Before it was done, it was thought to be impossible.

– The 4-minute mile.

– A backwards double flip on a motorcycle.

– Eating 50 hot dogs in 10 minutes.

They all got done.

Funny thing is, once they got done the first time, the bar went up for everyone. Funnier than that, is that almost immediately after the new level was breached, mass expectation followed – all of a sudden the impossible became the new benchmark – and it became widely believed that the new benchmark was not only reachable, but expected, at least by the peak performers in each respective endeavor.

Since the 4-minute mile was run for the first time by Roger Bannister in 1954, running the mile in under 4-minutes has become a standard expectation for serious athletes in this sport. Prior to the breach of the 4-minute mark, it seemed unreachable; after it was broken once – it was broken many times soon thereafter. Seems as though the physical barrier was not the only one. This trend continued and just 45 years later, the current world record stood at almost 1/3 of a minute less than this once thought-to-be-impossible mark.

In 2000, Travis Pastrana became the first person to attempt a single back flip on a motorcycle at the X-Games. This still seems implausible to me, in spite of the fact that I have watched in amazement as several competitors have done the same trick since. At the 2010 X-Games, he landed a double back flip – if you are into this kind of stuff – and maybe even if you are not, you have got to see it to believe it.

Oh – and the hot dog thing…. In the year 2000, Takeru Kobayashi smashed the current Nathans’s Hot Dog Eating contest record of 25 hot dogs eaten in 10 minutes with a “gut wrenching” 50. I can’t stomach the thought of imagining how high the record can actually go, besides – that would be a digression from the point here. The current record is 68.  I have mercifully spared you a video, but you can Google it or find it on You Tube if you just can’t help yourself.

Yup – we humans are pretty funny all right!

Looking back this all seems quite passe. Where this all becomes relevant to anyone who might be reading this blog is this. Do you want to get better at something? You probably do, because the investment of your time that you are making in reading blogs like these indicates that you want to get better at your sales job (for which I congratulate you – wanting it is always an important first step).

Where these record breaking events are relevant for you then is in the fact that just like in the case of these events, you want to do something – to reach a level of performance that may seem out of reach, or at least there is some uncertainty about how to get there, if not a total lack of ability to imagine really getting there.

The pioneers of any new endeavor are those who believe that they can do something that has never been done before. We humans get all hot-under-the-collar when it is in sports (or sport eating), and when the record is the best in the world – but what about us?

The principles are exactly the same when we want to do something that WE have never done before. If we believe, then we can push towards it. You probably don’t have to eat 69 hot dogs to break your own record. And to reach the goals that you have, goals you have never reached before – regardless of what the person next to you is doing – simply requires first the belief that you can. This belief can serve as the fuel, the drive needed to muscle through the obstacles that might get in your way while reaching for your goal.

To succeed, you will need to be smart about how you try to learn, and have some discipline and dedication to help you get there. In my blog post from last week I offer some tips about how to make that happen more efficiently and painlessly. Even so, it won’t be seamless, or painless – but you can do it, and you can break past your own barriers!

So if you think that it is to hard to try because of the pain of failure, there is something else you should watch. While the double back flip on a motorcycle is amazing, you have not seen determination until you see Aaron Fotheringham attempt what he calls “The Bible Flip”. Aaron is a teenager who was born with Spina Bifida, and who will sit in a wheelchair for transportation for the rest of his life. But instead of being resigned to his life in a wheelchair, he just rides it in what he calls “hardcore sitting”. In this video, Aaron makes many painful looking attempts before landing the first ever double back flip in a wheelchair. He calls it a Bible Flip because he says it takes a lot of faith to pull it off.  May we all be half this strong and determined in our pursuit of the things that are important to us!

So like Aaron, have faith – believe – and see how far it can carry you.

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Authors note (AKA shameless plugs)

So, this 7-step sales process and associated topics…. Yup, I write about that a lot. I’ve been working with it since I developed it about 25 years ago – in my own diverse work experiences, with my teams when I had them, and with clients ever since.

If you would like to develop you own personalized and customized, highly effective and efficient B2B selling system, here are some further steps you can take:

The Salesman’s Guide to Dating is a free or very cheap (depending on Amazon) Kindle book that walks you through the sales process using the familiar analogy of dating. It’s a good, fun and quick way to get your mind around the whole process and how the pieces fit together.

Building Your Sales Process (BYSP) is a free and very thorough exploration of the same 7-step process that will walk you through the development of your own customized, personal B2B selling system. When you are done, you will know exactly what to do to get new business.

The Momentum Selling System® is an inexpensive but very robust online sales training course that is similar to BYSP, but goes deeper into the concepts behind each of the steps, and also helps you develop a plan not only for the 7-step process but also addresses mindset, repeat business and client base management.

If none of that sounds right, I do personal coaching and offer a free 30-minute intake session so that we can both learn if it makes sense to work together 1-on-1. If this sounds interesting, click over to the coaching page on this site and sign up for the free session.

Here’s to your success!

-David