Getting Through The Tough Times


“The advertising agency man and the media salesman live much of the time under a tight wire that stretches between hope and despair.”

– Fairfax Cone, 1969

If you’ve spent any amount of time in a sales career you’ve undoubtedly had a bad month, a bad quarter…maybe even a bad year. Those times can be hard – pressures mount and doubts can begin to creep in (“am I any good at this?”).

Most salespeople I know – myself very much included – tend to be be harder on themselves than anyone else could possibly be. So, it stands to reason that during a tough stretch self-doubt can be a regular passenger in your daily life and ‘that’ voice in your head can be particularly loud.

This voice, though, isn’t real and is just one more thought. Zen is constantly trying to remove deluded thoughts and get us intimately involved with just this moment and with what is actually happening. What is most definitely NOT happening is that voice telling you that you suck.

But, during a tough stretch is incredibly hard to recognize this and it feels natural to be down on yourself. It’s important to try to remember – and zazen (meditation) helps you do this – that that voice in your head is just your ego. And here’s the hard truth – even during good times your ego will never let you be happy. You might win President’s Club, you could be top biller for months on end and, guess what? It’ll never be enough…our egos will never let us be truly happy.

So, what do you do about it? Simple…just let it go. Let it go and just do the work. Every day.

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