Rituals replace motivation

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If you’re a big biography reader, you may have noticed a trend with very successful people. Almost all of them have some sort of ritual that helps them get into the headspace they need for their various roles. 

Whether it’s a morning ritual of meditation, exercise, or eating, or a very specific ritual before a big event, these repetitive acts keep them productive and prosperous.

Rituals are almost necessary for creative processes. These things require presence, focus, and intention, no matter how much talent you have for them. They help lessen distractions and open your mind for more ideas and inspiration.  

Having a ritual around these things also takes away the necessity of waiting for motivation. 

While you should never stop yourself from putting pen to paper when the motivation hits, for the majority of us, we wouldn’t get much done if we always waited for that lightbulb moment. And if your job requires frequent or constant creative content, waiting for motivation will make it hard to succeed. That’s why we build rituals. 

Rituals are the cure for motivation and the path to success.

Stephen King wakes up at 8:00 am every single day of the year and writes at least two thousand words before starting the rest of his day.

Oprah begins every morning with twenty minutes of meditation and heart-pumping exercise. This sets her up to be more productive during her day.

Tim Ferriss also starts his day with meditation. He’s found his rituals have been the key to his success. He’s so passionate about it that he asks every guest about their rituals on his podcast. Learning about other people’s rituals have helped him create more of his own. 

And that’s the thing! While a ritual is solely yours, you can still find inspiration for where to start from other people. 

But rituals aren’t just for creative processes. Rituals can help with sales too. 

Unless you’re new to the sales realm, most of us have had several sales jobs. Some were easy, the money was always there, and you didn’t have to think about it too much. But others, not so much. 

Every time you struggled, it’s probably because there was no goal, no process, and definitely no ritual. You were just winging it. And we all started out that way where we were reactive to the role instead of proactive. We followed orders or scripts, waited for the “right customers,” and hoped for motivation to push us harder. 

Hopefully, you know better now. 

We’ve discussed before how important sales processes and planning are. The next phase of that is creating a ritual out of your process. Whether it’s a brand new sales venture or a change to the process, these are some basic questions and steps you should look at. 

First:

  1. Why is this step important and what are my goals for it?
  2. What aspects of this step do I have control over, and how can I build KPIs around it? 
  3. What can I do for a short burst of time, typically less than 2 minutes, before this step to become part of the ritual?
  4. When and how often do I want to do this?

Then:

  1. Build it, and carve out time on your calendar. Having it scheduled means that nothing else can distract you from it.
  2. Build accountability or a trap that forces you to do the behavior, if needed. 
  3. Crush it.

We all know that different aspects of sales require repetitive actions. You’re never going to make a living out of one cold call a day, waiting for someone to walk up to you, or visiting only one office a week. You have to do these things over and over again. 

Once you have your goals and KPIs, you’ll know how many people you need to talk to daily or weekly. But planning is the easy part. Now you have to do it. And that’s where creating a ritual comes in. 

For example, look at how you can create a ritual around those aspects of selling. 

  1. Get to the office.
  2. Check your calendar for the day.
  3. Read and respond to most urgent emails.
  4. Spend the next two hours cold calling 50 people.

Etcetera, etcetera.

The point is, doing the same things, at the same time, in the same ways every day helps create the habits that will set you up to succeed. 

So take a look at your sales process. If you’re not following it as closely as you’d like, maybe you need the ritual. Following this general guideline will help:

And yes, writing it out like that makes it sound easier than it is, but that’s your starting point. It’s your guideline for building the ritual and making it stick. Sometimes you’ll struggle, some days will not work out the way you want. Nobody’s perfect. But if it’s consistently failing, just reevaluate and readjust, if needed. 

But everything starts with a process, and the ritual will follow.

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