When I began my career as a salesperson, I hated the telephone. I loved seeing people and I loved helping people solve problems, but I wasn’t getting in front of anyone because I hated making phone calls.
During one of my weekly coaching sessions, my mentor was discussing with me my lack of success and pointed to my lack of phone activity as my problem.
“I just hate the phone,” I told him.
“So.” He said. “I hate the phone too, but I still pick it up and use it.”
This came as a real shock to me. This guy was the best appointment setter that I’ve ever been around. He was olive oil smooth on the phone no matter who he was calling and he’s telling me that he hated the phone too.
It was then that he took a tattered copy of a small booklet out of his jacket pocket and put it on the table.
“This is why I make phone calls.” He told me.
The booklet on the table in front of me was titled The Common Denominator of Success. It was actually a speech delivered at a life insurance convention by Albert E.N. Gray that was turned into a book.
In the short and concise book, Gray makes the point that successful people make a habit of doing the things that failures don’t like to do.
This is what my mentor was doing. He was making the habit of doing the things that I didn’t like to do. Not because he enjoyed doing it any more than I did, but because he enjoyed being successful more than he hated making phone calls.
He told me that when he started making phone calls, he put his copy of The Common Denominator of Success on the table in front of him and left it there until he was done. It reminded him that even though it was uncomfortable, it was the thing that failures don’t like to do and he was going to do it.
This piece of advice has had a profound effect on me and I continue to think about it all of the time. Eventually, we can learn to enjoy the process, but in the beginning, the boost that it can bring is valuable and it can apply to every area of our lives.
Consider the things that are holding you back. Is it because you don’t like doing something? Chances are good that the successful people you admire don’t like doing it either, but they do it anyway. They do it because they joy of the result means more to them than the inconvenience of the process.
Today, I have my own tattered booklet sitting on my desk. It serves as my reminder that successful people don’t like doing the things I dislike any more than I do, but they do them anyway. With that kind of mindset, their success is possible for me too.