Last weekend I was hanging out with a friend whom I hadn’t seen in a few years and of course we both started talking about what we did for a living, the state of the economy, the velocity of change that’s taking place around us, politics, war, and religion. Again… this is a friend.

Well, after watching a football game in which the Ravens had clearly shown themselves to be superior to the Patriots on the gridiron (go Ravens!!!) my buddy said something that I was totally unprepared for. In a tone of condescension he said: “I could never do what you do for a living.” If thoughts were visible, mine would have looked like an M1-Abrams tank crushing the compact car of his arrogance. Still, this was a friend so I calmly asked him to explain and he said, you know, selling and asking people to spend money with you. Here’ss the politically correct version of my response:

You’re right  you can’t do what people like me do.” In fact, there are very few people in the world who do what sales athletes do, love doing what we do, and most that try to do what we do either quit or fail. Sales athletes that embrace their profession accept that:

  • What they produce may determine how others define and judge them.
  • “FAIR” is a privilege, not an entitlement.
  • They will have to handle hardcore rejection from strangers every working day.
  • They will compete in a marketplace against say-anything desperate peddlers.
  • They will fight to maintain moral integrity as others discard it for a dollar.
  • They have to commit to continuing education and ongoing training to remain credible.
  • and…even if they don’t have the best or most appealing products they still have to win.
  • They may have to live out of a suitcase every now and then.
  • What they do may impact and influence careers, families, and society.

Professional sales athletes know these things. And when we’re successful we’ll be able to earn a better-than-average living, positively contribute to society, and enjoy the quiet satisfaction of knowing that that you’re right – most people could never do what we do.