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Greatness is a Habit: 7 Ways to Get From Good to Great

6 min read
Updated Aug. 25, 2021
Published Sep. 4, 2019

Do you strive to be great?

We’ve all heard that greatness is a mindset. We’ve seen the “Dream It – Believe It – Achieve It” motivational posters. And it’s at least partially true… but not totally.

Greatness is not a mindset or a system of beliefs or even the physical manifestation of your hopes and dreams. No, greatness is a habit. More accurately, it is a series of habits built on the backs of one another. If all it took to be great was to believe yourself capable of greatness, we would all be phenomenal.

Spoiler alert: We, by and large, are not. But we can be.

In his 2019 Rainmaker session (which he entered through the cloud of a fog machine, obviously), PatientPop’s VP of Inside Sales, Kevin Dorsey, shared some important habits to create in order to get closer to greatness in sales and in life. Below is just a small sampling of the knowledge he dropped.

7 Ways to Get From Good to Great

1. Write Down Your “Why”

Write down 5 reasons you want to be great. Be honest with yourself – this isn’t for anyone else. Read these 5 reasons every single day for 30 days. The first part of designing a system for creating the habits that lead to greatness is the recognition of your desire to succeed.

Read and reread your reasons – they are the fuel to your fire.

2. Go Big

This may sound obvious, but greatness doesn’t stop when it hits its quota. To be great at what you do, you have to blow past benchmarks on a regular basis. If your goal is to make 70 calls a day, make 90. If it’s to send 50 emails a day, send 100.

This will slingshot you into the experience you need to be the best. It will also show your manager that you’re serious about success. Greatness is a habit, but you also have to want it.

It’s worth noting that if you’re hitting your marks (your new, higher marks – not your old, busted marks), don’t focus 100% on the end result. If you make 90 calls in a day with intent and get zero responses, that’s still a good day. Do it again tomorrow.

3. Focus on Yourself

In every aspect of your life, be it work or home, managing relationships is most important. No good relationship – business or personal – has ever been completely smooth sailing. If and when you hit a rough patch, ask yourself if you are doing everything you possibly can to make it run smoothly. Chances are you’ll find some room for improvement within yourself.

Act on it. Everyone appreciates an effort, and you’ll find that the farther you go, the more likely it is that your partners will help too. Greatness demands good partnerships. Be a good partner.

4. Seek Experience

Kevin says he hates the word “coachable.” Why? Because it implies that you need to be sought out for instruction. That’s not going to happen unless you’re in trouble. Understand that you have limitations – even if you can’t immediately see them – and seek experience to help you get better. Ask your managers how you can improve. Find a mentor. Look for those who have what you want and do what they do.

Kevin Dorsey - ways to be great

Experience comes with time. You can work for 15 years to get 15 years of knowledge… or you can find someone with 15 years of experience and ask them to tell you what they know. It’s like time travel without the possibility of being vaporized into nonexistence.

5. Form New Habits

We said before that greatness is a series of habits. It stands to reason, then, that we must form new habits in order to sustain greatness. If we get into the habit of making 70 calls a day, pretty soon it’ll be no problem for us to hit 80.

Keep track of your streaks and reward yourself for every milestone you hit. Nobody likes to break a streak and everyone likes rewards, right? Keep a scorecard for your calls – update it in real-time and then score yourself after. Did you hit 80 points on your last call? Great, hit 90 next time. Ultimately, it falls to you to challenge yourself and to meet your challenges. Hold yourself responsible, and no one has to hold you accountable.

6. Practice, Practice, Practice

Remember when you were on the high school volleyball team and you spent every afternoon from 3:30 to 7 pm running wind sprints and practicing digs until your wrists were the color of lobster claws? Remember how when the ball came to you, you didn’t hesitate because you knew exactly what to do? Why wouldn’t you do that in your career?

Take some time out every week to run calls with your team. Ask your managers to help – they’ll be elated. Keep your skills sharp and you won’t miss the opportunity to throw down a vicious spike at the net.

7. Take Care of Yourself

You can’t be great if you’re burned out. If you don’t understand and work within the limits of your humanity, you will eventually become a shell of a person zombie-walking through calls and being helpful to exactly nobody. If you’re on a road trip and your gas gauge is pointing at E, you wouldn’t hesitate to stop for gas… would you? (For all of you risk-takers, the answer is no.)

Take some time to fill your tank. Work for 50 minutes and take a 10-minute break every hour. Stand up and move around to clear your mind. At least once a month, take 48 hours to put your phone away and unplug completely. Read more. Aim to read at least one book a month.

Final Thoughts

The thing about greatness is that it’s completely up to you. You have to be willing to work for it. It’s built brick-by-brick with good habits. The better your habits, the greater you become.

Start building.

Psssst… hear more from Kevin on this episode of the Hey Salespeople podcast.

Want to learn more about achieving greatness in sales? Download research on the Best Practices of Top Performing Sales Reps here!Best Practices of Top Performing Sales Reps