There is no such thing as the perfect salesperson, but in our profession, mindset can make or break the success we experience. If we go into a meeting prepared and confident, there’s a better chance we will nail it. If we walk into a potential deal prepared but stuck in doubt, thinking we will bomb, most likely we will.
Mindset is critical, and when paired with skillset and toolset, it becomes everything.
Think of mindset, skillset, and toolset as parts of a tree.
Toolset – The Fruit
Skillset – The Trunk
Mindset – The Root
Toolset and skillset are visible parts of the tree above the earth. So, this is what people will focus on. Hence, the obsession that companies and individuals have with developing more skills and bringing on more tools to align with them. However, these two disciplines do not transform the person. In most cases, people can only go so far when learning and perfecting new skills. It’s the mindset shift that transforms them as professionals. That’s where the core or the root of the development comes from. We can only be so resourceful without transforming our core.
For example, imagine being on a boat set to autopilot heading North. Then, you take the wheel and turn it South. But what happens if you get tired or hungry and have to let go of the wheel? The boat will turn back North because that’s what the autopilot is set to. Whenever you’re tired, hungry, angry, lonely, whatever the case, the boat will always revert back to autopilot when you let go of the wheel. When your willpower isn’t at its best, you can’t fight against the root system in place.
Does this mean we just acquiesce and head North, regardless? No. Pushing through the limitations and adjusting the autopilot is where the true transformation begins. Now, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. You will need to bring yourself to a certain place of vulnerability and peel back the onion. This willingness to get to the root allows us to drum up real and lasting change. It’s your mindset that empowers this transformation.
For anyone who has seen The Office, most of us don’t have the mindset of Michael Scott where we falsely distort all reality. It’s more common that we do the opposite and build ourselves up or focus on our negative qualities. Wherever you stand, whether it’s on the positive or negative side of your identity, that will become your reality.
Identity is a really big word because it gives shape and meaning to your life, reality, and experience.
We don’t focus on it enough because, again, it sits under the ground, at the root, in our mindset. Think about the last time you were in a room with a group of sales leaders. At least one person in that room was a competitive athlete that suffered an injury. They went through life identifying as an athlete, and then in a split second, their identity changed. They look at themselves and think, who am I? This is because that person only knew the trunk of the tree or the roles they fulfilled, not the deep awareness of who they were.
So, if you have this self-limiting belief, how do you know if the real, deep-seeded you is a success or failure?
Again, mindset goes back to your reality. If you’re someone who’s genetically built like a jockey, you won’t be able to dunk like Lebron. You might call something like that a limitation, but it’s all dependent on your Zone of Genius. For example, if you’re someone who obsessively focused on building something like Jeff Bezos did with Amazon, you could make it if you’ve got the Zone of Genius to lead at an executive-visionary capacity like that.
We talk about vulnerability in terms of being accepting of our root system. And for many, we hide that root system and hope it remains hidden. But then there’s this idea of authenticity. Are we doing what we are meant to be doing? In other words, do I know my Zone of Genius, and is my Zone of Genius empowered or enabled based on the work I’m doing?
The past couple of years have been nothing short of challenging, both personally and professionally, for all of us, but don’t overthink things. The tree that holds your mindset, skillset, and toolset only has one job, to be a tree. So, relax and be your authentic self. Figure out your true identity and the transformation becomes easy. You’re going to do hard things, you’re going to do things that make you uncomfortable, you’re going to challenge yourself to take bold steps. But, if you know who you are at the root, it will be worth it.