Master Craftsman

I kinda resent life “hackers”, or anyone who thinks there is a short cut to success. (see: Tim Ferris)

I am all about working smarter. But you never get something for nothing.

Easy come, easy go.

And I think that hard work and the struggle inherent to it is exactly what’s necessary for building character, or the craftsmanship that brings value to your work/career endeavors.

Working smarter is always the point, but that never gets you out of working hard.

It just gets you ahead. Which is where you must be, if you want to survive competition.

If you find a shortcut, you can count on someone else also finding it.

And one major difference between maintaining that competitive advantage is how hard you work, the time you invest cultivating your skill.

And I definitely appreciate the sentiment of maintaining balance. Don’t be a neurotic who expends all this energy in an inefficient, uncalculated way.

Have a plan and execute and learn and repeat. Know when to work, and when to take your foot off the gas and recharge, and reflect on your efforts, and whether they’re producing the optimal and desirable results.

When I sold books door to door during the summer, we had the following quota:

•30 contacts/leads/qualified prospects

•10 demos

•3 sales

In the beginning, because you lacked the skill and craftsmanship, the only way to increase your sales was increase your contacts.

Double your contacts, and you’d double your sales.

So instead of working 7am to 7pm, you worked 6am to 8pm, and ran door to door instead of walked.

You could double the number of contacts you spoke to.

The sheer volume of repeating the sales script and demo over and over, and being rejected twice as fast, caused your skill to double twice as fast.

Soon you would get a demo more often, and the more demos you got, the more practice demoing, and the better your skill at closing.

In time your closing percentage went from 10% to 20%, and your contacts per day decreased because you were spending more time demoing and closing.

The work ethic never changed.

You still hustled all the same, with the same enthusiasm, but you were seeing less people, and closing more.

When there were periods where people weren’t buying, you just maintained the same work ethic, and eventually it’d turn around, and you’d get even more demos, and your closing rate would grow to 30%.

This same approach worked in my corporate sales job.

There were people who tried to hack the sales. Network, and spend time trying different techniques, different scripts, different demos.

When you stuck to the fundamentals day in and day out, you developed a very fine skill. You were a machine. A robot.

I would ride with top salesman, and I was always so eager to pick up on their “secrets”, the special techniques they must employ to get all those sales.

I can say, without a single exceptions, that every single top salesman I’ve ever road with, used the same exact, same old, tried and true script that they taught you on your first day, and the same damn demo.

They did nothing special.

The only thing they had was this enthusiasm and attitude and work ethic. I think the confidence in knowing exactly what to say, and knowing every conceivable response to the words they said, left them supremely prepared for every objection, and so they always maintain the utmost ease and confidence, and guided the customer to the sale like they were leading the blind.

I would always walk out of those meetings completely astonished it was that simple.

It was like magic.

The lesson learned was that the fundamentals are always the most important.

The master craftsman, the master athletes, lifters, investors, creators, artists— they are the master at the fundamentals.

And the fundamentals are not necessarily fun. They require constant discipline, constant upkeep. Constant work.

But they are what separate the good from the great.

I want to stress that this shit is not fun. It’s fucking exhausting. Working hard, is hard. It’s… not necessarily fun at all. It’s taxing.

And that is precisely where attitude comes into play.

BUT. You acquire the skills and develop the craft so much faster. When your efforts are doubled, your focus is doubled, and you accelerate your ability to achieve.

You become better, faster, which has exponential returns.

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