In the day-to-day grind, we sometimes lose perspective about what we are striving so hard to achieve. We develop tunnel-vision and a short-term approach to life. We see the eight- ten- twelve- hour day before us, the clients we have to meet, the daily quotas we have to make. In that huddled mentality, the bigger picture is lost.
However, it is the long, panoramic view that provides a sense of contentment and well-being day to day. If you are struggling to close deals, or even if you are the top producer in your ISO, fostering a broader landscape on which to map your goals will help you as a seller, as well as with what should be everyone's ultimate goal: to be a well-rounded, loving human being.
"Loving" may be a term that makes some merchant level salespeople (MLSs) chuckle derisively. Granted, there is not much loving when cutthroat competitors are trying to steal away your clients in a tight market economy or co-workers are badmouthing you to the boss.
But loving your job and family is no joke. In the big picture, it is the only benchmark of success that counts.
It is the difference between getting rich and being wealthy.
Thinking too much about riches is short-sighted. The single-minded pursuit of creating as much income as possible is not fundamentally a bad thing, since making money in our capitalist system is the way in which we, as individuals, provide for our families. And, on a macro scale, it is one of the reasons why we, as Americans, enjoy a standard of living that is the envy of the world.
But, the race to riches has its drawbacks. Often, in the quest to get rich, personal relationships suffer.
You might not see your family as much as you should; or you might not be around to share your day with your spouse or partner; or you might not interact with your kids and find out what is going on in their lives.
Your health is also something that more than likely will suffer from a narrow-minded focus on getting rich:
But true wealth plays by an entirely different set of rules. Wealth is not predicated on the thickness and heft of your merchant portfolio or the size of your bank account.
Being wealthy involves a mix of factors: meaningful, personally satisfying work balanced with healthy relationships with loved ones; growing and nurturing your customer base, while maintaining the integrity of your word and reputation.
Wealth is not a statistic. It cannot be measured in arbitrary benchmarks of success. You don't have to be a millionaire to be wealthy.
You just have to know you are doing your very best to balance your professional life with your personal life. That will give you satisfaction on the days when nobody returns your calls or your sales pitch goes horribly awry.
Every MLS should run to a nearby bookstore or library and pick up a copy of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman," or rent from a video store one of the many filmed adaptations of the famous 1949 play.
In the play, the main character, Willie Loman, is a bitter salesman at the end of his rope. He strove his entire life to make as much money as possible; he failed miserably. And because Willie put all his dreams in one meager basket, he missed out on the simple joys of life.
Willie Loman believed only in getting rich, and look where it got him.
Take a different path, one that encompasses all that life has to offer, one on which contributing to others is a meaningful signpost. You will find true wealth and prosperity.
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