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In 1951, the world was given the gift of a special athlete from Coos Bay, Oregon.  Steve Prefontaine only lived to see his mid 20’s, but in the course of just over two decades, he created a legacy that we still celebrate today.  If you’ve never heard of Steve, or seen the movie dedicated to his life, then you’re in the minority and should renew that Netflix subscription immediately!

Steve was a prolific runner, who was famous for running with style and grace, but most famous for pushing himself beyond “normal,” human limits.  When a competitor would get that horrible burn in his legs at the climax of a race, Steve would just be getting started.  He would push through pain as if it simply wasn’t there, and he trained his mind and body to achieve limits that most others thought weren’t possible.

The athletes, military, and people in general that we admire most usually have extreme traits that we feel are defining in how they live and run their lives.  Whether that trait is empathy, love, or, pushing themselves where others wouldn’t, we always seem to admire the people that go beyond “above average”.

I was asked recently, “What is the best thing you’ve learned from your direct sales experience?” The answer came really easily.  “What I’ve learned is that there is no such thing as a wall.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Steve Prefontaine, but I’d like to think that emotionally, when it feels like I can’t take any more rejection, when it’s hot, I’m exhausted, and there are 1000 other things I can justify doing outside of what I’m currently doing, going to talk to one more prospect is pushing through the pain.  Direct sales has taught me that there isn’t a “wall.”  Hey, we’ve all hit the proverbial “wall,” at some point, but the learning begins when you get beyond that point.  It’s the knowledge that comes from knowing that you can’t go any farther and that you’ve given it EVERYTHING you’ve got, but then…  you go farther…  you give it a little more…

This is what separates the good from the great in our field.  Dr Albert Gray famously proved that “successful people do the things that unsuccessful people aren’t willing to do.”  Well I’ll add to that and say that extremely successful people will go farther than even successful people are willing to go.

Hitting a wall isn’t a casual thing.  It doesn’t happen every day, but when it does, and all the people you care about say that it’s okay to give up, my challenge to you is to give it just one more push.

And then, try one more after that

And then again…