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(SALES) Are You Hanging Around Success?


I was born in Newark, OH. The population today is 47,790, which makes it the 20th largest city in Ohio. It was smaller in 1972 when I started selling radio advertising at WCLT-AM and FM, my hometown radio station.  My high school buddies were all there working or looking for work.

I got married the next summer and settled into a $98-a-month apartment with a garage, and went to work six mornings a week. (We worked on Saturday mornings). Then, I moved to Madison, WI, with my first wife because she needed a masters degree in speech pathology in order to fully utilize her undergraduate degree.

And suddenly, there I was with no network or support system except for the good folks at WISM-AM and FM. I worked hard and played on the stations softball and basketball teams. And I hung out with the owners. And I called on bigger businesses and business owners with bigger goals than the ones in Newark, OH.

Our company had bigger goals and better systems in place, and the owners were already millionaires.

I remember getting called into the office of the GM and company president about three years into my career. "We want you to be our new local sales manager," he said. "And we want to start selling some of our stock to key people in the company, Chris. You can buy $25,000 worth to start and youll get dividends in addition to your regular income as you help the radio stations grow their sales.

"Thanks, Bill," I said. "But I dont have $25,000 in the bank."

Ill cosign the note for you and you can borrow it from the United Bank. Im a board member. Ill make a call. That statement impressed me. I want THAT kind of clout. I want more of the wealth and perks that succeeding in business can give.

I started thinking bigger, I believe, because I had to think bigger to measure up to the people I was hanging around with. The late Jim Rohn cautioned his audience, You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

Fortunately, once I left the safety of my hometown, I got to spend a lot of time with successful people starting  at a very young age (24). And that made a big difference.

There were plenty of millionaires running businesses in Madison, WI. Im sure there were some in Newark, OH, too. But I wasnt hanging out with them. I was hanging around with some high school friends who were starting out in their careers.

In Madison, I seemed to run into successful people everywhere.

One day at the tennis club, I was playing with my sales manager, Phil Fisher. Phil was also one of the major stockholders of the Midwest Family, and still is. When we went into the locker room, there was a distinguished-looking older gentlemen with a towel wrapped around him.

Chris, Id like to introduce you to Oscar Mayer, said Phil.

I didnt hang around much with Oscar, but I hung around with people who hung around with him.

Who are you spending your time with? Are they lifting you up or holding you back? Jim Rohns advice: Walk away from the 97 percent. Dont use their excuses. Dont talk like they talk. Dont go where they go. Dont act like they act." (Heres the LINK to his whole rant on YouTube.)

Success is much easier and less complicated than many of us try to make it. You dont necessarily have to leave town to achieve great success, but you do have to walk away from the 97 percent.

For me, the joy of radio sales was being able to meet very successful business owners and learn about how they made money. I knew if I could help them make more money, then I wouldnt have to worry about earning a nice income for myself.

What are you worried about?

Chris Lytle is the founder of Sparque, Inc. This well-traveled speaker has conducted more than 2200 seminars on three continents. Hes the best-selling author of The Accidental Salesperson and The Accidental Sales Manager.
Reach Chris by e-mail

(10/15/2013 11:16:18 AM)
Congratulations. You've taken cynicism to a whole new level. It's better not to hang with people who consider you a friend, but rather with those you can grovel to for a leg up? This has to be one of the most tasteless and, frankly, pathetic articles I've read. Sir, your life isn't a success, it's a definitive failure. You've wasted it chasing the least worthy things in the least admirable ways. I shall suggest this article to young people as an exemplar of how NOT to live one's life.

- Jack Sprowl

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