Editor’s note: This post was originally published on 4/7/15 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehension. It goes without saying: Surround yourself with successful people, and you’ll be successful. But maybe you can’t rub elbows with the likes of Bill Gates, Gary Vaynerchuk or Jeffrey Gitomer. No worries. In this article, I’m going to share with you the lessons I’ve learned from hanging around Jeffrey. (He’s been my mentor for years and…)
1. It’s Never Too Late to Begin
Jeffrey is 70. (Although he definitely doesn’t look it) He didn’t begin his writing career until he was 46. In 1994, his first book, The Sales Bible, was published and is now one of the most well-known sales books of all time. (Buy it here — It’s a must-read.) Ten years and a few books later, he published The Little Red Book of Selling, which has now sold more than 5 million copies internationally, he writes a weekly business column called ‘Sales Moves’ that goes out to millions of people, and he has a weekly e-newsletter that goes out to 200k+ subscribers. Since his first book in 1994, he has written another 11 books and is a highly sought-after speaker, giving 100+ presentations per year. So what’s the lesson? No matter your age, it’s never too late to start living your dream of…
- Writing a book.
- Creating a product.
- Pushing your business to the next level.
Jeffrey Gitomer is living proof that you (and only you) are what stands in the way of your current situation and your dream. In his 40’s, he turned his life into a massive success. Do yourself a favor and step out of your own way.
2. Life’s Short. Enjoy it.
Can I get an “amen?” Now, I like to think I’m a pretty positive guy, but the entire Gitomer team takes positivity and kindness to a whole new level. Whenever I visit their headquarters, I feel like every person in the organization genuinely cared about me. (Almost as much as my own family. Scary, but awesome.) There wasn’t an hour in the day when someone wasn’t asking if I wanted something to eat or drink, if I wanted sugar or creamer for my coffee, or if I was “good”. That’s the kind of hospitality that creates an enjoyable environment and changes people. Here’s a picture I snapped of everyone at the Gitomer headquarters. (Notice the positive energy!) Life’s too short to be negative. To let bitterness build. To live angry. Is your business stagnant? Are you unsure of whether to hire another salesperson or a marketing agency? If you aren’t happy with your current situation, change it. Work with a company that encourages positivity and cultivates happiness. It’s contagious. And life’s too short to spend another day doing something you don’t love.
3. Give Without Expectation
Growing up, your mother always taught you to share with your siblings. Being the good child you were, you did. But was it out of the kindness of your heart? Or was it out of expectation that you siblings would share with you later? Usually, the latter. Upon arriving in Charlotte for a recent visit with Jeffrey, he greeted me in his dining room. We began talking and almost immediately, he offered me lunch. Not having eaten, I joked and said, “I’d love some bacon!” He turned around, opened his refrigerator and proceeded to cook me bacon, as well as several other things. His willingness to give blew my mind. (Plus, if there’s one way to win my respect, it’s with bacon.) Our conversation continued for a few hours, then I told him, “I’d love to buy a few more books while I’m down here. I read your Little Red Book of Selling on the flight down and it was amazing!” Jeffrey responded, “The only way you’re getting more books is if you don’t pay for them.” He then led me down the hallway to his personal library of books he’s written. Putting a bag in my hand, he said, “Fill this bag with anything you want.” Feeling like a kid in a candy store, I grabbed each one of his 12 books. By the end of the weekend, however, he had given me a total of 23 books. Some he’d written, some he recommended. Through Jeffrey’s giving, I was inspired and just placed an order for 15 of his books to give to clients (nurture) and prospects (sales).
4. Write, Write, Write
Jeffrey told me that writing was one of his first steps to getting to where he is today. And it’s one of the first things Jeffrey told me. He said, “Josh, you should write a book.” And I’m in the process of doing just that. Plus, I’d love to be able to give (without expecting) & sign books for others. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Find what successful people are doing, do it long enough, and you too will become successful.” Who do you know that is wildly successful and what are they doing? Follow their steps.
5. Leave a Legacy
The entire reason I was at the Gitomer headquarters was to give a presentation on Social Media Branding to a group of people who were becoming “Gitomer Certified Advisors.” (People who share the same principles as Jeffrey– enough to become certified to teach them.) That’s Jeffrey Gitomer’s legacy. To impact enough people who believe in the same principles to pass them on. To change the way sales are made, the way people think, the way people connect, and a ton more. I’d like to think I’m part of that legacy as well, seeing as I’m writing a blog post about it. How do you want people to remember you? What’s your legacy? Think about it. Write it down. Build it.
These are just five of the many things I learned from rubbing shoulders with someone like Jeffrey Gitomer. The impact his organization and mentorship had on me is a lasting one. Who has inspired you in your business? What principles from this article have motivated you?