ABOUT TODAY’S EPISODE | BRANDON BROWN
Brandon Brown has become legendary in the Cutco/Vector Marketing sales organization by repeatedly finding ways to push through limitations and achieve the impossible. He was the first rep in company history to sell over $100K in a company “Push Period” sales contest, and also the first to break $1 million in residential Cutco sales in a year. Brandon understands the thought processes, preparation, and action steps to achieve at the highest levels in life. In this conversation, we use the example of a “Push Period” as a training ground for breaking through limitations and achieving success in any goal that you set.
Q&A with Brandon Brown:
Q: Why do you feel it’s important to push through limitations?
- One of the reasons why I’ve taken the opportunity to push myself through limitations in life is it really gives us the chance to explore what we as individuals are truly capable of.
- If you look at where you’re currently at, it’s typically a reflection of how comfortable you’ve been in relation to testing your limits. What’s beautiful about limits is it’s an obstacle in the form of a mirror. But this mirror isn’t just any mirror. It’s a portal.
- If you’re willing to face the potential fear, the potential of failure and the vulnerability, these are things which you are going to have to experience potentially in order for you to pass through this portal.
- Also, pushing yourself through limits is one of the easiest ways to learn more about yourself. Through pushing yourself, you’re going to increase the sense of fulfillment and happiness because of the growth and challenges that come through such a process.
Q: One of the things I’ve found is that when we strive to push through limitations, we often realize the limitation didn’t exist in the first place. But yet it’s really difficult for people to see beyond what is the reality right now. How do you envision doing things that nobody else has done?
- The first step for me is you must be willing to step into a world that doesn’t exist. If you want to accomplish something that has never been accomplished, you have to be willing to do things (take actions) that have never been done.
- You have to think in a way that has never been thought of. The willingness and the desire to even step into that new world.
- From there, it’s giving yourself permission to challenge current expectations. To challenge perceptions. It’s really important to internally and externally give yourself permission because we live in a world where we’re constantly comparing ourselves with other people and what expectations people have of us.
- Typically, our own expectations are crafted from other people’s expectations of us, and you have to give yourself the permission to challenge that and get past that. Once you’ve done that, it’s like the foundation, the groundwork.
- Then, you will have to ask yourself certain questions. The more powerful these questions are, the more you can step into this. I love the question if you could wave a magic wand, what would you want to create? What would you want to create and then why would you want to accomplish that?
- These are generally exercises you could do for any category of your life. After you ask yourself the why, the deeper you go, the more powerful it is.
- The next step is going to be the how. How would you hypothetically create it? The beautiful thing is you’re not yet committing to this never before accomplished achievement.It’s more like having fun with the process.
- From there going into what do I have to become to actually create that? What are the actionable steps required to make that happen? It’s a flow, it’s a process. When you go through this process, you’re having fun, it’s not super-serious. It’s stepping into a creative space.
Q: I would like to get into your head to understand the process you went through leading up to these historic push periods that you’ve had.
- I’ll reference my 1st 6-figure push period because I experienced a lot through that process and also learned a lot.
- Looking back on it, it’s like having a telescope and trying to get to focus and that’s essentially the process leading to creating something you’ve never done before. You have to take a look and if it’s blurry, and you have to adjust it and get as much more clarity as possible.
- For me, I made the decision in December of 2015 that I was going to break the all-time national record, which at that point was about $75,000. I went through the steps and questions that I previously shared.
- I started 8-9 months before making that decision. I planned it out at an early stage so I didn’t accidently make it. There was a lot of thought that went into it.
- For me, I knew there were 2 things that were important. These were to get myself into the right frame of mind and make sure I was doing that consistently throughout the course of the year leading up to it.
- I could not just do anything or not perform at a really high level. It was like a building phase or ramping up phase, like if you’re running an Ironman. You build up a lot of training that ramps up to it.
- Once I wrote these questions, I did the reflection needed on breaking the former record of $75,000. I asked myself hypothetical questions like what are the most important factors in helping me achieve this.The answers were my average order size and the amount of orders I get.
- These were going to be the main factors that were going to enable me to hit or not. The average order for me was I needed to focus on flatware and upgrades. Those were going to be the components at the time which I knew could give me the uptick.
- For certain amount of orders, when I look at that category, were closing percentages and marketing. I had to make sure I was going to talk to so many people in a 2-week period of time. To do that, I had to ensure I was closing virtually 100%.
- On the marketing angle, I needed to double or triple down on my marketing efforts.
- A couple of other questions that I asked myself was if I did fail, what would I do? It was almost like getting ahead of what could potentially happen. What would be my biggest obstacles that could get in the way of realizing my goal? The reality is there will always be obstacles. So it’s important to acknowledge and be aware of that.
- Once the obstacles are identified, what safeguards would you put in place to hedge against them? I had 8 months to mentally, physically, spiritually, skillset-wise, get ahead of that.
- The last question I would ask is what else can I do to increase my percentage probability of success? All this gave me a competitive advantage in achieving my goals.
Q: Let’s carry this forward into the actual push itself and dig into what is the dialogue you had with yourself as you were going through the process of this push period?
- Once I’ve gone through the questions, my strategy is to have this really realistic approach. I’m trying to prepare a ship before it sets sail because I don’t know what I’m going to come across.
- Once I’ve done that and I’m out in the sea, an arena I’ve never been in before, there is no room for negative thoughts. You’re in the middle of the ocean and there’s no turning back.
- My focus then shifts to reinforce positive thoughts through this entire process. Some of the dialogues that I literally have and having the right network in place, safeguards, people to talk to. For my 1st 100k push period, I had scheduled 30-minute calls every morning and evening with different people. I had 5-7 people I rotated to in conversations every single day for the entire 15 days. This was to get my head where it needed to be.
- Another important factor is releasing all limitations. We have these preconceived ideas of what we are capable of. What should be possible vs. what our true potential really is. Give yourself permission to write up your 1st$3,000 order, your 1st $5,000 order. Give yourself the permission to do the things you’ve never done before. This is what you have to do if you want to accomplish something you’ve never achieved before.
Q: What else was part of the dialogue during the push? Talk about the days when you were having struggles and how you quickly bounced back to the next day.
- One thing that’s always recurring is essentially checking in on your energy. What do I need right now? Whether it’s something physical, mental, bio. Constantly asking myself what I needed so that I could eat the right kind of food or have the right kinds of conversations.
- There are constant distractions around us. Typically, you need to ignore your feelings or suppress them. Sometimes asking yourself what you need will help you reach new heights.
Q: Let’s bring this to some specific input for Cutco reps that have to tackle their 1st big summer push. What advice would you offer to them?
- One of the things that comes to mind is make plans. It seems simple enough, but after you make the plan, try to find every reason it could potentially fail.
- Write those reasons down and then write down how you’re going to overcome those obstacles. That’s what I call strategic planning. It’s a realistic exercise, pushing limits and breaking records. It’s important to grasp what’s really ahead of you.
- If you’re scared of your goal, ask yourself why. Typically, it may be the fear of failure, rejection, embarrassment or even vulnerability. Whatever it is, let that fear be the reason why you go after it.
- On the other side of that fear, is the new version of you, who you can become. Also, identify the biggest needle-movers that are going to be contingent with your success for your summer push. Once you’ve identified those, study and improve.
- The last thing would be to go after something that genuinely excites you. Not just because your manager or friends want you to do it. What are the real reasons you want to reach them? Who you are before the push period is a completely different version of who you can be after.
Q: What suggestions would you have for people outside Cutco? How can they apply the concept of push period in their life or work?
- Everyone can create some version of a push period in their lives. The more they create it through the course of the year, I think the better.
- Create a period of time when you want to step out of your comfort zone in certain elements of your life. So there needs to be a time frame and a focus point and the willingness to push out of your comfort zone. Maybe it’s fitness, maybe it’s relationships, education, skillset.
- Then you set the conditions. What are going to be the rules of engagement? What are the parameters you want to put in place and committing to it no matter what the experience is.
- It’s also important to give yourself the opportunity to fail because it’s in those moments that growth is achieved.
- Lastly, give yourself time and space to reflect on the experience and learn from it.
- Brandon talked about many important things including the opportunity to explore our potential, to learn about ourselves … when we are testing the limits and stepping out our comfort zones, being willing to step into a world that doesn’t yet exist.
- He also talked of the important questions to ask ourselves like understanding why we want to accomplish our goal, understanding the potential obstacles and getting ahead of potential failure.
- Also, when you find yourself off-track, maintain your commitment, maintain your unwavering faith all the way to finish line and let miracles happen!
Show Notes for this episode provided by Brian Njenga.
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