As the new year dawns and everyone has determined that this year- this is going to be their year. The year they turn it around. The year they burn it off. No matter what it takes…
But it doesn’t happen. Why?
This is a question I have been obsessed with for a long time. Why don’t people want to change? Why don’t they want to hustle? Is it that they are:
1- too lazy, they want a handout? A lot of salespeople think that their company should pay to fix their shortcomings.
2- afraid of the unknown? Some salespeople continue to do the things that got them where they are because of the fear of the unknown- even if what they are doing isn’t working anymore.
3- doubtful that they can deliver the value demanded of them? Sometimes it is easier to look for a tip, shortcut, or the perfect step by step process so that they don’t have to worry about relying on their own knowledge and expertise.
What is, and is not, the hustle that so many talk about today?
Being a word nerd myself, when you look up the word hustle, it can mean “to force someone to move hurriedly in a direction” or “to obtain by forceful action or persuasion” or if you look up the urban dictionary “anything you do to make money”. To many, the connotation is deceitful, like a con man who is ‘hustling’ someone.
So let’s break this down. When some salespeople think of hustle, it’s in terms of persistence, trying to accelerate the sale or get more sales. How do we get someone to take the next step with us?” One client asked it when struggling with the balance between being helpful and being ‘aggressive’ to get to the next steps. “I need more activity, I need to do more!” And yes, doing more, working harder is necessary. But today’s empowered buyer is going to see your tricks to get them to do something and simply disappear. Buyers today demand value for their time spent with you, and if there isn’t a reason for them to change the status quo, there isn’t much you can do, (no matter how much you discount), to get them to.
But what about working smarter? Caterina Fake, Co-Founder at Flickr said; “So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.” and while that has some truth to it, my reaction was “How would you know what the right thing is if you aren’t working hard to begin with?” Is working smarter or harder mutually exclusive? When you look back at the definition, it not just about doing more, but about going in a specific direction.
How to create your hustle
1. Set the direction. Call it the BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal), call it your dream, call it whatever you want, but make it bigger than you had ever imagined. In physics, the equation of F=ma the amount of force needed depends on the size of the mass and how fast you want it to accelerate. Is the fire in your belly bigger than the trash that is in your head?
2. Understand your value. What problem do you solve? How does it make the world a better place? Do you really believe in that? Who has that problem? Where do they go to look for more answers?
3. Be curious. Salespeople are told to ask more questions all the time, but why? What is the intent of those questions? A healthy sense of curiosity will feed your hustle.
4. Don’t accept, or make excuses. Learn from the past, make your dirty laundry list of the things that have gone wrong, why, and address them upfront in the future. Don’t dwell on it, deal with it. You are the only one in control of your circumstance.
5. Recognize the distractions, and avoid them. Whatever your BHAG is, it’s going to require focus and commitment. Use your goal as your compass and thermometer to know what, or who, is not the best use of your time and get comfortable saying no.
6. Don’t be surprised by the fear, use it. If you are reaching for something bigger, it is going to scare you from time to time. If it isn’t scary, it isn’t big enough. Use your fear to propel you, dive into it, use to to prove the voice in your head, or even someone else, wrong.
7. Be willing to pay for success, don’t look for handouts. Anthony Iannarino (who writes about hustle more than anyone else I know) writes: “Winners pay in advance for their success. Whatever the price is, they pay it. Losers, on the other hand, expect a handout. They believe time served means they deserve something better.” This means an unrelenting focus on the future, not the current circumstance or even past results.
How are you creating your hustle? How do you create your force? How big is your mass and how much acceleration do you need to move it?