Sales is great for personal development because to do better we always need to be working on our comfort zone. it tends to work better when we expand our comfort zone at a gradual but steady pace rather than psyching yourself constantly for certain tasks you would rather not do.

For example, if you know you should be making some cold calls, arranging a cold-call-athon may see like a good idea. What is more, you just might follow through with it! (rather than finding some very important filing that just has to be done first!). However, are you likely to feel any more comfortable about cold calling when you are finished?. My personal experience and that of coaching hundreds of people in feeling more comfortable with selling is that the big gestures get short term action but they do not help you to feel any more comfortable. In fact, they can lead to less activity over a longer term as they just remind you of how much you hate doing them!

Anyway, I recalled an analogy which I first heard from motivational speaker Anthony Robbins many years ago and it seemed to be appropriate, if a little grizzly!

How do you boil a frog alive?

If you put it in hot water it will jump right out again. However, if you put it in cold water and slowly turn up the heat the frog will not notice it getting hotter and hotter and before long you will have reached your goal. One frog boiled alive – lovely!

I am not sure if this has been scientifically proven and please do not try this at home as I would hate to thing my blogging has caused a frog to suffer……. The point is that if you gradually work on your comfort zone little by little you will not notice it getting stretched. 10 calls a day, or even 5, is a start. Soon you will feel strong enough to make 20 calls and when that feels ok….30 calls.

Try picking one thing you know you should be doing but are feeling really uncomfortable with. For a week, make a small step towards doing a little of the activity each day and see how quickly you feel ready to do a little more. Go to one networking meeting, ask for one referral, phone one client you have lost touch with….

As a wise man once said, a long journey starts with a single step. Take a step today in the right direction!