This weekend, I leave for my last vacation get-away before summer ends and Q4 kicks into gear. My husband and I will be heading to Estes Park in the Rocky Mountains to take in the breath-taking Colorado River and the continental divide. My family took our vacations in Estes Park when I was younger. The whole family—our luggage, our dog Ginger—all packed into our station wagon for the 2-day trip from Iowa. My Dad took this photo of the three of us as young girls on our annual hike up to Lake Haiyaha.
Last year, was the first time we would all be together again at that cabin in Estes Park, this time as adults with our husbands in tow. But then, three months before our scheduled date, Dad suffered an emergency and within 2 days, was having a quadruple bi-pass (thankfully, he didn’t discover the problem at 10,000 feet elevation).
Secure in the knowledge that Dad was on his way back to full recovery, we went forward with the vacation. Since he couldn’t be there with us we wanted to him to know how deeply the Estes Park memories are etched in our hearts and minds. And so we re-created the picture he took of us 48 years ago. Notice how the two young trees, sprouting up behind us, have also grown sturdy and tall.
This year, Dad is joining us. How amazing it will be to come full circle and experience our family vacation together again as adults.
Dad instilled the love of the mountains in us all. My love of the mountains is no doubt why I chose to live right outside of Yosemite National Park for 5 years before moving to Sacramento. But there’s a mountain of another kind that I’m not quite as fond of. It’s a mountain I’ve never considered to be spiritually rejuvenating. That mountain is known as ‘Q4.’
Don’t get me wrong. I love a challenge. Anyone in sales has got to innately love a challenge. But I wouldn’t call the Q4 climb ‘rejuvenating’. In light of the timing, I wondered if there is a way to conquer Q4 with all the pride and joy of a 4 year old making the hike up the mountain for this photo as I did with my sisters way back when.
Here’s how you might do it.
Unbridle your enthusiasm
Wake up every morning excited for the day ahead. Sure, yesterday may have been a real headache. But today is a new day and it’s full of possibilities. Maybe you’ll finally get through to that important prospect. Perhaps that deal you thought you lost will come back to life. Forget what was tough about yesterday. Today you’ll see and experience new things.
Act for the pure joy of it
Cold-calling on new leads? Enjoy it! People are interesting. You have something useful and informative to say. You’ll never notice the wonders around you if you’re motivated by something other than enjoyment.
Spend less time planning and thinking, and more time doing.
When in doubt, take the next small step. You’ll never be or act perfectly. Put one foot in front of the other and eventually you’ll be at the mountain’s top.
Stop worrying about what others think of you.
Be yourself. Follow your instincts. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Don’t compare your life to others. Act with integrity and compassion and the rest will take care of itself.
Look at your profession with a sense of wonderment
To succeed in sales takes a very special kind of person. You are special. Not everyone has the strength, the courage, or the inclination to do what we do. As a salesperson, your actions and the results of those actions have a direct impact on the well-being of your company and your fellow employees. You play an important role. Most importantly, what you sell to your prospects and customers makes a difference in their lives.
Be present and live in the moment.
We are trained to forecast and predict the future. Which deal will close? When will they close? How much will you sell? Don’t let that keep you from living in the moment. It’s what you do today—not what happened yesterday, and what might happen tomorrow—that matters most.
Smile and laugh more often.
There’s a reason we’re taught to smile when we’re on the phone. Smiling is what fuels a positive attitude. It influences what you say and even changes the intonation and inflection of your voice. It’s harder to let stress or fear trip you up if you remember to smile. As my Dad always told us (as I’m sure every Dad says), “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.” Whistle your way up that mountain.
You will make it up the Q4 Mountain by shear grit and determination if nothing else. Why not enjoy the journey as well. The journey is, after-all, what consumes your time and energy. The challenge, and the experience should be what drives you to the top.