Don’t Sweat the Crappy Days – Perfection is Chased, Never Caught

I went skiing yesterday and had a blast.  Big E and I went.  We put the girls in ski school and the baby in day care.  We skied together, just the two of us.   It was nice.  The snow was good and the temps were warm.   We had a good day.

Despite it being a good day and having lots of fun, I skied horribly.   I struggled with my turns.  I was continually fighting to keep my center of mass over my skis.  I was constantly in the back seat.  This made it difficult to make crisp turns as I was never positioned well to initiate my turns.   I knew what I was doing but struggled to correct it.   My bad habits were present in force.

I’m a certified ski instructor. I’ve skied 100’s of days in my life.  I’ve already skied over 150,000 vertical feet this year.  (I know this because of Vail’s cool Epic Mix application.)  Yet, I struggled to make some good turns yesterday.

I’ve been here before.  The next time out I’ll ski better.   I’ll make the corrections and I’ll be back to my old self and things will be good.

Like my skiing the other day, bad days happen in sales.  We just seem to be off our game.  There are bad sales calls, horrible cold calling strings, clumsy meetings, and horrible presentations.   Bad days in sales are brutal, but there is nothing we can do about them.  It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been selling.  It doesn’t matter how good you are.  They just happen.

The key to bad days in sales is just ride them out.  Know you are in them, mitigate their ability to cause big damage, brush yourself off and move on.

We chase perfection.   We expect it from ourselves and others expect it from us.  Yet, it can never be achieved.  Bad days will happen.  We will have days where our “A” game is no where to be found.  We can chase perfection as long as we know it will never be caught.

Two weeks ago I had a killer day, every turn was perfect.  I was shredding the bumps like I owned them.   Everything was clicking.  It was a perfect day.  I didn’t do anything different that day, than I did yesterday.  I was just having one of those good days.   Like the bad days, good days just happen too.

Bad days are going to happen.  Good days will too.  In either case, they will have little to do with anything we did, they’ll just happen.  It’s what happens in between, the other 99.5% of the time that matters.  Those are the days where training makes a difference.  Where our efforts do impact the end result.  Where what we do and the decisions we make influence the outcome.  Chase perfection there.  You won’t achieve it, but it will make the good days even better and the bad days not so bad.

I’ll ski about 15 more times this year.  I suspect I’ll have another crappy day.  I know it’s coming so I’m not too upset about it.  I know another killer day is lurking out there too, and that keeps me going.

Don’t sweat the crappy days.