The Best

Last night, I was sitting at the bottom of a 250 meter bump (mogul) run in Deer Valley. As I looked up the competitors were barreling down on me and the 7,000 other viewers who came to be amazed. Their legs pumped like the pistons of a two-stroke motorcycle engine. The bumps were the size of Toyota Prius’s. The pitch had to be pushing 30 degrees.  In spite of the pitch, the size of the moguls and the hard packed ice in between each mogul, these kids were exceeding speeds of 30 miles an hour.  These guys and girls were ripping the hell out of the mountain!

I’m  a huge bump skier. I love it.  I’ve never competed, but it’s about 50% of what I ski on your typical Saturday. To see these kids flying down the mountain emphasized what is truly achievable with commitment. I’m 44, but I ski with people 10 – 20 years younger than me and I’m actually a better bump skier now than last year and I keep getting better every year. I’m doing a week long bump skiing summer camp in July and I can’t wait.

What these kids (18-25) were doing is easily perceived as impossible to the average person, but to them, it ain’t nothing.   It’s what they do.

Witnessing people at the top of their game got me thinking.  If these kids are capable of flying down a bump studded mountain at 35 miles an hour, what are the rest of us capable of?

What do you do?

No really, what do you do?

If you read this blog, odds are you are a sales leader or a sales person. Therefore, the real question then becomes how good are you? Are you in the top 5% of sales people in your company, in your industry, in the country, in the world? Are you a “ripping” sales person/leader? Do you aspire to be? How much time do you put into your craft?  How much of your day, week, month, quarter and year is spent practicing, growing, learning, improving and innovating?

Is selling just a job or is it your chosen profession, where you look to crush your competition?

The answer is a personal one, but what I can tell you is most of us aren’t trying to be the best, we aren’t trying to make it into the 5%. We stop when the return for effort is greater than the pain of failure. Most of us don’t do more than we need to “get by.”

Being great is just too hard for most of us. We’re happy being average, being in the 50%, it works for us and that’s too bad.

We’ve given up on the desire to be the best.

Lately, I’ve found myself wanting to ask this overly simple question in sales interviews; “Is there something you are known for being best in? Is there something you do better than 90% of most people?” After this weekend, I’m thinking I’m going to start and if they can’t answer yes, we got a problem.

Being the best, excelling in the things we chose, should be and needs to be part of our motivation. This is especially true with our professions, what we chose to do for living.

If you aren’t spending every day trying to be the best sales person, the best sales leader, the best accountant, the best phone tech, the best knitter, the best chess player in your town,the best racquetball player at your gym, the best school teacher or the best bump skier, you’re cheating yourself AND your profession.

Don’t cheat yourself!


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