[A blog from the vault]

In 2007 I didn’t have a weekend off until the first weekend of November. However, it was a game-changing year, both personally and professionally.

Professionally I closed my first deal with the New York Yankees, my first 2 college football clients won bowl games, I secured the company’s highest grossing account, and spent several weeks schmoozing in Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, Louisville, and Milwaukee. It set the stage for a massively successful 2008.

During my free weekends I coached a cycling team to ride 100 miles around the Tahoe Basin, trained to compete in an Olympic triathlon, and trained for my first marathon, all while raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Between hustling, traveling, training, and coaching there was little time for myself.  But through the organized chaos I reconnected with an old college buddy who enlightened me.

For this particular instance, he told me the story of a painting he had on a wall by Michael Godard. He said something to the tune of, “You have to celebrate your big wins. In sales, victories are short lived. Whenever I spend a lot of time and energy to land a big deal I treat myself to something that’s symbolic of the returns from my hard work”. That Godard painting was a token of his hard work from a previous business deal.

When Friday of the first week of November rolled around I left work thinking, “Wow, I actually don’t have any plans for the weekend”, which seemed somewhat foreign to me. I drove to Best Buy to pick up some music and there was an art broker in the parking lot selling giclees.

A black and white painting with rolling ocean waves and a couple seagulls, resonated with me. My cousin gave me the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull as a gift while I was being treated for brain cancer 1999, and the story has been a cornerstone to my motivation ever since. Jonathan was one of the seagulls in that painting and it became my Godard.

To this day, I can look at that painting and be proud of all I accomplished that year. More importantly it’s a constant reminder to appreciate your own work, it’s tangible, and always makes for a good story.

I’d love to hear a great sales success story from you. What have you done to commemorate your big wins? Do you have a token that tells the story of your success? Please, do tell 🙂