie into your $100 million?
Do this exercise on your way to financial success and find that it will help you obtain whatever it is you are looking for.
Believe and understand that once you can see it, dream it, feel it, plan it, then you can achieve it.