Slumps are for Suckers

Ernie Els, the Hall of Fame golfer from South Africa, recently won the 141st British Open at Royal Lytham and St. Annes. If you follow golf you know that Ernie is a great competitor. However, things have not been so great for him in recent years. As a matter of fact, in 2011 Ernie only had one top 10 finish for the entire year and his earnings dropped to under $1 million for the first time ever.  Recently, he told reporters that as of four months ago he didn’t think he could sink a six foot putt and had no confidence that he could ever win another major.

Have you ever experienced this kind of slump? Here are some thought starters on how you can dig yourself out if you end up in a slump:

  • Get some fresh perspective. Partner with someone who is completely removed from your business and industry to give it a fresh look. We recently partnered with Second City Communications and they offered an outsider’s perspective that helped us approach our marketing in a new way. Have someone critique your work through a different lens and they just might see some opportunities that you missed.
  • Don’t play the blame game. When things get slow it’s easy for people to blame things such as the economy or coworkers and never take responsibility. No matter what, own where you are and drive through the problem.
  • Don’t listen to the hecklers. During the Transitions Championship this past March, Ernie Els said, “People were laughing at me and making jokes.” Keep in mind that people are going to get on your case if things are not moving in a positive direction—and yes, it could get as bad as people laughing at you and your efforts. Block it out! If you lose your mojo, you CAN’T afford to lose your confidence on top of that. Remind yourself of past successes and use that to build back to your former greatness. The mental game is a huge part of getting to the win.
  • Work hard. Start turning over every rock you can for new ideas and different approaches. Doing what you have always done is the best way I can think of to continue failing. Look to other success stories for inspiration and be the first in and last out at your office until things change.

If you are writing the story about the 2012 British Open, you can’t leave out the fact that Adam Scott, the 32 year old Australian, blew a four shot lead with only four holes to play. When things are tough there is always a chance the competition will screw it up, so watch and wait. If you are doing the right things consistently you will enjoy success long term, but everything has peaks and valleys so prepare for them.

So how do you get out of a slump? Let me know in the comments. My advice would be to keep playing. And hey, if golf is your game then join us for this year’s Seena Magowitz Celebrity Golf Classic to support pancreatic cancer research. It’s a great industry event that just might help you get out of that slump. It’ll definitely give you some fresh perspective on life.


One thought on “Slumps are for Suckers

  1. Mark,
    This is a timely article for the times we find ourselves in. I can’t get over how different business is from one dealer to the next. More remarkable than that is each dealer’s attitude towards business conditions. There are great tips here for all salespeople wholesale and retail!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *