[lightbox link=”https://jeffcwest.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/self-study.jpg” thumb=”https://jeffcwest.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/self-study-300×199.jpg” width=”300″ align=”right” title=”self study” frame=”true” icon=”image”]
I have been in sales and sales management for over thirty years now. For more than twenty years, I have performed those roles as a self-employed independent contractor with a Fortune 500 Company that I truly admire – Aflac. I have always loved that relationship because has given me the ability to earn unlimited income, take advantage of one of the strongest national brands in the marketplace, while still remaining self-employed.
Being my own boss is very important to me. Truthfully, I am much better at shaving the boss’s face – than kissing the boss’s… foot. I gladly choose the risk and reward that comes from the freedom of working for me.
Even when I was in sales and management as an employee for my prior employers, I mentally pictured myself as being a business owner. While my contractual relationship with those companies made me an actual employee – I saw myself as a business of one; and my “product” that I was selling was my time and skill set. My employer, in essence, became my customer. As long as I kept my customer happy with my ability to deliver my product – I maintained that good relationship. If I could not continue to successfully supply my customer/employer with my product, in all likelihood I would lose my customer – my job.
As with any business owner, I have always known that I needed to invest in my business. In the early years, I didn’t have to invest in an office or hire employees as I do now. But even then, I invested in the machine that generated my income – I invested in me and my personal growth.
I have been mentored by some of the very best minds in sales and management over the last three decades.
- Zig Ziglar taught me the secrets of closing the sale.
- Bob Burg taught me how to develop a network of business owners and sales people that would refer business to me on a very regular basis, and how to give much more in value than I take in compensation.
- Dr. John Maxwell taught me how to lead a team of people to perform in the national top ten numerous times.
- Dr. Robert Schuller taught me how to expect great things to happen to me.
- Jack and Garry Kinder taught me how to build a master agency.
- Dr. David J. Schwartz taught me how to think big.
- And Brian Tracy taught me how to eat a frog! (Yuck!)
Obviously it would have never been practical for those men to spend the hours with me that it took to teach me the things I needed to learn in order to become successful. But I learned from them just the same. I learned by reading their written words, listening to their recordings, and by attending their seminars. As a business owner (even when I actually worked for someone else) I invested consistently in becoming a better me.
Zig Ziglar told a story of a lady who approached him after a seminar and said, “Mr. Ziglar. I hear you make a nice little ol’ fee for giving these here speeches.” Zig replied, “Ma’am. I don’t know where you heard that piece of information, but I want to clear that up right now. I do not make a nice little ‘ol fee for giving these here speeches. I make a great big ol’ fee for making these here speeches.”
I have bought numerous books, recordings, and attended many seminars over the last three decades. I truly have no idea how much any of the authors and speakers made for what they did. I can only tell you my about my personal return on investment (ROI) because I applied the lessons I learned from them.
Over thirty years, I would estimate that I invested somewhere between $50,000 and $75,000 of my own dollars on my personal growth. I won’t go so far as to tell you my gross commissions during that time, but I will tell you that my ROI is well over a 200 to 1 ratio. And that is good in any business.
Invest in your best asset – you! You are the machine that generates your income.
What books or blogs are you reading at the current time?
If any of the great sales trainers were at your disposal for thirty minutes each day, would you take the time to learn from them?
Charley Tremendous Jones said, “You will be the same person five years from now that you are today – with the exception of the books you read and the people you associate with.” Who will you be five years from now?