Over the past few years I’ve come to understand the importance of having an efficient and empowering work space.  Particularly, when it comes to technology, what advantages can we obtain through modern day technology.

“Life is all about edges.  Work out what gives you an edge and utilize it at every opportunity.”

I wish that I could give the appropriate credit for the quote above.  It was actually my coach that told it to me but it was his friend that happens to be a dating coach.  In the original context, I believe that it was, as a guy, what you can leverage to give you a competitive edge when getting the attention of the girl at the bar.  Whether it’s being tall, having an accent, being in great shape, being funny it was important to use it to your advantage.  In our context, we were talking about content marketing and what it was, about me, that would be interesting for an audience.

                However, as I thought about the idea, it actually resonated more with a situation that I found myself in early 2015.  I think it was January when I asked for my first ever demotion.  As you may know I was working as a Sales Director for an events and conferencing organization.  And, though the idea made sense, providing training, leading teams and closing business.  It was always what I aimed for.  The truth, though, was very different and I realized that this form of leadership was either not for me, or I wasn’t ready for it.  As such, I ended up demoting myself to be an entry level sales representative until I could rediscover and develop my ability to lead again in the future.

                So, I found myself back at entry level.  The beauty of being in sales, though, is that seniority and money earned aren’t necessarily directly connected like most career paths.  I set my sites on making sure that this was going to be the best year for sales for myself and for the company remind myself what the job was and what it entailed and, hopefully, show the team that I’m someone that can walk as well as talk.

                Circumstantially, I’d recently found interest in the growing E-Sports industry.  Video gaming had become a genuine and valid sport and I was particularly interested in some of the unbelievable things that the Korean professionals were doing in the game StarCraft 2.  One of the statistics associated with the sport is APM (Actions per minute) with professionals reaching a high of over 400 with at least 8 hours of training per day.  When you’re playing at such speeds with your competitors match you, every little millimeter can be the difference between success and victory and when competitions are giving 18, 19 and 20-year old’s $50,000 in prize money, every edge counts.

                When it comes to technology, Razer, Logitech and other peripheral organizations were developing technology to maximize those tiny little edge for the competitors.  Keyboards, high precision mice, mouse pads, headphones, monitors etc.  Just like any sportsman, performance whilst avoiding injuries like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome was crucial and this technology provided the key.  Yet, when I considered my office station where I spent an equivalent amount of time as these professional video game stars, I had my small laptop with built in keyboard and track-pad.  Similarly, if you go to any coffee shop, you’ll see people working the same way.  Slow and inefficient!

                By the end of 2015 I was comfortably the top sales professional in the organization for the year and had crept into 3rd top results of all time.  Now I had other things to help me – namely content provided by Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy etc.  But the numbers of it all told a very different story.  Ultimately, in comparison to my colleagues, my lead generation, leading to more calls, more opportunities and, ultimately, more sales.  In fact, when I did a review at the end of the year to work out what my numbers were, as it turned out, I was producing nearly double the output of the second placed producer.

                The 2nd (let’s call them 2nd) was using exactly the same laptop that I had, same telephone, same time to produce, same resources available to us but I chose to invest in myself, fully believing that the investment would pay off in the long term.  Now clearly, readying the books helped my skillset in being able to increase my closing percentage, but no book can help you increase your button clicking speed.  Do you remember the old windows game Minesweeper?  Have you ever tried to play it with a mouse and then with a trackpad on your laptop?  It doesn’t work the same.  Or have you ever tried to play some kind of whack-a-mole game idea on a trackpad?  Good luck!  Now I know there could be an argument that would suggest I simply increase the sensitivity of my trackpad.  However, it’s universally understood in the gaming world that increased sensitivity actually leads to decreased accuracy.  I will actually cover some of the statistics and evidence for these claims in a further blog post but, for now, I really want to focus on the idea of making sure that you understand the value of understanding how you eek out every minor efficiency that you can.

Even amateur runners will make sure that they have quality gear for their first marathon, a fisherman won’t catch much at all if he’s using a stick and a piece of string so why would you spend 40 plus hours a week from now until you retire with sub-quality equipment.  One of the most important things you need to remember in your career is ensuring that you’re offering consistent value.  It’s value that will build your credibility, your reputation, your professional relationships and will, ultimately, be the deciding factor on your ability to climb that corporate ladder.  You’re not investing into an expensive new mouse, keyboard, monitor, laptop or whatever it may be, you’re investing into yourself and giving yourself the opportunity to be better. more tips can be found at https://likealeader.net/

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