⚡️ Today’s level up ⚡️
In this edition, I’ll highlight the critical importance happiness plays in our demanding role in strategic SaaS sales (according to science), how I and other top performers leverage a commitment to happiness to sustain peak success, and help you develop your own happiness commitment using a simple system.
→ Read this in <9 minutes right now
→ Better understand why happiness is critical in sales
→ Develop your own personal happiness commitment system
First, let’s define happiness.
I really like the way Arthur Brooks, Ph.D., Harvard professor and author of From Strength to Strength describes it:
“Happiness is not a feeling any more than your Thanksgiving dinner is the smell of the turkey.”
He goes on further to unpack it like this – there are 3 quantifiable “macronutrients” to happiness, which are:
Using a neutral observation of happiness, just like a nutritionist would objectively break down an athlete’s diet into the macronutrients of carbohydrates, protein, and fats to build an ideal nutrition plan for peak athletic performance, we can harness enjoyment, satisfaction, and purpose as the macronutrients to building an ideal mental health system for peak sales performance.
I’ll get into quantifying and systemizing happiness using these later, but for now, let’s dig deeper into the science of happiness and its role on sustainable peak performance for strategic SaaS sellers.
A happy seller is an effective seller
My good LinkedIn friend Jeff Riseley, Founder of The Sales Health Alliance and creator of Stress Less, Sell More, has worked with over 6,000 sellers using a ton of research on this topic.
“One of the biggest skill gaps sellers have today is failing to understand how our mental health and patterns of negative thinking can impact our happiness and sales performance. It’s impossible to show up our best selves each day if we’re highly stressed or caught in a downward spiral.” -Jeff Riseley
This correlation was captured in the (to-be-released) 2022 State Of Mental Health In Sales report where they found:
Let’s rewind the clock a bit so I can share a personal story.
One of the most challenging times I encountered in sales was 6 months into my role as a strategic SaaS seller while at LivePerson.
I was getting careless with my personal health (like skipping out on sleep, over-compensating with caffeine, drinking alcohol often, eating poorly, sacrificing quality time with my wife), constantly comparing my results with other people (anyone from my friends, to Elon Musk, to strangers on an airplane), obsessed about competing with (and surpassing) the other new logo hunters and client partners for top of the leaderboard, wishing my conditions were different (having things go perfectly), and craving things I didn’t have (a Rolex, a Porsche, a luxury home).
I’ll go into more on these 5 traps below.
Luckily, I had enough experience under my belt, a desire to find more meaning in my work, and good leadership to keep myself on track.
That eventually put me on a path of seeking outside help to boost my performance. That search led me to working with Amber Deibert, the top mindset and performance coach for enterprise AEs.
Our work together focused on what Jeff and The Sales Health Alliance had found as a key driver for improving sales performance:
In case you missed it, I deconstruct my work with Amber back in 2019 in this edition: The Simple Mental Model That Reframed My Limiting Beliefs in SaaS Sales.
When I recently asked Amber to share her thoughts about happiness and performance, she broke it down beautifully like this:
This position is further reinforced by work done by psychologist BJ Fogg, founder and director of the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University and author of Tiny Habits.
The results he found after working with 40,000 people was conclusive: Developing high quality habits stems from feeling good (not consistency, discipline, or determination).
So what does this all mean?
Developing a commitment to happiness, therefore, naturally elevates your craft. That’s why I always repeat the mantra: Human First, Seller Second. Unfortunately, too many sellers I meet are in search of quick hacks, specific sales tactics, or playbooks for success.
The brutal truth is superficial playbooks may help early on in your career, but as you elevate to the very top of the sales craft, none of these “quick hits” will develop or nourish enjoyment, satisfaction, or purpose in your life.
And without these in place, you’ll find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to have the capacity to close that 8 figure mega deal, enter the 7 figure earners club, or build the meaningful life you desire.
The 5 most common traps preventing happiness
Next, let’s deconstruct the 5 most common traps sellers fall into that could be holding you back from being a happier human and blocking you on your path to being at the top of your craft:
Sacrificing your health, relationships, and wellbeing is a recipe for disaster.
Take it from my friend, Ian Koniak, who has a great take on cultivating happiness after almost losing it all.
“If you want to experience true happiness, you must prioritize your relationships, health, and growth as much as you do your career.” – Ian Koniak
Try this instead: Health > Hustle
Constantly obsessing about your position on the leaderboard, comparing your success to others, or using vanity metrics (like activity) to justify your value as a seller is a losing proposition.
Try this instead: Curiosity > Comparison
We’ve over-indexed on competition in sales. Granted, there are parallels and positives, many of which we can take from athletics, like only focusing on competing with yourself to get better every day or using competition to push yourself to become the best possible version.
Unfortunately, when it drives you to the point of obsession, debilitating fear, or making immoral decisions, it’s a sign you’re in the midst of toxic competition.
Try this instead: Cooperation > Competition
Stoic philosophy instills in us that conditions beyond our control are futile to even waste time and energy thinking about. So much of our potential is depleted by feeling sorry for ourselves, wishing things were better, or complaining that things aren’t ideal.
The better decision is harnessing everything you have into what you can control. Every. Single. Time.
Try this instead: Control > Cannot Control
You’ve heard time and time again that extrinsic motivators (the fat commission checks, the Italian supercar, the President’s Club plaque) they’re just not worth the heartache.
In fact, it’s when you let go of desiring these things that you actually put yourself in a position to attain them.
Try this instead: Helping > Hoarding
But it’s not all doom and gloom.
Now that you’ve gained awareness of what causes unhappiness and understand the science of why happiness is a precursor to immense success, it’s time to come back to the macronutrients of enjoyment, satisfaction, and purpose to create your happiness commitment system.
Create a happiness commitment system: A simple seek-and-find framework
Step 1: Seek Enjoyment.
→ What it’s thought to be: Pleasures (cocktails in first-class, a Rolex on your wrist, racing Porsches)
→ What it actually is: Mindful of the present moment (deep work, flow state, giving your full attention to things, creating structure)
→ How to be objective about it or quantify it: Ask yourself…
- When do you lose track of time and enter flow state?
- What single activity could you not live without?
Step 2: Cultivate Satisfaction.
→ What it’s thought to be: Attainment (seeking the MVP award, winning at all costs, taking no prisoners, getting what you want)
→ What it actually is: Fulfillment (celebrating a hard win, getting better every day, helping others, supporting important people in your life)
→ How to be objective about it or quantify it: Ask yourself…
- If you could only do one thing – what would it be and who would it be with?
- If you were to build a legacy, where would you focus first?
Step 3: Find Purpose.
→ What it’s thought to be: It’s about me (my account, my deal, my commission, my career, my family, my life)
→ What it actually is: It’s about I (how can I deliver value, how do I fit into the team, how can I best serve my family, what am I really meant to do in life)
→ How to be objective about it or quantify it. Ask yourself…
- Why were you born?
- What are you willing to die for?
Utilize proper resources to help you on this journey:
- Happiness is scientifically proven to drive insane-level peak performance
- Happiness is comprised of 3 key macronutrients:
- Avoid these 5 traps of unhappiness:
- Create a happiness commitment system by seeking answers to the deep questions and winning the happiness game by using the right resources
See you next time!
When you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:
1. Get the exact system I’ve used to go from earning $200K to over $1M a year in SaaS sales without burning out here. (3,000+ students)
2. Join a community of Purpose-Curious™ sellers in the Make More Hustle Less Club where we develop a personal operating system together here. (300+ members)
3. Book a 1:1 coaching session to up-level your performance here. (Limited spots available)