Millennials make up the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. They are the sales force of the future and like any generation, there will be some that are highly successful and others that will settle for average.
When working with millennials, I tell them they have the best opportunity to shine IF they ignore the bad advice, the sales myths, they hear from social media and/or peers. Here’s one myth to eliminate so you can achieve the success you deserve.
The myth of work/life balance
Here’s the reality. There are going to be times in your sales career when you’re way out of balance. Building a new book of business takes a lot of work because you haven’t developed a network of partners and clients. It takes hard work to develop relationships and trust. It takes work to master influence and selling skills. And guess what? You can do the work because you have a lot of energy in your 20s, 30s and 40s. Harness it!
I grew up on a farm in Iowa. Guess what? At certain times of the year, farmers are way out of balance. They work extremely long hours putting their crops in and work equally long hours getting them out. However, once they’ve done the work, they can get back to a more normal schedule. It’s called life.
I recently worked with a group of financial planners. One of their young superstars shared his journey to success. “I was at networking events in the morning and evening. Each day I was hitting the phones, email and LinkedIn. And then there were special-education events that I hosted to gain introductions to potential clients. Nine years later, I don’t have to keep that same schedule because I did the work, which has allowed me some balance.”
After hearing his story, an astute millennial commented, “It’s easy to see the glory but never hear the story.”
Here’s another reality around work/life balance. Sometimes the very people preaching work/life balance don’t enjoy their line of work. They endure the work week, looking to the weekend for a reprieve, a break. This may sound like motivational rhetoric. However, when you really like what you do, work isn’t drudgery, it’s a pleasure. (Remember, this advice is coming from a sales speaker that talks about the power and importance of downtime, quiet time.)
Make a commitment to yourself. Invest time, work and effort now to build your network, master selling skills and learn your craft.
Today’s work pays off big in the future.