I want you to think about your goals. Do you think you need to talk about them? To post on Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat and WhatsApp that you’re going to gym every morning? Why do you need to talk about them? The only person that you must prove something is you. Be self-motivated, you don’t need others to keep you going through your own goals. Remember that the hard work is done in the dark, while nobody is watching. Do it for you.
I’ve given all kind of excuses for myself and for others to justify why I didn’t do something. The most common of all was ‘I don’t have time’. But, now I realize how bad this excuse is.
Everybody’s life is busy, anyone of us could easily say that doesn’t have enough time to do everything. But try to imagine those who always seen to be doing everything great, what do they do differently?
I think it’s not a matter of time, but a matter of priorities. Maybe your priority in a weekend is to party and relax, for others, it might be, finish the accumulated work of the week and organize the next one. Some prioritize series on Netflix over books, sleeping eight hours over seven. Every minute we spend in a day is a choice and you’ll be choosing what is top on your priorities.
Next time, instead of saying I don’t have time, be honest with yourself. Did you really prioritize that project? Because if you did, it would be done.
TED talk that opened my eyes: https://www.ted.com/talks/laura_vanderkam_how_to_gain_control_of_your_free_time
“I don’t have time = It’s not a priority.”
If you were supposed to talk to me about failures, what would you say? I’d wait until you finish and ask you: “Now, tell me about your real failures.”
Steven Pressfield wrote in The War of Art
“That was when I realized I had become a pro. I had not yet had a success. But I had had a real failure”
The word real before failure changes everything in this quote. What’s a real failure for you? Get bad grades in college? Miss your class? Lose a party? What are your standards? For Steven Pressfield was that his first professional writing job sucked, the movie he wrote was terrible and it was all over Hollywood receiving critics from everyone.
You can only become a pro if you expose yourself to the world. Be ready to receive some slaps in the face and learn with them. Maybe you’ll think that you’re not good enough inside your home, in your comfort zone. Maybe in your first attempt, you failed and never wanted to try anymore. Maybe you didn’t even show to the world what you can achieve. Maybe you didn’t have real failures.
Get exposed, get vulnerable and learn by trying. You can only achieve success if its antagonist were a real failure, that’s the risk you must endure to become a pro.
I’m on the Day 6 of the 30 Days Blog Post Challenge and today I’m writing about writing again.
The path to success isn’t easy. To be successful, you’ll have to say ‘no’ more often than you’re used to, sometimes you’re going to work while nobody else is working and you may lose touch with friends and family. It’s tough.
So, what the paragraph above has to do with writing? What’s the message here? Truly commit to something and do it every single day is hard. Writing is hard. Now, commit to writing every day is super hard.
If you want to be successful, commit to something that you know that will be hard. Get used to the uncomfortable and you’ll be building yourself to greatness.
I’m working on field sales, you can see me walking on the street every day, under the sun or rain, I’ll be there. I’ve never imagined that I’d go door to door to sell a service. I also didn’t imagine that it’d be so awesome.
My routine is waking up at 5 A.M, write a blog post (or at least try), go to the office at 6:30 A.M. and having a meeting with my team to plan our routes, the number of leads, follow-ups, closed win and post-sales we’re going to do for the week after that we’re off to go and sell.
In my second week of training, I made a pitch to a lead. It was terrible, I’ve never had trouble speaking with strangers, I’m good at it, but when I’m supposed to sell something, I freeze and my mind goes blank.
It’s awesome! I missed that feeling of anxiety that makes me want to learn more, to do better. Every day on the street, we see a variety of problems and many kinds of people. You must be resilient.
Let’s be honest, nobody wants an unexpected visit from a sales rep. It’s easy to notice their faces when we enter an establishment with our uniform, they know that we’re going to sell them something and they build a wall. Our job is to break this enormous barrier between us and we’re quite good at doing that.
In Brazil, until 2009, there was a double monopoly of two companies that owned the market of physical payments, they had exclusivity with Visa and MasterCard. They were the only ones, so they charged the price they wanted and could be the quality they wanted.
We focus on building relationships with our customers, that’s why we do field sales instead of inside sales. They were used to know that there are only two options available. They need to see us, they need to see that we’re not a fraud. We sell a solution that they already have, we sell card machines.
Brazilian people are used to be treated poorly, to spend hours on the phone trying to fix a problem with their internet, phone, bank and card machine service. Customer experience here is usually awful.
We were born to change this market of payments. We’re in the same team of the Brazilian Entrepreneurs, we have a consultant for every region of a city. The team at Customer Support has a goal to solve a customer’s problem in one minute without transferring the call. We charge a fair price and a constant support. We really focus on clients.
It’s being awesome to work on the streets, I’m meeting new people every day and knowing every kind of business and with this knowledge, I can help clients and connect them to help each other. Our purpose is to help these Entrepreneurs.
I’ve never imagined having a work like this and the main reason that I’m enjoying it, it’s because I believe. I believe we’re making a difference in people’s lives and this makes me sell with fire in the eyes and with a genuine intent to help.
When you think about an expense, what’s going on in your head? What are the thoughts behind every purchase you do? Do you know why you’re buying? Do you know what are you buying? If every spent were an investment, would you spend it differently?
Think about it, how a purchase can change your life? Think about the last spent you did. What did you buy? Why did you buy it? Take the big picture, try to understand why and how you use your money. Which areas of your life are impacted with a purchase?
Here’s the answer: whenever you use your money, you have to create value for all areas of your life.
For example, if I buy a watch, I’ll be aware of time and I won’t be late for an appointment in personal and professional lives. It can affect positively in results of sales meetings and in dates.
If you feel like ‘Oh, I spent a lot of money and I can’t see which areas of my life I’m improving’ maybe you’re spending it wrong. Instead of buying soda and watch a romantic movie, why not buy water and watch a documentary? See the difference? I’m boring. But think about the results, with water, you’ll be healthier, a documentary and a discussion after watching it can improve your relationship with your friends and your knowledge.
I loved the book The Last Safe Investment by Bryan Franklin and Michael Ellsberg and if this blog post interested you, consider buying it! Remember: it’s an investment.
Have you ever wondered why some people can do amazing things? Some write awesome books, others sing like angels, there the ones who code and a lot of amazing people everywhere. What is the difference between you and them?
I have a guess. I think it’s all about beliefs. What you believe has an enormous impact on what you can achieve. And beliefs are created by the experiences you have through your life.
If you tried to sing once and didn’t work out well, you may have created in your head that you weren’t born for it, that you have no talent. You created a belief.
The same thing can happen for every skill you try to create. Experiences can define your skills for the rest of your life.
Think about a skill that you wished you had. Why don’t you have it? You may believe that you can’t.
“You act like the kind of person you imagine yourself to be. Whether you think you can or can’t you’re right.” Henry Ford
Be aware of your beliefs, what are the ones that limit your growth? Try again with no pre-judgments, make this your first time again. Relearn how to learn.
Huge events occurred in my life over the past few months. I paused college, I went to Peru to teach English for children as a volunteer, came back to Brazil and started a job at a startup, left the job at the startup, and got a new one in a high-growth company as a Sales Rep and Praxis Bootcamp started.
I’ve been traveling for the last two weeks receiving training from my new job, and now I’m in a hotel writing this post to keep my streak of 1 day of the 30 Days Blog Post Challenge.
I’ll be honest with you. I’m suffering this month for learning two hard skills that are hard to master, writing and sales. These two make me exposed and out of my comfort zone. For one side, it’s awesome because that makes me grow fast, for another, it’s awful because of anxiety, that imposter syndrome, and the thought: ‘I can’t do that’.
I ask your help to move forward. Please feedback me about my blog posts and make me accountable! I assure that I’ll be writing about my experiences in field sales and the books I read.
I’m starting the second month as a Participant at Praxis and I’m beginning my challenge of the 30 Days Blog Post, every single day I’ll be writing a post here.
In my past Personal Development Project, I was supposed to write every day, but I didn’t. At the beginning of the last month, I was handling it, every morning I woke up with an idea. But one day, I woke and couldn’t write a single paragraph and then, another bad day. When I lost my 4-day streak, I couldn’t recover it anymore, I let it be.
Writing is hard, it’s uncomfortable to structure an idea in paragraphs and post it publicly, that’s why I accepted the challenge. I know that’s the way to build discipline. I’ll embrace discomfort and write every single day from now on and I won’t let Resistance beat me anymore.
What am I good at? In month one at Praxis, we focus on building a Personal Brand, one of the activities is writing about your Top Three Skills. I realized that marketing about yourself is harder than I thought. That’s why it’s a wonderful exercise.
In this month, I digged in and found that I’ve been creating value for people without realizing what skills I got. After reflecting the whole month, these are the skills that I use to create value for others.
Here it is: My Top 3 Skills.
I was known as a Jack of All Trades in Biotec Júnior, a Junior Enterprise I worked for 4 years. I never liked to be stagnated, so whenever I felt that I was in my comfort zone, I shifted to another role. For me, it didn’t matter if I got a position in a higher or in a lower hierarchy, I just wanted to learn with a new challenge.
In my second year at Biotec Júnior, I became a Project Manager, there I had the chance to manage a consulting project. The project was already running since the past year and its manager has left the Junior Enterprise. The deadline was close when I assumed, and there wasn’t much done.
The project was to develop a nutritional food for athletic adults who have busy lives and need a healthy and fast food to have a balanced diet. The food should have a good taste and no sugar. At that time I hadn’t have any class of foods before and never had managed a team and it was the highest contract that we had at the time. It was the best opportunity to test my limits.
I started by looking who could help me, I was lucky to count with very helpful professors that lent their laboratories to make tests and their knowledge of foods. Every single thing that we searched, we applied to see if it would work in the laboratory. I was learning by practicing.
At the beginning, I was an awful leader, I didn’t let things clear, I didn’t know how to delegate tasks, so I was doing all by myself and ended up burning out. I spent nights and mornings working on the project and couldn’t sleep by thinking about it. In some weekends, I even cried by not being able to go out because I couldn’t leave the work.
I think that the technical skills and knowledge of foods weren’t the biggest problem, we were studying and getting help to learn them. The biggest problem was the lack of leadership. I was the problem, because I was centralizing everything on me.
It was a huge team for me to manage, I asked some tasks for them to do, I planned the project and even though, I couldn’t make them do it, or do it in the quality that we were needing.
At that time, I asked for help, I was desperate. And one thing that impacted me the most was the recommendation of a book from the President of Biotec Júnior. The book’s name was The Servant: A Simple Story About the True Essence of Leadership by James C. Hunter that helped me to return the habit of reading (I had stopped reading frequently since high school) and now I can’t spent one day without reading or listening to a book.
I think that this project was so impacting on my life because it created a huge sense of urgency. The deadline was short and we had few resources. I needed to pivot my situation and use my intelligence to work with a different manner, and fast.
Different from classes in college, I was learning and applying, learning and applying. That gave me a boost to keep studying and I realized the value of reading leadership, self-knowledge, self-development and management books.
I was humble and asked, searched, looked for help. And if you had the reputation of helping other people before, people will help you when you need, some were just waiting for me to ask.
I started to listen more, to delegate more, to give more autonomy for my teammates, to recognize more and magically our team had transformed. We started to be more collaborative and we made work fun. We started to believe that we could do it.
With all the help I could get, with all materials and books, we could finish the project. I remember until today that I was still writing the report of the experiments the day before the deadline. It was a really challenging experience that defined who I am today. I learned how to be humble and that even when you think you don’t know something and that you’re not up to a challenge, you can be right or not, but you have to try to be sure.
With all the experiences that we have, we always learn something. The most important characteristic that I built after this project was the hunger for testing myself every time, because I know that in every new challenge, I’ll be able to do it, no matter how hard it may seems at first glance, I know that I’ll be able to learn fast.
I know how to make questions that people want to answer, I like to explore their hobbies and play the role of the listener. The first time that I sensed that I was a good communicator was when I first mentored a coworker.
In my fourth year as a Junior Entrepreneur, I was working as an Administrative Counselor and I was far away from the front office and felt that I had a lot of experience accumulated, so I wanted to share my experiences with the next generation of junior entrepreneurs in a different manner, in a more personal way. So I started a pilot project of mentoring at Biotec Júnior, I’d choose 2 people to mentor and the only thing they needed to do was sending a video explaining their motivations. Just one person did, and of course, she was selected.
I and my mentee weren’t close, because we worked in different departments. I didn’t know her objectives and challenges. So, naturally, in our first meeting, we spent hours talking to know each other better.
I understood that isn’t just technical skill that defines a person’s success, a person can only be successful if she improves her life as a whole. And there are some areas of life that you can improve and they’ll reflect in your whole you.
During our mentoring, we didn’t talk much about the Junior Enterprise itself, I focused on giving the tools to understand all the challenges she was passing through in her family, friendships, college, problems of organization and tips of leadership and communication to overcome problems.
The most important moment for me, in 4 years of Junior Enterprise was when she renowned me when she became a Director as one of the most influential person of her life. And all I did was listen and truly understand her challenges. She did the most important, she acted and overcame her challenges.
It was so powerful our connection that the pilot project became a project for the whole Junior Enterprise. Every Executive Director became mentors and Members mentee, based on the same processes from the past project: active listening.
At my fifth year in college, I was feeling that I wasn’t getting much value from it, so I decided to pause it and applied to a volunteer work opportunity at AIESEC. In less than a week, I was approved for a project in Peru starting in April. It was October of 2016 and I didn’t know a thing about Spanish.
My routine had a huge change. I stopped having lessons of French and started to have two classes per week of Spanish. I started Spanish on Duolingo and everyday I achieved the extreme goal. In two months, I was already practicing Spanish daily.
When the day finally came, I took a flight to Peru and was surprised of how little I knew Spanish. I understood 10% of what people were saying and when I tried to speak, it was a mix of Spanish with English and Portuguese.
My volunteer work was teaching English for children in a school of more than 250 students, varying from 6 to 12 years old. At the beginning, it was frustrating, I couldn’t transmit what I wanted to them, I was working with two non-native languages and teamed with an American guy and a Brazilian girl. So, can you imagine? A bunch of children screaming, running and fighting thorough the classroom and you don’t even know how to say: “Hey, stop! Pay attention to me, I’m trying to teach you English”.
Our first day was disastrous, so we sat down to discuss how we’d improve our classes, in the next day, the same result. The children were lovable and wanted to hug and kiss us every time, we loved it, but we weren’t teaching English that was our primary job. We needed to find a way.
In the second week, I was already understanding well Spanish. After I got to Peru, I didn’t stop studying. I was still waking up early to study every day. After the beating of the first week, we finally discovered the right mix between challenging and engaging for them. We printed worksheets, copies of drawings, played several games, showed videos from Disney in English and truly engaged the children. They were crazy for our worksheets, they always wanted more.
In Peru, I lived with a family, they were also volunteers because they hosted someone from another country in their house and didn’t charge anything. In my second week, I was already calling my host of mom and was so comfortable that I was feeling home that I even slept on the couch after lunch in my second home (I was so tired after classes).
My Peruvian family was the best, they gave me a place to sleep, really nice food (Peruvian food is awesome!) and love! They made me feel at home naturally, and I got so used to Peru that my friends were even calling me of Japanese Peruvian.
So, since the beginning, I was walking by myself, communicating with anyone and asking directions. In the third week, I got used to teach, I wasn’t tired anymore after classes and I even taught English for my Peruvian mother’s nephew at home. So, I felt like I could contribute more and started to work for AIESEC! Again, I had a huge change of my routine.
As an AIESECER, I interviewed applicants and approved three people to come to Ica. I interviewed families to be hosts and worked for three months (twice the time of a normal global volunteer) as a Teacher in the school and built an amazing relationship with my second family and AIESEC. Nowadays, every time I’m struggling with something, I remember that I was in Peru, and even with barriers of language and culture and few resources, I could do amazing things to help others. Some times, you just need to accept what you have in the moment and without even thinking about complaining, act and adapt to your situation and overcome your challenges anyway.