A great salesman I know is always charged up. When we meet, he is invariably energetic and enthusiastic, grinning from ear to ear. He greets you with a cheerful demeanour and a warm handshake and when you ask how he’s doing, invariably he responds, “Fantastic!” You can tell it’s a genuine reflection of how he really feels. He’s confident and yet his “fantastic” response gives a tiny sense that he’s always pleasantly surprised by how well his life is going.
I’m not surprised.
I recently met another salesman, who when asked the same question, sounded defeated, frustrated and discouraged. You get a sense that he is unpleasantly surprised by how poorly his life is going.
I’m not surprised.
I know which one I would rather do business with. Like a moth to light, we are attracted to the energy displayed by some people, and we prefer to run from people who tend to suck the energy out of those around them.
I know both these people well, so I’m confident that each response is an accurate reflection of who they are. It’s not a fleeting thing. One seems constantly recharged and energized and the other seems drained.
Part of it is individual personality, which has been formed over many years. One is an eternal optimist and the other a pessimist. But you can tell that somewhere along the way, they’ve each made decisions about the way they were going to live their lives and how they were going to take charge of their energy levels – or not. The impact of those conscious or unconscious decisions on their business, their personal life and their futures is dramatic. Even from my brief description I’m sure you can imagine how successful each one is.
When I notice the rechargeable batteries in my camera getting low, I have a choice. I can either leave them alone or I can charge them up.
That’s a decision I have to make. The consequences of my decision are pretty obvious. If I choose not to recharge the batteries, the next time I want to take photographs, I risk running out of energy and miss out on a perfect sunset. If I have made the wiser choice, then I’m ready and able to take all the pictures I want. When we notice our own energy level getting low, we have a similar choice. Recharge or not.
And the consequences of that decision are much more critical than whether or not we get a good photograph.
The choice to recharge or not becomes a habit. Like the choice to brush our teeth in the morning, we can make a habit of recharging, especially if we feel our energy diminishing.
When asked how he recharges himself, the first salesperson shared these ideas:
- Live life intentionally. Think about what you want and go after it.
- Make time for the important things in life besides work – family relationships, hobbies, community involvement and volunteering.
- Stay fit. Get exercise. Join a team.
- Eat sensibly, but eat well.
- Love what you do. If you don’t love it, do something else – right now!
- Pay attention to personal and professional development. Learn something new every day.
It was interesting that as we talked, the subject of rest or relaxation didn’t enter the conversation. His approach to recharging was active not passive. He is recharged by intelligent conversation, by learning, by doing. Some people are different. They require physical or mental rest in order to recharge.
While I would agree with his list, I would add a few others that work for me:
- Go out of your way to meet interesting people. Be genuine.
- Listen to good music. It’s hard not be energized by The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again”.
- Read or listen to great books. Get inspired and energized by the words of others.
- Make time to see and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you. The sunsets, the forests, the lakes, and the smiles of small children.
- Get a good night’s sleep.
Recharging is a choice. Some do it naturally and some have to make the decision and effort to renew their energy levels. It’s worth the effort. Personally, I’d rather do business with “Tigger” than “Eeyore”.