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You Can't Climb a Smooth Mountain

On your journey to achieve your aggressive sales goals—or any goal, for that matter— when you're in your respective

valleys that life will throw at you more often than you think it should, it's good to keep in mind what it really takes to reach the pinnacle of success.

If you'd like to get to 29,028 feet you can do one of two things:

  • Go to the nearest airport and plunk down $99 (some restrictions apply) and in about 90 minutes you'll be at 29,028 feet...enjoying a book, a movie, a nap, the Sudoku puzzle in the back of the airline's magazine, and a little sip of your favorite beverage...

... along with 154 other flip-flop-wearing, over-worked, under-focused, non-journey-enjoying travelers who are either temporarily going where they want to go or temporarily escaping their life of drudgery as part of the Mediocre Majority.


  • Go to the nearest gym six days per week to get in the best shape of your life for the next 24-36 months;
  • take mountaineering courses to learn about survival, routes, equipment, diet, and more;
  • practice climbing on smaller mountains for 2-3 years and make sure your practice includes steep faces, high terrain, night climbing, ice and snow and rough rocks;
  • plunck down at least $25,000 and up to $60,000 (for extra goats to keep you warm at night);
  • prepare for sudden extremes, even in the Summer, which means winds stronger than Category 2 hurricanes and temperatures cold enough to make Paris Hilton put on clothes;
  • fast forward to actually arriving in country and you'll climb to 5 separate camps at subsequently higher levels as you...
    • acclimate yourself,
    • test your equipment and
    • monitor the environmentals to increase your chances of success.
    • The day you decide to go you must leave before sunrise with ample gear, a good guide and a belly full of determination.

(And you thought calling on some grumpy prospects was hard! HRUMPH! What time did you get up today?)

Keynote speaker wes schaeffer icc award winner 350

Your climb to the top requires, necessitates and demands "base camps," ledges, plateaus to help you catch your breath and examine your situation and build strength for the effort you must exert to reach the next level.

If you go too quickly your body will not acclimate and you will pass out or get sick and be forced to go down one or more levels.

If you go too slowly you'll run out of supplies and/or money.

My own personal mountain since January 2017 has been Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

At my school on the wall is the poster shown below.

I literally took the picture the first day I visited the school because it resonated with me.

After a couple of years the lessons are really sinking in and they have made me a better salesperson, entrepreneur, father, athlete, and human being.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu wall

It took me about 18 months to really accept that there are no failures, only victories or lessons learned.

I doubt I could've learned that on my own.

Every day I get to learn from about a dozen different athletes one-on-one. 

Everyone is giving of their time and expertise. No one keeps secrets from anyone else. If you have a question about a tactic or strategy, all share freely.

This includes learning from those below me, some of whom are actually more technical and advanced due to military or police training they receive outside of our school, they just happen to be a lower rank than me in our own dojo.

Younger, smaller, and less-experienced athletes have all forced me to tap many times.

It used to upset me.

Now I learn from it.

It's humbling. 

It's good for my soul. 

What's your base camp today?

Do you view a lost sale or missed appointment or failure to get a promotion as a setback, as a failure, or a place of peace and planning and preparation and excitement and opportunity? (No, I'm not crazy and I don't seek losses, but I do accept them much better now. It's quite freeing.)

Any fool that's collected aluminum cans for a couple of weeks can afford a $99 ticket to get a Coke™ and a smile and some honey roasted peanuts while perusing the "Sky Mall" magazine at 29,028 feet.

Real adventurers take the "road less travelled," and see the jagged edges and plateaus as toeholds and places of rejuvenation.

But they always have a sherpa to guide them.

How high do you want to go...and do you have a sherpa to assist you?