Meet my personal wellness coach: WHOOP. I’ve been wearing WHOOP since 2019. I’ve tried other wearables like Fitbit, Apple Watch, and Oura Ring, but I rate WHOOP as the best.
It’s like having a coach on my wrist that gives me 24/7 insights into behaviors that keep me at peak performance – from improving sleep, to monitoring the effects of cold showers, to managing my stress more effectively through guided breathing exercises when it senses my stress is too high…and much more.
WHOOP is offering BFLG subscribers a free WHOOP 4.0 + your first month free – Sign up today!
If you click a link and make a purchase, I earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you).
⚡️ Today’s level up ⚡️
Today’s edition helps you implement a simple framework to upgrade your mindset based on where you are in your career.
Read time: <7 minutes
My journey in (and then out of sales)
I did not start my career in SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) sales.
Back in 2003, after leaving college early (yep – no bachelor’s degree), I started training youth soccer players. At that time, I was an aspiring professional soccer player. Once I realized I was not going to make it as a pro player, I decided to train younger players instead.
I began working at a company called Coastal Soccer. The trainers were former American collegiate and professional players, and together we came up with a unique training method.
Our core niche was training 5-12-year-olds across Long Island in New York (which gave me a great business education in “niching down” and “Category Design,” which are red hot topics these days).
That first job also gave me a gift I wasn’t expecting – learning how to sell:
And the best way to sell is to stop selling.
Within four years, Coastal Soccer grew from a company of four employees to over fifty. I wore many hats, but was mostly in charge of scaling our individual and small-group player development division.
I eventually left that company so I could work and live in NYC. I even taught myself to DJ to supplement my income and (barely) pay my rent.
My first actual sales role was as an Account Manager for a boutique music marketing agency, which launched my dedicated career in sales in 2006.
After leaving NYC and starting all over again in a small town in Florida – I began to “adult.”
I got married, began getting serious about my sales career (starting over at the bottom in SMB sales), and bought our first house.
Gradually I parlayed my network and experience into moving into SaaS within the region (still focused on SMBs), and then eventually grew into Mid-Market sales at a consulting firm, until I landed a remote Enterprise AE role in 2015, and then finally switched to a remote strategic accounts role in 2018 that launched the most prolific period in my sales career ($50M TCV closed in <4 years).
Then in March of 2022, I said goodbye to corporate selling for good to launch my one-person business.
It was not always easy
Like many in sales, particularly SaaS sales, I had to constantly hustle to stay relevant.
Here was my typical routine:
I would get up early because I was told successful people had to be up by 5 am.
“You need to get a jump on the competition,” I thought to myself.
Then, I’d work frantically, all day, mostly inside my email inbox. I’d be hyper-responsive to any incoming request from any prospect. I’d type furiously away on Google Chat and Slack to my countless co-workers, ensuring presentations, demos, Infosec audits, and contracts were all moving forward.
Then, around 2 pm, when my eyelids were getting heavy, instead of taking a break, I’d run to Starbucks for a quad shot latte or grab a Red Bull (at least it was the sugar-free kind).
Late into the night, I’d continue responding to emails, and tweak a slide deck for my presentation the following morning, all while constantly traveling for meetings with prospects or attending events.
I won the deals, surpassed my quota, and then did it all over again, month after month, quarter after quarter, and year after year.
But…it was a vicious and exhausting cycle.
It got so bad, that at one point, in my early 30s, I had a mini-stroke.
All because I had prioritized work over my health.
So what changed?
How my mindset shifted throughout my journey
I became more intentional with how I approached harmonizing work, life, and play – something I describe as the path of The Purposeful Performer.
I’ll unpack this concept in more detail in future editions (in fact, I have a lot of exciting announcements coming this summer), but as a simple visual, it looks something like this:
The one consistent controllable I had throughout each stage (which you do too), was my mindset.
Here’s a breakdown of each stage and how I upgraded my mindset…
STAGE 01: LEARNER
- Objective: Apply effort to learn key skills
- Stage of Career: First decade, earning <$200K
- Mindset: Thought like an Executive
As an individual contributor, I wanted to think more like how an executive does.
✔️ Be super strategic with my decisions
✔️ Understand business implications at a high level
✔️ Remove frivolous distractions (like corporate gossip & politics)
‣‣ Outcome: Gained key business skills (that my peers lacked)
STAGE 02: EARNER
- Objective: Leverage skills to earn outsized income
- Stage of Career: Second decade, earning >$200K
- Mindset: Thought like a CEO
As a top biller and earner, I wanted to think more like a startup founder.
✔️ Say no more than yes
✔️ Develop systems to scale my impact
✔️ Focus on only the most important projects
‣‣ Outcome: Turned my skills into outsized income & autonomy (that my peers didn’t get)
STAGE 03: CREATOR
- Objective: Turn life-changing income into freedom
- Stage of Career: For the rest of my life
- Mindset: Think like a VC
As a financially-independent solopreneur, I want to make decisions based on creating independence and impact.
✔️ Build a calm business
✔️ Sustain long-term thinking
✔️ Diversify my income streams
‣‣ Outcome: Designed a business around my life (vs the other way around).
Hope this helped put some things into perspective on your own journey.
See you next week!
When you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:
Most readers have opted for the Intermediate Program, which combines the 7 Steps to 7 Figures system along with a membership to Make More Hustle Less Club where we put the system in action as a community and members have access to over 14 hours of available on-demand content.
You can book a 60-minute strategy session with me (although the Pro above option provides access to 1:1 coaching with me at a 70% discount (just 8% of available coaching slots remain for 2023).
3 | Sponsorship opportunities
For any sales leaders or brands, to keep Be Focused. Live Great. free for the community of 10K+ enterprise and strategic sellers, I am offering sponsorship space for this weekly newsletter. If you’re interested, email: firstname.lastname@example.org