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The Enemy of Success

There are many traits people possess that can be regarded as enemies of success. The obvious one is lack of integrity. For me, that is top of the list.

But let’s talk about another enemy of success, one that occurs daily for many salespeople:


How many opportunities are wasted by salespeople waiting for the time to be ‘just right’? These salespeople avoid tasks they regard as unpleasant, such as:

  • Calling that difficult client
  • Prospecting to find new business
  • Setting goals (for fear of not achieving them)

The problem with avoiding tasks is that we don’t completely forget about them. We know we must do these tasks so they constantly play on our minds. Over time we feel more and more anxious because we are not doing the things we know we should be doing. We feel guilty.

These aren’t positive feelings. As long as we harbour them, they hold us back from achieving results and long-term success.

Thirty years ago I read some advice that I use to this day.

I call it the Winner’s Mantra:


If I know that I have a tough call to make, as soon as it occurs to me that I must make that call, I think about what needs to be said and pick up the phone. I don’t let it fester in my mind, because as long as it’s there, I begin to feel guilty about not doing something I must do. Do it now. Get it behind me. Move on to another high priority task.

About ten years ago I had a call from a person I knew. It was a sales call but despite knowing me the call didn’t go well for him. He caught me at a bad time and for some reason, his approach bothered me. So I told him. I was abrupt and rude, though that didn’t occur to me for a long time.

But I noticed that over the past few years that incident came to mind, and this occurred to me more than once. It happened again last Friday. So I searched for that person on the internet, tracked him down and called him.

Surprisingly, he was glad to hear from me. I apologised for the way I treated him. And I got it out of my mind.

Even more surprisingly he didn’t remember the incident, but here’s the point: I DID. Then I made the call and now I don’t think about it.

My intention was to do the right thing by him, but in the end, I did the right thing by me. Because I thought about this incident over time, I realised that I should address it. Once I realised that it should be addressed, I made the call immediately – do it now.

Have you ever noticed that the things you put off doing are the same things that give you the best results once you do them? Even if they don’t give you a result, they give you relief, as did my call to the man I treated badly all those years ago.

Procrastination can become a habit. So can ACTION.

Which habit will serve you best?

Procrastination is the enemy of success. If you think that something needs to be done, do it now and move on. Change the mental list of “Must Do’s” into “Have Dones“.

I guarantee you’ll be more productive and win more clients too.

Gary Pittard

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