Controlling the Controllable

By November 15, 2016 April 2nd, 2020 No Comments

I recently had the good fortune of presenting to a group of sales professionals. What we discussed during our time together revolved around the word control.

There are three different levels of control:

1)      Things we have no control over.

2)      Things we have some control over, but not complete control.

3)      Things we have no control over at all.

Often as salespeople, we can get ourselves all worked up and trapped in the world of mind, grappling with our gremlin over things that we have no control over or some control over.

The following are examples of things we have no control over:

1)      What the market does.

2)      The amount of inventory getting ready to come on the market.

3)      Whether or not interest rates will go up.

4)      Policy that could affect our industry.

Your gremlin will show up and say something like the following:

“The market is changing and that means you are going to go broke.”


“When interest rates go up, you are toast.”

The following are examples of things that we have some control over, but not complete control:

1)      Whether or not a prospect gives us an appointment.

2)      Whether or not a client agrees to hire us for the job.

3)      Whether or not you hit your goals for the month.

When your focus is on things you have some control over but not complete control, your gremlin can show up and say something like:

“They said no to you because you did not say the right words, you loser.”


“You did not hit your goal this month, which means you never will. It is all downhill from here, buddy.”

Putting too much attention in these areas can lead to going into the world of mind and scaring yourself or putting yourself down if you don’t hit certain targets.

I find for myself and my clients, however, that by focusing on the things you have complete control over, you end up internalizing your goals and objectives. In doing so, one is able to be less distracted, more productive and less attached to specific outcomes.

The following are examples of things you have complete control over:

1)      The type of content you consume (books you read, blogs you visit, podcasts you listen to, etc.).

2)      The type of food and drink you put in your body.

3)      The time you go to bed.

4)      The time you wake up.

5)      The time you get on the phone.

6)      The length of time you call prospects.

7)      How often you exercise.

At this time of the year, our culture screams at us to lose control of our work habits and schedule, of the food we put in our mouths and of our money by encouraging us to spend it all on holiday gifts. It is no wonder why the first quarter, specifically January, is one of the worst months for income.

Everything on this planet that is not cultivated and cared for (which takes energy and effort) moves toward decay.

This holiday season, are you focusing on the things you have control over?

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