I love May. For me, not only does it mean more sunshine and the promise of summer days peeking around the corner, but it’s also my birthday month. Yes, I said month. Y’all know I like to celebrate! (No negative thinking here!) Birthdays are a big calendar marker. Not just because of the celebratory component of the day but also because it is my yearly marker for medical check-ups and all sorts of other things. But more than that, every year on my birthday, I take inventory of my growth. What direction am I heading? What goals have I achieved? Where have I improved? My friend Sean has a fantastic tradition. Every year, he asks, “What is the one thing you know this year that you did not know last year?” I love this question! I look forward to it every year. It is a great prompt to acknowledge the lessons learned – from both the sun and the shadows. It is a beautiful way to review my year, appreciate growth, and set intentions for the future.

Shadows vs Sunshine

It’s human nature to get caught up in the negatives, especially in sales. Whether it’s dealing with a tough crowd or pursuing a sales goal, the tendency is to fixate on what went wrong. But what if we flip the script and concentrate on the positive? This mindset can not only improve confidence and enthusiasm but also drive sales success. Imagine you’re making a killer sales presentation to a room full of potential clients, and there’s that one person staring at their phone. (I like to think they are taking notes on what I’m presenting and not scrolling Instagram, but I digress…) It’s so easy to be distracted by this (and can I also say fixated?)! But here’s the deal: Many more potential clients are listening attentively, nodding, and ready to engage. Instead of letting one negative throw you off your game, focus on the positive responses. Use that energy to tailor your message to capture the attention of the majority. We tend to dwell on the things that did not go well instead of looking at the progress that we are making. Remember: it’s about progress, not perfection. No matter how slow that progress might be at times, focusing on the movement forward serves as a motivation to persist.

Closed doors vs. Open Windows: Flipping the negative around

Sales, whether they are part of your job or just part of life, often involves facing closed doors – rejected deals, unresponsive clients or missed opportunities. It’s easy to linger on these setbacks, but what if you shift your focus instead to the open windows of opportunity? Every closed door signifies an opportunity to learn and improve. Instead of dwelling on what didn’t work, analyze, adapt and plan your new course. Recognizing open windows allows you to explore new avenues and uncover hidden potentials. Life is a journey filled with ups and downs. When striving for a goal, setbacks are inevitable. The trick is not to let them overshadow the progress you are making. Even if it’s just a small step forward, recognize it as a win. It’s like a sales report. Highlight the achievements rather than getting bogged down by the challenges. This positive mindset not only boosts confidence but also propels you closer to your sales objectives.
  1. Practice gratitude. You know my number one is always about being grateful. Start or end your day by listing things you’re grateful for, including people, experiences, or even small comforts.
  2. Limit Negativity. Be careful of the information you take in and the company you keep. Limit exposure to negative news, social media, and conversations that drag down your mood. They call it doom scrolling for a reason.
  3. Bring in the joy. Do things that bring you joy and fulfillment. Whether it’s a hobby, exercise, or spending time with loved ones. Set daily or weekly goals that are realistic and achievable to help build your confidence and positive feelings.
  4. Reframe negative thoughts. Ask yourself or a trusted friend to help you see the situation through another lens if you’re being overly critical. Sharing your feelings and experiences can also help you feel less isolated in your struggles.
  5. Throw a P3 – petite pity party. It’s okay not to be positive all the time. Accepting your feelings without judgment can be a form of self-compassion and may reduce the pressure to feel a certain way. But then move on…petite is key here.
In the world of sales (or even life), focusing on where the sun shines (instead of where it doesn’t) is a strategic move. This mindset not only elevates your sales game but also attracts clients who appreciate your optimism and enthusiasm. (Ahem, do I hear a little personal branding in action?) Relish the sunshine and let it guide you away from the shadows into the direction you want to go. Choosing to focus on the good is an internal sales conversation with yourself. And you, my friend, don’t need to be your own toughest client!