When I was a kid, I never wanted to sell. Even though I was calling on prospective clients, scheduling meetings with them, and eventually winning their business, I didn’t believe what I was doing was selling. I believed I was trying to help people with the challenges they had finding and hiring good people. After I won their business, I took care of their accounts.
My first real sales manager forced me into outside sales under threat of being fired. It changed my approach to achieving the very same outcome that I was already producing. I got more aggressive. I pushed harder for meetings. I won a big account or two. But I never really changed what I was doing, namely trying to help people produce a better result than they were getting without me. I was a big part of that difference. It felt good to make a difference.
Over time, I settled in. I wasn’t desperate, and I went back to the approach that had always worked for me. I was direct, professional, and not nearly as aggressive in pushing people to get appointments. I became more effective using persuasion instead of force. I worked hard to understand how I might help people.
What Does Your Work Mean?
For me, this is what work is about. It’s about making a difference. It’s about helping people. Selling is just one of the ways that you can make an impact. You can make an impact in operations, marketing, management, finance, or leadership, provided you go into that work with the intention of making a difference.
Work doesn’t have to be soulless. It doesn’t have to be meaningless, and it definitely doesn’t have to be boring.
Your work is going to be whatever you bring to it. Your intentions are what matters. If you go to work and punch the clock, work can’t be any more than a job. If you go to work to make a difference, then your work is going to meaningful and fulfilling.
Making A Difference
The main thing is still making a difference.
What is it that you do to make a difference for other people in your work? How is their world a better place because you are here? How would your customer’s world be different without you in it? What would be missing?
What are your intentions around your work? Do good work this week, and I’ll see you back here next week!