When’s the last time your life changed because of a single picture? Well I can tell you I started closing bigger deals, closing them more often, and earning way more commission—all because of this one graph *show on screen*. And today, I’m showing you how it can change your life too.
One of the biggest issues we as humans have is understanding time. Don’t get me wrong here—we’ve gotten really good at thinking ahead, learning from the past, and evaluating cause and effect. Hell, it’s why we humans are so damn good at surviving and expanding.
But even still, we have a hard time connecting the actions we take today with the results we see way in the future. Today / Future And this can be especially problematic for actions that snowball. That have effects that grow over time.
And unfortunately, that disconnect is at the heart of why most salespeople fail to achieve real success.
That’s why today we’re talking about the graph that helped me shift out of that path to failure and into my success today.
1. The Graph
As you can see, this graph is all about…
Memory, Effect, & Time
Can you see memory, results, and how the two change over time. Once you perform an action, be it cold prospecting or starting to create content, it’s fresh in your brain. And as time moves on, it drifts out of your consciousness. You forget about it.
But the effect of that action actually increases over time. The problem here is that since memory fades, we tend to forget what caused the effects we’re seeing. We forget that we are where we are today precisely because of the actions we took 6 months, 5 years, and even 10 years ago.
So for example, we get immediate mouth pleasure after eating fast food. The greasy burger. The salty fries. The refreshing soft drink. It’s delicious stuff! And we understand that.
But what we struggle to comprehend is that eating that fast food every day eventually makes us fat. We find excuses to hit the drive-through during the week. We tell ourselves, “Oh, we’ve had a rough day, one cheat meal couldn’t hurt.”
But all the while, we’re failing to see that these little “cheats” add up to a larger pattern. And before we know it, we’re 10lbs overweight wondering, “what happened?”
Tying It To Sales
To tie it back to sales, we’re skipping our prospecting. We’re telling ourselves, “Oh I’ll build up my social selling content later.” And all the while, we’re continually chipping away at the potential success our future holds.
What we need to be doing is doing the things now that will improve our lives in 6 months from now.
The longer term you can think, act, and stay on track, the more successful you’ll be.
I’ve got an example for you. Sam the salesman starts investing starting at 30. He puts a thousand bucks in every few months whenever he’s got some extra dough. And on the down months, he doesn’t contribute a cent. At the ripe old age of 65, he’s looking at a somewhat decent retirement fund.
On the other hand, there’s Seth the salesman. He starts putting money in at 30 too. And he puts money into all the same investments as Sam. But instead of doing it sporadically, he contributes the same percentage of his earnings every single month. And thanks to compounding interest, those investments pay off. By retirement age, he’s looking at multimillions—far more than Sam.
The key, then, is consistency. It’s developing a plan and sticking with it. And the more you can maintain that consistency, the better the results.
Now, it’s important to realize that it isn’t just direct consequences that play a role either. There’s also…
2. Second Order Consequences
Second order consequences to consider. These are the snowball effects. The consequences that lead to more consequences.
For example, let’s say you buy a big TV rather than investing the cash. No big deal right? Sure you miss out on more investment income later on. But what’s the big deal.
Well, there’s also the second order consequences to consider. With that giant TV in your living room, you guilt yourself into using the big slab of glass on the wall. I mean, you paid good money for it after all. So you end up getting sucked into stupid shows and spending hour after hour on bad reality TV and cooking competitions. When instead, you could have been reading those self-improvement books you always said you’d get to.
The Snowball Continues
But we’re not done yet. Eventually you start getting into the third order consequences. At some point, that bad television starts to get boring and you need more excitement. So you buy an Xbox to go alongside the TV. And even more of your time is sucked up and taken away from investing in your future.
As you can see, on a five-year scale, the divergence of buying the TV vs not buying the TV is massive.
And a single choice today can lead to a multitude of consequences down the line.
3. Putting It Into Action
Putting it all into action. What does this mean for you today? Well let me take a second to turn things around and tell you how this realization changed me.
As soon as I understood all this, the long-term cause and effect of it all, my life changed in an instant. The success I’m having with Salesman.org now—training thousands of salespeople, creating a 7-figure business, all of it—came about from work I did 3 years ago.
And just as importantly, the hard work I’m putting in right now, today, will set the foundation for my success 5 years from now.
What Does That Mean For You?
The boring, pain-staking grind of cold prospecting you do today is what leads you to crushing your quota 4 months from now. And the cash from those commissions is going to give you freedom. The freedom you need to take your life in a completely different direction than if you didn’t hit your numbers.
It may not feel like the grind you’re going through now has any real effect. And in all likelihood, it won’t today. It probably won’t even tomorrow.
But over time, the effect of what you do today grows and grows. And five years from now, the choice between saying “yes” or “no” to today’s hard work will be life-changing.
You’ve just got to stick with it. Stay consistent. And start thinking long-term.
Because that’s the foundation for success.