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Creating Sustainability by Managing Your Time in Sales

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In sales, it's okay to acknowledge that you sometimes need to recharge your batteries. Sales is grueling. It's a hard job. You get rejection, you hear the word no.  You have many, many customers and constituents that you have to look out for. There are so many problems that you have no control over, and yet they can affect your income greatly. And then there's the constant, "what have you done for me lately?", a new sales goal every week or month or quarter, a new product or a new procedure or a new process or a new tech that you need to learn. Change is constant.

And just as soon as you think you've got it all figured out, look out, because something unexpected will happen. An account will go OB or there will be some other circumstance that comes at you from nowhere. It's okay to occasionally need opportunities and ways to recharge the batteries, don't let yourself get burned out. Don't try to put on that brave face. Find outlets. Find people you can talk to.

Maybe it's your peers and you go out after work. Maybe it's your boss who's coaching you, but you've been reluctant to show any vulnerability. Maybe it's people who don't work in your workplace and that's fine, so long as they're available to you in the middle of a workday when you really need them.

Don't think that you have to be a lone wolf or that you can't show any signs of weakness. We're human. All of us. And we could all occasionally use an extra boost. Someone who could buoy us, someone who could talk us off the ledge, someone who's been there and done that and knows what it feels like so they can empathize with you. Allow yourself to be encouraged by others by letting them know when you're discouraged. Don't be ashamed of it.

We've all been there and we all have places and times when we need some extra support. Don't deny it to yourself. Find it, get it, use it when you need.

I love sunflowers. They're interesting to me because they grow so fast, they're incredibly beautiful, they're giant. Mine get up to nine plus feet and they're interesting because throughout the day they turn their heads to the direction where the sun is shining. So the position they have in the morning is different from where they are by midday and again by evening. I enjoy sunflowers for another reason: I like sunflower seeds.

So when I grow these sunflowers, I harvest all the seeds, I dry them and I enjoy them throughout the year. But I get way more seed than I could ever eat. So I give some of these away and there are some that I don't roast, I save those for the birds in midwinter when there's nothing else that they can easily find. To me, sunflowers are a sign of life, but they mean summer to me. And I also like them because they give something back, they give the seeds back and they're just so easy to grow.

Part of the joy of having a garden is enjoying whatever it is that you plant or being able to give away something that somebody else might enjoy.

One of the things I grow our pumpkins, I don't really like pumpkins all that much. I'm not even a big fan of pumpkin pie or muffins or any of the other baked goods that you can make. I'm not that person who's the first one in line on September 1 when Starbucks has all their new pumpkin flavors.

But everybody around me seems to enjoy pumpkins, so I grow them and I make all kinds of products out of pumpkins for people to enjoy. Now I do like pumpkin seeds, so I make sure to use every part of the pumpkin and the seeds are the part of it that are, for me. Something else I don't really like, I don't love beets. I don't hate them. I know some people really have an aversion to beets, but I like them as chips better than I like them as canned or pickled beets. But every year I do put up several jars of pickled beets. I use my mom's recipe, which actually was her mom's recipe and I give these away to my aunt in particular. My aunt who lives in Chicago, loves my pickled beets because they remind her of home.

So what I'm getting at here is that you can grow things or do things for reasons beyond yourself. Sometimes the sustainability and the practicality is in and of itself, its own reward. But when you can put a smile on somebody else's face, well, there's nothing that compares to that.

A lot of the dehydrating that I do is to make snacks that are yet, sustainable, I might not find really good blueberries or strawberries in the middle of winter, but the ones I've dried are pretty darn good as a substitute. I also make cat treats. I make tuna and salmon treats for my cat because at the store, if I go to Petco to buy them those dehydrated treats for cats or somewhere in the neighborhood of 9 dollars for a bag, and that bag is only going to last my cat a couple of weeks, but I can open up a can of tuna or buy a tuna steak for far less money and end up with more treats that last forever.

And I think he likes them better, too.I can't see him smiling, but I usually get a good leg rub out of those those cat treats and that's every bit as good as a smile. Doing things that make other people happy is rewarding in business, too. We could talk about the law of reciprocity. When you do something for others, they naturally want to do something for you in return. But I like to make people smile. I like to make them happy because even in that moment, it returns joy to me. It can get me through a rough day knowing that I've made a difference, even a small one for someone else.

Fuel your own energy, not just with the things that are practical, not just with the things that matter to you, but by paying it forward and giving something to someone else.

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