I received a phone call this morning, (Christmas Eve Day) from a friend/customer of mine, that gave me some (at the time) very upsetting news. A very large opportunity that I was working on for a number of months is likely to have been scrapped due to budgetary requirements.
I felt pretty bad, and I know that this customer will more than likely will have to “take it on the chin” in order to realize that what I was offering them would have protected them. (I sell Internet security and Data Loss Prevention products.)
Then in church tonight, it dawned on me how myopic my vision has been, and what this one deal had done to me over the past few months. I truly didn’t know what “the big deal” was.
Seems like everyone in my profession is a workaholic, or has the potential of being one. And I stand before you guilty as charged. But for the past 3 months, I took workaholism to the extreme. I was working 12-18 hours a day, 7 days a week, putting together pricing, presentations, and responding to my other customers. I didn’t take care of myself, I stopped working out. I neglected my writing, my solutude, my education, and my spiritual life. And worst of all I lost contact with my friends, my boys, and my wife.
And eventhough I put in all this time, I didn’t get my work done to my satisfaction. My performance suffered, and I for the first time ever, I really started to hate being a salesperson. I wasn’t doing what I like to do, which is calling on customers, and going to appointments. My job had transitioned from salesperson to desk jockey.
I also love the technology, and wasn’t getting a chance to play with it. That’s how I learn, hands on, so I didn’t have the level of confidence speaking about my company’s technology that I usually have.
Honestly, I was thinking about my family, my church, and my education, when I worked all these hours. This was not about personal gain, but a chance to drop a few grand in the collection plate, go on a nice vacation, and pay for my Master’s degree. But in the course of all of this, I totally lost perspective. I forgot about all the other “big deals” in my life.
I forgot that
- God is THE big deal.
- My friends are a big deal.
- My health is a big deal.
- My education is a big deal.
- Rest is a big deal.
- Having fun is a big deal.
- My boys are a big deal.
- And my wife is a great, beautiful, loving, and special big deal.
And yes, my customers and my job are a big deal. But it’s not big enough to warrant excluding all the other big deals.
A salesperson’s job is like a black hole. I find that I get sucked up in the hole every few months or so. There are times when it is truly busy, but if I let it happen, “busy times” will be all the time.
I’m sure that I’ll get sucked into the black hole again, sometime, somewhere. But I do hope that by writing this, I’m reinforcing the importance of all the other things in my life, and buying myself a little more time before I fall in the hole.
I hope that you’ll remember all the big deals in your life, and do your best to keep them all in balance.
If you’re reading this on Christmas, have a merry one. If you’re not, then make it Christmas for those around you.