How to Kick Butt in This Economy
Posted by Todd Smith
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More than 20 years ago, I heard a story about one of the most dominating martial arts champions of the time. While I can’t recall his name, I will never forget what he said. When asked how he achieved such dominance, he described the following scenario: if he became physically exhausted during a fight, he knew there was a good chance his competitor felt the same way. At this point of extreme fatigue, he fired himself up and attacked his competitor with every ounce of strength he could possibly draw from his body.
This martial arts champion said the key to his success was his mental strength and strategy to attack during his competitor’s moment of weakness. Since hearing this story, I have applied his way of thinking to my professional career, as well as playing and coaching sports. Not only do I look for the little things I can do to gain the advantage, but I also look for times to strike like the martial arts champion.
I can recall many Decembers when my competitors were focused on the holiday season and I was intensely aggressive in my prospecting efforts. The irony was that when my competitors were relaxing, my prospective clients were extra friendly and more apt to spend. It was the sole month of the year when I had very little competition.
If you want to have an unfair advantage in advancing your career, now is the time to attack. I have never seen a time with more people in survival mode, curled up in the fetal position, waiting for the economy to improve. If you have been looking for the right opportunity to advance your career, it’s here staring you in the face. This is the time to curl your lips back, show those teeth, and begin to growl.
Even if you find yourself in an environment where no matter how much you apply yourself today, you won’t make any additional money, don’t think for one minute it’s not worth stepping up your game. This is what your competitors are thinking, which is why now is the right time to kick their butts.
I also want to reinforce an important point I made in What’s Your Value to the Market. If you want to earn more money, you must FIRST increase your value. It doesn’t work in reverse. And the only way you are going to increase your value is by the compounding effect of small, daily improvements.
Now is the time to be noticed as someone with a great attitude who is “giving everything they got.” By standing out from the crowd today and building your value, when the market turns (and yes it will turn), there will be a huge void of leadership. All the efforts you put forth today during this economic downturn will catapult you over your peers and competitors. You will enter the new economy not only in the lead, but also with a momentum that will be hard for others to catch.
I believe if you are not advancing your career, you are falling behind. There are people in your profession who resemble the martial arts champion. They seek opportunities and take full advantage of them. They are kicking butt right now and positioning themselves to be the leaders of the future.
If you make a commitment to step up your game, despite the current economic environment, I am confident your attitude and self-image will improve and your life will become more fulfilling and enjoyable. Accepting this challenge will require you to stop reading and listening to all the bad news and hanging out with people who are filled with doom and gloom. If you are going to focus on offense, you must fill your mind with positive information that inspires and motivates you.
NOW is the time to think like a martial arts champion and KICK BUTT!
“You see, it’s never the environment; it’s never the events of our lives, but the meaning we attach to the events — how we interpret them — that shapes who we are today and who we’ll become tomorrow.” – Tony Robbins
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