January 2017, Auto Dealer Today - Feature
This will mark my 23rd year in the world of sales (and 16th in automotive), which is by far the greatest industry. If I could turn back time and have a conversation with the young man who started out more than two decades ago, I’d ask just one question: “What’s your goal?”
Well, when you ask any sales professional what their goal is, you’re almost guaranteed to get a monetary goal. That includes the “me” who started out all those years ago — and for several years after that. I got caught in the trap that so many of us fall into. I thought that reaching the top would be the defining factor of my life, and that I’d be wholly fulfilled once I did.
The sobering truth, however, was that all the income in the world will not bring all the happiness you want. It certainly won’t make you feel fulfilled. So many of us reach the top of our game only to fall down. Why?
We sometimes put so much into moving forward in our careers that we don’t pay enough attention to what’s really calling. Maybe we aren’t spiritually fulfilled, for example, but we focus on our career because it feels easier, more important and more attainable. Then we reach the top and feel empty because we’ve ignored our spirituality for so long.
The seasoned “me” knows that money isn’t enough. How many of us know someone who achieved an above-average income but still wasn’t satisfied?
As a husband, father and manager, I’m in a daily battle to be No. 1 in every area of my life. I remember reaching the top of my automotive career and wondering how I could stay ahead in a changing industry. Being at the top wasn’t enough for me. Then I stopped and asked myself the question that redefined my life: “What really matters in my life?”
This is the same question that can change your life forever. It certainly changed mine. I allowed myself to set aside my career ambitions and value all the other things I’d set by the wayside. I breathed a sigh of relief as I accepted that I couldn’t be Superman all the time. Every day, I’d have to invest in my health, spirituality, relationships, finances and career. I finally realized that, if I didn’t restore balance in my life and work toward whole life fulfillment, I’d never truly be happy.
Are you at the top of your game? Is that where you want to be? If you really want true happiness and fulfillment, reaching your professional goals isn’t going to be enough. You’re going to have to dig deep and listen to that whispering voice that tells you what’s missing. You’re going to have to be open and honest with yourself.
Start with a conscious decision to work on your life goals holistically. Sit down in a quiet room with a pen and paper and ask the questions you’ve been avoiding. The questions that make you uncomfortable might just be the ones that deliver your life from chaos to peace. Wait for those answers and map out a life plan. Income isn’t the first goal; it’s only part of the blueprint for your life.
Go beyond your goals, and by that I mean reach out past your sales goals. Live your life fully and wholeheartedly now and forever. A new year is here. Are you ready?
Rico Glover is the chief digital officer at Bryan Honda in Fayetteville, N.C., and a nationally recognized expert in dealership digital marketing. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.