“Self-command is the main discipline.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

You can control what you can control, and you can’t control what you can’t control.

You have complete control and command over the success you have in sales.

Self-discipline, it’s as old as mankind.

The Stoics were big on the three disciplines of Desire, Action and Assent.

  • Desire has to do with acceptance of our fate
  • Action has to do with the love of mankind
  • Assent has to do with mindfulness of our judgements

Think about the Stoics and reflect…

  • Where is your desire to succeed or have you accepted your sales fate?
  • Where is your love for mankind, your clients?
  • Are you being mindful and not casting judgement, especially with your clients?

Even the Buddhist monks treated discipline as the holy grail. As the Dali Lama went onto to say,

“A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.”

There is no free ride to your sales success. There is no easy button to press. There is no quick tactic, tip or trick. Without disciplined work, dedication, an extreme tolerance for frustration and setbacks you will struggle to become a sales champion.

Stop the sales suffering! An undisciplined mind is a terrible thing to waste.

If you desire sales success, and let’s admit who doesn’t, then you must be willing to take massive action. I am concerned that far too many in sales lack the basic understanding of what’s necessary to become a sales professional.

Self-discipline is your core personal power. It’s the source of all other powers. 

To quote, David Eagleman, the author of Incognito – The Secret Lives of the Brain,

“Our behavior is simply the result of the many battles between short-term and long-term desires in our brain. If that is the case, then self-discipline is your ability to choose the part of you that should win the battles that matter.”

Exercise this power within your brain, and you strengthen it. You will have gained the fulfillment of knowing you’re doing your best. Do this day after day, week over week and month over month, expressing the best there is in you, and you will live with the calmness of having no regrets.

“Self-discipline is a form of self-regulation, self-control or self-mastery—it is the benevolent exercise of power within yourself. Like a good king/queen leading the country to a happier, desired future.”

Giovanni Dienstmann


One of my favorite quotes is by Craig Groeschel,

“We can make excuses, or we can make progress but we can’t make both.”

Sales professionals, they combine self-discipline with no excuses to create sales betterment.

Sales professionals hold themselves personally accountable. They hold themselves to a higher degree of standards than sales reps.

They have a no-excuse mentality and they don’t point fingers when they fail to hit their sales plan. They simply do the things that sales reps find excuses not to do. They hold themselves accountable even if their manager doesn’t.

Excuses stunt sales growth. Excuses stunt relational growth. They are invented reasons we create to defend our behavior, to postpone taking action, or simply as a means of neglecting responsibility.

Excuses are mainly a means of placing the blame of an internal problem on an external condition.

“Excuses are tools of incompetence used to build bridges to nowhere and monuments of nothingness, and those who use them seldom specialize in anything else.”

Vernon Brundage Jr.

There are numerous reasons why salespeople make excuses.

Let’s look at a few…

  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of success
  • Fear of change
  • Fear of uncertainty
  • Fear of what others may have to say

The roadmap to your success is based upon disciplined work, personal ownership, and practice.

It takes self-discipline combined with no excuses to achieve consistent sales success.

Dr. Napoleon Hill went onto say,

“You need to acquire the habit of work and demonstrate personal initiative to get ahead in life. There is no benefit to procrastinating or performing mediocre work. Ideas are the beginning points of all fortunes, but it takes action to keep them alive.”

Back in 1908, in a conversation between then Napoleon Hill and Andrew Carnegie, Hill went onto say, “I deduce that self-discipline is largely a matter of constructive habits. Is that the idea?”.

Upon which Carnegie replied, “What a person is and what a person accomplishes both in failure and success is the result of that person’s habits. Gaining control of these habits goes a long way toward the attainment of self-discipline.”

My sales friends, that conversation took place over 100 years ago and is still 100% applicable today.

The question now becomes what will you do about it? And when will you start?


Sales professionals are business athletes.

What separates elite salespeople from the rest? I believe elite salespeople have a ‘next level’ mindset.

Elite salespeople constantly challenge themselves. Are you?

Elite salespeople push themselves to practice. They pay attention to the little things on a consistent basis and continually focus on positive work habits. Can this be said about you?

Could you become more consistent in sales if you changed your mindset?

What would happen to your sales results with an improvement in your preparation, practice, and how you mentally prepared for sales day?  


Gotta keep this one real… Most sales reps would rather get by with subpar work ethics, coupled with minimal levels of practice, entertaining themselves on social media, then wondering why their results continually have them in the sales management dog house.

These sales reps do not want to put in the extra effort to become more focused or more self-disciplined.

The secret to success is mental. The secret to success is in your hands, and your actions, not in your mouth.

The secret to success is quite simple to understand yet so difficult to consistently put into action.

Do you have what it takes to take your career to the next level? Can you honestly put your actions where your mouth is? Are you willing to walk the walk?

Dr. Napoleon Hill said it the best,

“Self-discipline begins with the mastery of your thoughts. If you don’t control what you think, you can’t control what you do. Simply, self-discipline enables you to think first and act afterward.”

The possession of self discipline combined with no excuses enables you to choose, and then persevere with actions, thoughts and behavior. This all leads to improvement and sales success. And isn’t this what you want?

Originally published on Larry Levine’s LinkedIn

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