As a young boy, my father told me I could become whatever I wanted in life if I was only willing to “pay the price.” I believed then, as I do now, that my father’s words were true.
When I ponder what it means to chase the dream, this statement rings through my mind: “Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe and enthusiastically act upon must inevitably come to pass.” To be successful, salespeople must have “the dream.” Without it, they will be unwilling to endure all of the discouragement they face each day in search of the sale.
A major factor in achieving the dream of sales success, or any dream for that matter, is rooted in belief, and belief is formed from attitude. I’m reminded of the story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger. He was the third of fourteen children. His family wasn’t rich, in fact, his father had to work three jobs just to put food on the table. Rudy said, “Because of the power of the dream, as a little boy you think you can be anybody, you can do anything, you can go anywhere.” In high school, Rudy played football and found comfort in his ability to be his best while on the field even though he was only five feet seven inches tall and weighed just one hundred and sixty pounds. He was a dreamer and not a good student. Unknowingly, Rudy suffered from the reading disorder dyslexia. He often thought to himself, “If I can go to Notre Dame I can be someone.” However, he faced the reality that his family wasn’t rich, he was not a great athlete and only smart kids go to Notre Dame.
In recounting his life’s story, Rudy recalled, “I was determined to find the answer, what must I do to go to Notre Dame. What you need is the dream and then you must find out what you must do.” After facing discouragement at every turn and working harder at his studies than he ever imagined possible, Rudy finally won admission to Notre Dame. He immediately went after his next goal, to win a spot on the football team’s practice squad. He served on the practice squad for two bruising seasons. Recounting the experience, Rudy said, “I got hit from the blind side one time, I thought I had actually died. I got hit so hard – have you ever been hit by a truck? If you ever got hit by a truck and didn’t see it coming – can you imagine what that would feel like? That’s how it felt.”
Rudy’s dream was to suit-up for just one game and it was now the last game of the season. “I just wanted to run through that tunnel onto the field, I had paid the price,” Rudy said. It was November 8th, game day – Notre Dame vs. Georgia Tech. It was a day Rudy would remember forever. He entered the game with just thirty eight seconds remaining and played the last three plays of the game. Rudy made the last tackle of the game. It was then that his teammates picked him up and put Rudy on their shoulders. Reminiscing, Rudy said, “That was a special moment, a moment of pride. The power of the dream had given me hope. You know, that is the most powerful thing you can give someone.” Speaking of the long journey of hard work, discouragement and finally his personal victory, Rudy said, “It was worth it, even when it looked the darkest.” Rudy was the first of only two players in Notre Dame history to ever be carried off the field by his teammates.
Just as in the story of Rudy, success in selling comes though chasing the dream. If you are willing to pay the price, you will achieve the success in your sales career that others will never even imagine.