I wrote this wonderful, lengthy blog a little while ago about sales, and how I’m not a salesman. I recounted the various stages of my career and how work has always seemed to find me. I admitted to not having the slightest clue about how to sell, but felt fortunate that I’d always had work. However, during a coffee meeting with one of our crew, I realized what I already knew: We could and should be a lot busier. It really bothered me. To try and fix this, I proudly told the story of how I went to one of the better sales people I know and asked for tips and help; only to have him tell me that I don’t need to sell, I only need to speak about my passions and more work would come. I’m fairly certain that I almost dislocated my shoulder reaching around to pat myself on the back for having such great passion and loving what we do here; neatly concluding that I don’t need to work on sales to grow this business.
I took a deep breath, re-read the blog to myself, and nearly broke my leg trying to kick myself in the behind. What a load of self-righteous malarky.
Yes, I have been incredibly fortunate that almost all of the opportunities I and we have received have been either from people liking our work and tracking us down, or from referrals. It’s very flattering. That being said, it’s also not enough. I had a good laugh as I thought about all of the various marketing campaigns and annual budgets I’ve created for other people’s companies and other people’s dreams. Thought of the thousands of print ads I’ve created for other people, the radio ads, social media campaigns and websites and search engine optimizations… to build other people’s goals. All while my own business grew at a pace completely unsatisfactory for my dreams.
I know – poor me. Poor me who always had people find me and want me to work with them. Poor me who had clients waiting the second we turned on the lights on Ye Olde Ambition Website. The thing is, it’s enough to get by, not to get ahead. While I love my cars with the intensity of a hundred suns, I’m no closer to adding that elusive Ferrari 458 to my fleet than I was three years ago. We don’t have the Ambition logo up in lights on the side of the beautiful building I’ve dreamt about for years. Heck – we don’t even have a sales person, because that’s not in the budget yet.
I took a few moments with my unhappy thoughts and realized, I could either embrace the definition of insanity and keep doing the same thing over and over again, and in 20 years still be wondering when my goals were going to come knocking on my door, or I could give myself (another) hard kick to the nether regions and step outside of my comfort zone. Do I know any more about sales than I did yesterday? No. Do I know a heck of a lot about marketing and promotions? Yes, I do. It’s time for me to apply everything that I’ve learned and done for other people to my own dreams, a thousand times more than I ever have. I have my skills, and I have some amazing people working alongside me. I’m not waiting for opportunity to come knocking – I’m getting behind the wheel and chasing it down as fast as I can.
Maybe I don’t know about sales. What I do know is my goals and dreams, and what we’re great at here. If it’s up to me to get that word out for now, then I’ll step out of my comfort zone and get it done. Ambition. Time to embrace it.
– Jason Toma
Founder, Ambition Branding Inc.