One of the tragic truths that we as salespeople must accept is that our earning capacity is ultimately capped by the industry we’re in.
I’ve made a video about this – a rule I call the Wichita Kansas Rule.
Why is this sad? Because if we love our industry and enjoy our work, we have to ultimately let it go if we want to make more money.
Sure, you may love your job – but if you’re capped at $75k a year, then you’re going to have to kiss it goodbye if you want to ever make six figures.
As much as the kiosk sales industry has given me, I’ve known that I need to give it up for a while.
It’s taught me several lifetimes worth of social skills via hundreds of thousands of interactions over the years.
But it’s time to let it go.
How I discovered the Wichita Kansas Rule
After my first season of kiosk sales, I went to Israel for a little break.
My first full season was extremely rough. Not only was I grinding 11 hours a day in a mall, but I was stuck in one of those break-up-and-get-back-together relationships with a girl in the company.
This was BEFORE I learned to control my emotional state with good habits and supplements.
By the end of my 8 month tour of duty, I was a complete wreck.
I needed a break.
So what better place to take a break than the beautiful streets of Tel Aviv with its beautiful people?
While I was there, I met a quirky French girl and fell in love almost immediately.
Three weeks later we were on a flight to America, on our way to another kiosk gig that I had lined up for us.
That deserves a story of its own, but the reason I bring it up is because of something she told me before we left.
“In French, we say that women are like monkeys – they don’t let go of the branch they’re holding before they grab onto a new one.”
(This is a somewhat well-known concept now called “monkeybranching.”)
The context of our conversation was about relationships and not careers, but the same applies to that as well.
In order to leave one career, you need to have another one in your hand before making the jump.
Sure, there are stories out there about people who quit their jobs to go pursue their dreams, making it against all odds.
But how much of that is survivorship bias?
Why don’t we hear the stories of the wageslaves who saved up a bundle, quit their jobs, and procrastinated until they ran out of money?
Or the ones who tried, failed, and ended up going to work?
What about the ones who tried, failed, and went back to work – only to repeat the process over and over again?
Bobby Fisher is my homeboy
I have a crazy Jewish friend I mention sometimes in my YouTube videos who I call “Bobby” despite that not being his real name.
He’s a very intelligent guy and very talented, but like chess champion Bobby Fisher, he’s too smart for his own good.
Bobby was an analyst at a major financial firm for several years, making Big Boy Money while working 80 hour weeks.
Of course, he eventually burned himself out. But not before saving $70k he planned to use to start a business.
- Is Bobby the head of a growing tech startup?
- Is he a solo entrepreneur?
- Digital nomad?
- Owner of a local dry cleaners?
No. Bobby is none of those.
Bobby is now hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt and a perpetual loafer.
He literally lies around all day watching YouTube videos, eating McDonalds, and masturbating.
He’s got ideas. He’s got plans. He’s got things he wants to do.
But he does none of them.
Bobby has chosen the wrong course of action. And he’s so deeply greased the grooves of inaction that I wonder if he’ll ever be able to make it out of the hole he’s dug for himself.
Bobby is an extreme example, but there are countless other examples of people who have saved a bunch of money at their day job, quit, and then lost it all trying to get something started.
Why is this?
Why do some people fail and some people succeed?
I believe it comes down to two things: beliefs and actions.
Your beliefs will lead to your actions. And your actions will lead to the lifestyle you want.
Between the two of them, actions are the more important part. You can believe all you want, but if you don’t act, then you’ll never get anywhere.
Tony Robbins might say something else. He’s all about the psychology aspect of it. He believes that if you have the right psychology, that you are capable of achieving anything.
(Sometimes I wish I could hang out with Tony. He seems so encouraging.)
Putting that aside for a moment, I believe that the keys to success can be found in any area.
If you are successful in one area, you can examine how that success was attained and map over the behavioral concepts into other areas.
For example, if you are in extremely good physical condition, identifying the behavioral patterns that lead to those results will reveal concepts and Power Phrases that will likely be useful in other areas.
When I was training Muay Thai in Thailand, I made it a point to drill my punches, kicks, knees and elbows as much as possible. I knew that the Thais had been training for years and had accumulated decades of neural adaptation from throwing hundreds of thousands of strikes.
Comparatively, I hadn’t thrown that many.
But I knew that if I drilled an extra thousand strikes a day, I could engage my nervous system to “catch up” to them by greasing the groove repeatedly.
Of course there are limits to what the human body is capable of, but by adding an extra 5000 strikes per week to my total, I had engaged in a behavior that would become more and more fluid over time.
- The more I trained my jab, the better my jab got.
- The more I trained my cross, the better my cross got.
- The more I trained my low kick, the better my low kick got.
Same for high kicks, teeps, elbows and knees.
In order to solidify the adaptation, I would switch stances and repeat the process in southpaw.
In sports and physical activity, it’s pretty obvious what you need to do in order to improve.
If you want to become a boxer, train like a boxer.
More specifically, if you want to be able to fight like Mayweather, go train like Mayweather.
Modeling successful behavior – the key to the Wichita Kansas Rule
It’s the same in the business world, albeit more complex and less obvious how to achieve the result you want.
To echo Tony Robbins, in order to achieve a certain result, just identify someone who has already achieved that result and model what they do.
Modeling is very popular in NLP (neurolinguistic programming), a discipline that heavily influenced Tony’s products and personal development seminars.
Taking my line of work for example, I have been selling hair products at kiosks on and off for close to ten years.
As a result, I am pretty good at what I do.
To be more specific, I am incredibly good at doing what I do THE WAY I DO IT.
I’ve written about this in another article, but if your behavior is a set of variables resembling an equation, then our results are the solution to that equation.
My set of behaviors on the kiosk (a) plus the amount of time I work (b) plus the supplements I take (c) equal a certain average monetary result at the end of the month (x).
a + b + c = x
Simple enough, right?
Well where we as salespeople get into trouble is if x is not such a big number.
If we take Tony Robbins, arguably one of the most incredible persuaders in the history of the human race, and we put him on the kiosk and tell him to learn how to generate income, how much would be possibly make?
Well, if he follows my equation and uses my same behaviors (variables), then he’ll get a similar result.
In other words, you can be the best salesperson in the world, but your success is ultimately capped by the industry you’re working in.
… AND it’s also capped by the behaviors you choose to execute at work.
To continue the example, Tony probably wouldn’t waste his time circling the kiosk looking for people to sell to.
He would probably call one of his high powered friends and say, “Hey man, do you know anyone who wants to buy a million dollars worth of hair straighteners? I’ll donate half of the profits to charity.”
With the amount of goodwill he’s generated in his life, I’m sure he’d have a deal at the end of the day.
And just like that, Tony would have sold as much or more in a single day than a ten year veteran in his entire career.
So what’s the lesson here?
Yes, you are limited by your environment and industry (Wichita Kansas Rule), but one thing you must understand is that you do not need to play by the rules of your industry just because other people are playing by the rules.
Nothing is stopping you from taking a shortcut.
This high level thinking (rosh gadol, as we say in Hebrew) natural drags a salesperson out of the world of selling and into the business world.
Using our previous example, why would Tony sell a million dollars of someone else’s product when with another phone call, eh could simply create his own and double his profits?
He wouldn’t. And neither would I, you, nor anyone else.
Stop greasing the groove – go somewhere else
So why don’t we expand our minds, spend a relatively short time thinking, and make our time more efficient?
Because we’re used to our own behavioral patterns.
We’ve greased the multitude of grooves so damn well that it never occurs to us to think outside the box and 10x our results with 1/10th the effort.
Ultimately what it comes down to is the actions we take on a daily basis.
I currently spend 8 hours a day at the mall trying to stop individual customers and sell them a product for a few hundred bucks.
- What if I spent 8 hours a day cold calling businesses trying to sell them a recurring service for $2,000 a month?
- What if I spent 8 hours a day cold emailing businesses trying to sell them a one time service for $14,000?
- What if I spent 8 hours a day knocking on doors trying to sell roofing jobs for $40,000?
- What if I spent 8 hours a day recruiting salespeople trying to have them do all those things for me instead of me doing them myself?
When you read it like that, it becomes painfully obvious which course of action is the most time efficient.
But like I said earlier, the hardest thing to do is to tear yourself away from the grooves you’ve greased.
In order to achieve the next level of human evolution, you have to give up what’s most important to you.
- If you want to leave the caves and move to the city, you have to give up your cave.
- If you want to leave the city and head to the palace, you have to give up your apartment.
- And if you want to leave the palace and ascend into godhood, you have to leave behind your humanity.
So what we waiting for?