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Getting 1% better every day is BS

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 4/15/21 9:30 PM

Have you heard the phrase or seen the phrase being tossed around lately about “getting one percent better every day”, as much as I have? Yeah. Well, have you ever watched the ups and downs of the stock market, political polls, or tried to lose weight? And then weighed yourself every single day? Did things ever get one percent better? I mean if only things would be so much easier, right?

But you've been around long enough, you know, that things just don't happen in this nice neat linear fashion. And I get that for the most part, the intention behind the statement is to focus on small improvements every day.

There's a dangerous side to this way of thinking because the truth is that setbacks slip-ups and slumps and stuff just happens. Sometimes we have control over it and sometimes we don't. And for that reason, if our focus is on getting one percent better every day, we could be setting ourselves up for frustration and failure.

For example, in case you haven't noticed or heard I've started using the same cognitive-behavioral approach that I use in coaching myself so that I could get healthy and lose 95 pounds.

And I'm pretty psyched to share that I'm only 15 pounds away from my stretch goal! But it's not like I've never done this before or tried before. I have previously.

Whenever I would step on the scale and it went up I went from “let my new journey begin” ‘ to “what's the point, I'm never going to be able to do this”?

Kind of like when you do your sales kickoff or training and things look like they're going to get better only to have them regress back because we're wired to follow our preset patterns and the path of least resistance.

So we stopped weighing ourselves. Do we ignore our activity and conversion rates?
Of course not I mean, how else are we going to know if we're off course or not? So how do we handle the certain ups and downs that are going to happen during our behavioral changes?

Here's three strategies that have helped me and my coaching clients to push through those times:

The first is to build up your ability to handle frustration and develop some grit by tackling the thought distortions.

You're going to get a lot of, “I'm never going to be able to do this with some recall”.

When was the last time you hit a wall and you eventually overcame it? When you remind yourself of these past successes in similar situations, it'll give you hope and motivation to see it through. Remember: so far you've survived 100% of your worst days. You've got this too!

The second strategy is to come up with an “oh well” statement now. 

I don't mean, “Oh, well, I give up". But acknowledge it and then let it go and move on...

Here's a few. “Oh well,” mantras that I've used and others abused.
  • It's going to get easier. It will turn around eventually.
  • I'm going to come out of this better than I did before.
  • If it weren't hard everybody would do it.
  • It's not the end of the world.

Now the third strategy is to start problem-solving.

Sometimes when we're stuck in a rut or frustrated we get overwhelmed. We had no idea what to do or where to start. So to be a better Problem Solver for yourself, start by identifying what kind of a problem solver you are:

  • There's the impulsive Problem Solver who jumps at the first idea that pops into our heads without really thinking about unintended consequences that it might play out.
  • Or there's the avoided Problem Solver where we tend to avoid actions and problems and decide to just ignore them which then leads us to never really getting to a better outcome.
    • I get it. Basing the long road ahead can be daunting. But by avoiding our problems we’re also avoiding the road to the solution and that feeling of success.
  • Or perhaps you're the rational Problem Solver who takes the time to prepare and look at the journey ahead.
    • Now, these types of problem solvers tend to use a four-step problem-solving method to ensure that we reach the goals first.
    • We need to define the problem in obstacles. This can be something as specific as when I get buying signals from my buyers I tend to get wrapped up. Continue to narrow that down and identify: What is this?
    • When that gets you wrapped up and excited now that you've id'd it, you can come up with a variety of solutions and generate as many of these as you can look at this as a brainstorming session.
No solution is too silly or ridiculous.

Maybe it's as simple as putting a sticky note on your screen with the buying signal that you've identified that trips you up with a big red x on it to remind you to stay present.

Or if you find yourself wrapped up in your head you might pinch yourself to keep your mind from wandering.

You might even practice with your coach on what you should do or say in those situations when you start getting wrapped up in your head.

And remember this is not about perfection.

This is about trial and error. So the next step is to assess your progress and then re-evaluate.
Where is it that you've made progress? And where it's not working?

Use these tips to help you progress forward through the next time you're facing a downtime, a wall, or a slump, and remember this thing is temporary.

Until next time...

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Topics: sales strategy, sales and marketing revolution, sales performance, sales coach, sales training, sales methodology