In Pursuit of the Ah-ha!

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Jul 22, 2010 12:07:33 PM

Don’t fear the man who has tried 10,000 kicks,
Fear the man who has tried 1 kick 10,000 times.   – Bruce Lee

I’ve spent the last 20 years working with salespeople and entrepreneurs supporting their journey to do great things.  What I’ve learned in that time (often, much to my personal frustration) is that success means doing things that seem small, trivial, and almost irrelevant.  Success, or more appropriately the discipline that leads to success, can be quite boring.

We’re all guilty of pursuing the “Ah-ha moment.”  “Ah-ha’s” are a lot of fun.  They’re exciting and they make us feel good.  Whenever you begin to learn something, the ah-ha’s are easy to get.  The problem with the early ah-ha’s is that despite the endorphins they release, they don’t lead to significant results.  They're valuable, because they give you confidence while you’re trying something new and that allows you to continue.

The problem is that in due time (often a short time), the frustration of learning and mastering is still there, but the ah-ha’s are fewer and much farther in between.  It’s so frustrating, and the ah-ha’s can become so rare that you begin to think that either:

  • The task is no longer worth mastering, or

  • Worse, that you’ve mastered the task.

I’ve learned that the biggest, most significant difference between the great ones and the average ones is that the great ones deal with the boring tasks of mastery.  They get frustrated like everyone else, but they understand that it’s part of the process.  As one of my coaches used to tell me, they turn the frustration into inspiration.

Great performers understand that most people won’t slough through the boring, minutiae of mastery.  They know that they’ll get frustrated and jump on the next exciting, new idea.  But please, please don’t fall for that trap.  Stay focused and remember that your ability to get through the boring, frustrating stage of master is your advantage – and great results await!

Topics: B2B Sales Strategy, Sales Training/Coaching