What Are You Looking At?
Did you ever notice the size of your rearview mirror in relation to your window? The window is dramatically larger than the rearview mirror. Why? Because your vehicle is most often moving forward, and you should be paying much more attention to what's ahead of you, than what's behind you.
Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB
As we come to the end of 2021, it's natural to think about our successes and our learning opportunities this year.
In sales, it's easy to get caught up in the ones that got away, like the prospect we couldn't get a meeting with or the proposal that didn't close. There are lessons to be learned from every experience, and learning from failures is oftentimes more effective than what we learn from success. At the same time, too much of a focus on the past will keep you in the past.
Identify your mistakes, understand what went wrong and keep moving forward. The view through the windshield can be exciting, new, unpredictable and very adventuresome. The rearview mirror should only be checked to avoid danger from things behind you.
Early in my career, one of my mentors told me to keep a success journal. Then, it was a book to write in, now it's a string of digital notes. Document the things that you're proud of, personally and professionally, like significant events that went exactly as planned. You can also include new client relationships, successful events or promotions and great copy ideas. Whatever it is — if it's positive and has impacted you, put it in the journal. Then when you find yourself having a day that isn't going according to plan and it seems like you can do nothing right, pull out that success journal, and remind yourself of the things in your rearview mirror that got you to this point. Celebrate them, and celebrate yourself.
In a few days, the ball will drop signifying a new year. It will happen whether you are ready for it or not. You can't change the past. You can create your future.
Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at Jeff.Schmidt@RAB.com. You can also connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.