Over my career as an economic developer, real estate executive and recovering lobbyist, I’ve observed that nearly everything involves sales. A lot of advice is directed at selling yourself, your business, your product, your solution. Some advise on how to find sales opportunities and others promote approaches based on authenticity and not selling.
That said I like to explore, so I recently downloaded a couple of e-books on sales. And the biggest thing that stood out wasn’t some new tactic way to close or a sure-fire way for targeting prospects, but a new term that wholly defined for me what I have naturally experienced at key moments in my career (and my home life) when the best things were happening.
That term? Intentional imbalance
Like most people, I’ve struggled to find that work/life balance in between times when I was either locked in to delivering a big project or protecting my schedule so I could make every one of my kid’s games that season. In either case, my balance was tilted to one side. And emotionally, I was more fulfilled.
So, let’s look at the two references to intentional imbalance that stood out in my readings.
The first very clearly addresses the opposite effort of trying to find a work life balance, suggesting that:
The problem isn’t finding balance in our lives. I’m a big believer that if you pay attention to great achievers, they often have intentional imbalance. Even those who are fulfilled experience this. They spend a completely disproportionate periods of time to build a business, follow a passion, or learn their craft. So if balance isn’t the answer, than what is?
Being present. If you want to get more out of each experience, deepen your relationships, multiply your effectiveness, increase your ability to influence others, and find more joy in each moment, then be there. Turn off the phones, shut the door, quiet the noise. Look at whatever is in front of you – the person, the meeting, the speech, the phone call, the task at hand – and be one hundred percent present.Berghoff, Gitomer, and Casetta (2009). Cutting Edge Sales: Confessions of Success, Influence & Self-Fulfillment from the World's Finest Knife Dealers [Wordclay]. Found here.
Stressed in another way, it refers to that intentional effort to not necessarily work more or work harder, but for precise periods of time, focus on the opportunities that are most likely to produce.
The second reference emphasizes this further:
There are no prizes for salespeople who work really hard. The rewards accrue to those who move the dial. . .Weinberg, Mike (2012). New Sales. Simplified. The Essential Handbook for Prospecting and New Business Development [Kindle Edition]. Downloaded from Amazon.com.