How would 2020 shape up for you if you gained 25 new skills? What would you earn? What would you own? How much more time would you be able to spend with your family and friends? Sounds interesting?

When I finished running my first company I had the opportunity to reflect on what had gone right and what had gone wrong. It was one of the most useful times of my life and led to the realisation that we’d been successful due to our product, customer service and marketing, but not because of the our sales process. If I was to run another company I KNEW I needed to sort this so that revenue was something I could grow on demand and predict.

I spent a good week thinking, mapping and planning this out. If I made 5 sales calls a day then I’d do 1,000 calls a year … that would maybe result in 100 meetings which would then turn into xx amount of business. But the xx wasn’t big enough. The cost of xx was 1.4 times the revenue! This was a problem and obviously not inline with what others experienced … I’ve seen people run sales teams and processes effectively and they didn’t earn less than they spent!

My realisation was that there simply wasn’t enough leads coming in, so I would need to call more people. That sounds simple, but the thought of calling 20, 30 or 50 prospects a day filled me with dread … I was fearful of cold calling. I got nervous before picking up the phone and really didn’t enjoy it. Sound familiar?

Armed with this realisation I could have gone on a training course, read a self help book or gone online. All valid approaches, but that doesn’t sound like a commitment to me. It doesn’t feel visceral … it didn’t scare the S**T out of me. So I found the thing that scared me most and took a job for a month cold calling in a call centre. I believe in IMMERSION and MASSIVE ACTION to force change … in some ways the more uncomfortable the experience, the better.

My first day was terrifying, I was surrounded by people either 10 years younger than me or amazing at the thing I was scared of. The second day wasn’t much better when I found out we were expected to do around 80 calls a day. The third day was the trinity of terror when I discovered we had 5 seconds after finishing a call before the next call started automatically.

By the end of the month I was the 2nd best salesman on the floor, averaging 13 sales per day next to a target of 5. I was crushing it and my fear of cold calling was banished forever. This single skill has probably made me over $1m since I reached a level of ability I could rely on.

And it’s a simple as that. If you want to gain or perfect 25 new skills this year, take on a new challenge every 2 weeks. Want to lose weight and hate cardio? Go running for 2 weeks. Running a business and hate the accounting? Schedule a meeting with your accountant every other day for 2 weeks. In charge of revenue and don’t like the phone? See above!

Remember: You get to design your future self. There is a better you on the horizon if you want it enough.

Author

With a tech career that started before internet explorer was launched, I’m a technology focussed strategist with over 25 years at the forefront of technology disruption. Historically I’ve owned and managed agencies centred around Web and Mobile transformation helping B2B and B2C companies across the globe, from SME’s to Fortune 50.

Across the years I have been through 3 mass recessions and am putting the knowledge and experience of more difficult times to use to help businesses see what they have, what they need to succeed and how to bridge the two.