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Hold Your Head Up

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Tiger Woods won The Masters golf tournament this past April in what will likely be viewed as one of the biggest comebacks in sports history. Along with a sizable check, the win also secured Tiger a fifth Green Jacket, a coveted prize that also goes with the victory.

Winning The Masters is a sign of greatness—as the Augusta National Golf Club has one of the most difficult courses anywhere in the world, and the tournament itself draws a who’s who of the best players. The Tiger Woods win this year was at a whole different level because he had been the very best golfer in the world for a considerable time, followed abruptly by being at rock bottom. People mocked him. Some reveled in the fact that his golf game had become somewhat pathetic. Somehow, though, Tiger Woods was able to make what was seemingly impossible, possible again. And that is where the real lesson is here.

As a salesperson, you’ve likely gone through similar periods of highs and lows—with some extreme lows that may have tested the very faith in your ability to sell. In times like these, it seems like everyone is watching you struggle—your manager, the owner, your teammates. Sadly, some may hope that you fail.

But you have the power to overcome obstacles and get your sales back on track, even in a down market. The best way to succeed is to focus on those skills that have proven to be effective and keep working them like you would a muscle. Tune out distractions. Do not be concerned about what others think about you. Instead, spend your days focused on your clients and how you can help them succeed.

Greatness and the respect it earns is something that money can’t buy. It has nothing to do with status or privilege. Over the years, I have always felt that members of the Augusta golf club look strangely out of place wearing green jackets out on the course during the tournament. After all, these same members have not competed against a field of the very best in golf and won in order to earn the privilege of wearing their jacket.

That is why this past April it was an amazing sight to see so many former Masters champions, wearing the green jackets that signify their victories, all waiting for Tiger Woods to finish his final round so that they could personally congratulate him for his win. Likewise, you have the ability to earn similar congratulations and the respect that goes with success, although perhaps not as grand as winning The Masers. Keep your head about you in good times and bad, and you’ll know what I mean.

Rob Wardlaw, robw@gulfshorebusiness.com, is the associate publisher of Gulfshore Business.

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