5 Mins Read

Maintaining a High Performance Operating Rhythm Amongst Chaos in Sales

Brandon Fluharty |

Brandon Fluharty |

⚡️ Today’s level up ⚡️

Everywhere around you in nature, you’re reminded of cycles. Yet when it comes to the business world (which is powered by sales), there’s a mindset of one direction only – fast growth. However, it’s not sustainable, and it’s costing individuals and teams big dollars and causing unnecessary burnout.

Today’s edition focused on a system for maintaining a healthy, but high performance, operating rhythm by embracing natural cycles.

Let’s go!

Read time: <5 minutes


Bucking trends

I’ve had two powerful strategy sessions recently with two sellers who are on different sides of the planet with completely different companies, but experiencing very similar situations.

Both work for large, well-known software companies. Both of their teams missed targets last year (just 16% and 22% of their teams hit quota respectively). Both of their companies have laid off employees, including sales colleagues. And both companies are adding additional layers of micromanagement.

In fact one of their CEOs said “our wellness culture during the pandemic has eaten into our high performance mentality.”

Wow…that’s really happening!

Despite these headwinds, both of these sellers are thriving in their own unique way and on their own terms.

Embracing cycles

One of the sellers was able to hit his number last year, despite it only being his first year at the organization.

He made wellness, being intentional, and systemizing quality habits core pillars to his daily approach to success. Wellness was an anchor to his success, not a distraction from it. As a Make More Hustle Less Club member, he’s taken the open source template of Thrive Space and completely customized it to make it his own.

He’s gone as far as layering on aspects from the book The 12 Week Year, one of my essential reads, and has used concepts like 12 week sprints and periodization, approaches often reserved for professional athletes, to sprint hard during the the end of fiscal year (January) and was treated to 3 weeks off in February to fully recover.

He’s in a realistic position to meet his 2023 number by the end of his fiscal Q1.

A more rigorous process

The second seller is removing the noise around him and management’s call for more activity and dashboards to solve the issue of low quota attainment last year.

In the past, this type of micromanagement and tightening “of the vice” would’ve sent him in a tizzy of anxiety and unnecessary stress. However, what’s clear to him is that the sales process we have worked on implementing over the past year is way more rigorous than anything his leaders would bestow on him – giving him ample space and peace to operate on his terms.

The key to his confidence is based on his version of the personal operating system that highly leverages his calendar. He uses it effectively to openly communicate asynchronously with his manager:

– “This is what I did last week”

– “This is what I’m doing this week”

– “Let me know if I need to make any changes”

Every single one of his activities and meetings are time-blocked on the calendar, and includes detailed notes. At any time, especially if anything changes, his manager (or any leader) can click into his calendar and see exactly what he’s working on or how an important meeting went (vs the awful back-and-forth response to “where’s x account right now?”).

This frees him and his manager to have a hyper-productive 1:1 meeting each week that’s focused on removing roadblocks and progressing big deals vs admin bullsh*t and unnecessary update work and stress.

He also ends each day with personal reflections, which he also captures inside his calendar and he shares with me ahead of our strategy sessions.

Embracing cycles

What both of these sellers had to face, as we all do, on the path to 7 figure dealmaking is that there are natural highs and lows, expansion and contraction – just like our breath goes in and out, the sun rises and falls, there are seasons of decay and growth.

With one of the sellers I work with, we like to describe the dichotomy between the calm and chaos as the “mountaintop” and the “marketplace.”

During the hectic moments of the day (which is most of it), you’re going to experience the chaos of the marketplace.

However, with proper breaks for mindfulness, movement, and reflection – you zoom out to the top of the mountain where it’s calm, quiet, and peaceful.

Most sellers, unfortunately, start, stop, and stay only in the marketplace. That’s a fast path to burnout and poor performance, because it’s easy to get lost and suffocate in the marketplace. You end up operating by everyone else’s rules but your own.

Making a difference one individual at a time

What I love about each of these sellers is that they are making an impact, starting with themselves, and the spill over is happening across their team and even region.

The first seller is getting a lot of local leaders excited about using wellness as a foundation to improve performance, sustain grueling sales cycles, and level up the size of deals.

The second seller is getting a lot of encouragement from his manager and requests to maintain certain strategic accounts are being met with a yes, because the manager sees the value with his high quality, very intentional approach.

This deliberate effort has the ability to bubble up to the surface and add value to everyone, proving that the pursuit of high growth through high activity (and high turnover) is not the right approach for sustainable growth in today’s market.

Calmer Seller → Happier Seller → More Effective Seller → More Satisfied Clients → Larger Deals → More Expansion → More Predictable Revenue → Better Performing Teams

“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” -JFK

Tools for creating your own rhythm

Both sellers have realized that the single unit to success over the long arc of the year is a single workday.

The more deliberate and intentional you are with your process to winning the day, the higher you raise the ceiling on winning over the long-term.

Although the exact tools they use may differ, each of them rely on the following pillars for winning the day:

1. Consistent startup and shutdown routines. What goes into those routines is less important than doing the routines consistently. The startup routine should be treated like a warmup to the day and the shutdown is where you reflect and close out for the day so you can be fully present in other areas of your life.

2. Effective use of the calendar. Every activity, meeting, and task (and insights/notes on each) should be time-blocked and captured on your calendar. The best tool that I’ve seen that brings this all together with sublime simplicity is Sunsama.

3. Deep work. This is a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. Need help? Read Deep Work by Cal Newport.

4. Visual habit tracker. According to James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, when you use a visual tracker, you observe clear evidence you are progressing, and you feel satisfied seeing how you advance. It also encourages good habits because it visually rewards you, reinforcing the good behavior. Want one? Grab a free copy of Thrive Space.

5. Deliberate breaks and silence. Building in moments to take a walk, do some stretching or yoga, take a power nap, or do absolutely nothing are the quick trips to the “mountaintop” for fresh air. Don’t skip out on these. If you want to a better way to work, try The Pomodoro Technique.

That’s a wrap – see you next time!




When you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:

1 | Unlock the 7 Figure Seller OS

This combines the 7 Steps to 7 Figures system along with a lifetime membership to our Make More Hustle Less Club where we put the system in action as a community (big changes coming and prices will increase starting in March!).

2 | Book a 1:1 advisory session

You can book a 60 minute session with me here.

3 | Apply to my Category of One 1:1 coaching program

All Q1 slots are filled, but I will be selecting Q2 spots next week!

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