Sales is unique among professions as it is practically the only one where you can name your own salary and actually execute on it. The only limitation is the opportunity in front of you and how hard you’re willing to work to get it. With this level of opportunity and potential, comes a certain set of demands that people in other professions may not understand. Sure, doctors are responsible for life and death situations, as are police officers, firefighters, and other brave individuals, but this does not change the uniqueness of sales.
For these reasons, sales people often live a lifestyle that cannot be related to by others. Based on which decade and you look back on, the public impression of salespeople varies. Due to the popularity of several movies set in the 1980s, icons such as Gordon Gekko, Jordan Bellfort, and even Patrick Bateman have given the world an unfair perception of salespeople. They think of us as greedy, freewheeling, materialistic, dishonest, and inherently evil. But, those of us who have carried a bag in our career know that the true values which we live by a much more down to Earth. The best salespeople:
Work hard and play harder
Eat what they kill
Win at all costs
Very little has been written about the sales lifestyle, but as one of the most popular professions in the world, there is a real need for these insights. First, a salesperson must feel good about themself. We receive rejection on a very regular basis (and honestly, the more rejection you receive, the better you are probably doing). Our self confidence has to be recharged on a regular basis. Some salespeople will focus on building a personal brand, but I think it is more about looking and feeling good about yourself. Fitness, nutrition, and sharp fashion typically help do the trick.
For anybody who is in an outside sales role, traveling is a part of the job. Whether you are a world traveler or carry a local territory, being on the road has its set of demands. One of the best ways to survive and thrive in this type of role is to make the most out of business travel. Try new food, drink new drinks, and take advantage of getting to see the world on the company dime. If you have to be on the road, you might as well have a blast.
And then there is the scariest part of the lifestyle; the dreaded work-life balance. Whether you are single, married, have children, or anything in between, there are demands both at home and at work, and you can’t afford to ignore either of them. You absolutely need to strike this balance.