The 8 Steps: The Guiding Principles That Got Me Where I Am Today.

The 8 Steps: Floating Stairs by Ecole - Guiding Principles

Despite the bad press* The Cobra Group’s glorified pyramid scheme has received over the years, I am adamant that my job cold-calling door to door  on behalf of NPower has genuinely been one of the most pivotal points in my life.

Ignoring the protests of family and friends, over the summer ’09, I put myself through the gruelling gauntlet of working up to 14 hours a day, 6 days a week, doing direct peppa pig bouncy castle marketing for Clover Advertising.

An all-consuming job with no basic pay, and expenses to boot, not forgetting running up and down the streets of Bristol in the scorching sun (all whilst fasting) – undoubtedly hardly sold itself as a dream job, yet still secured my commitment.

So why did I do it?

This role taught me more about sales, managing people, consumer psychology – and most sildenafil power pill 100 importantly, made me discover more about myself than I ever thought possible. I learnt systems and techniques that rewarded proactivity, engendered entrepreneurial activity, and put me in the right mindset for the future.

The 8 Steps is a system that has been invaluable in getting me to where I am today and so I thought I would share the love.

The 8 Steps

The 8 Steps is a fundamental system and mindset ingrained into us from day one. No doubt many of these are common sense and obvious to most, but it is often the simplest changes that produce the biggest impact, so by realigning to these steps the difference it will make may surprise you.

If you have a genuine desire to improve, I would encourage you to take a fresh look at these 8 simple steps with an open mind and see how much you can achieve.


1. 100% Effort

Always put in 100% into everything you do.

We all know when we do something without giving it our all – it even feels tiresome as you do it. Refraining from giving it your all will count against you everywhere in life, but especially in sales. A half hearted smile will lose you the pitch before you have even opened your mouth, yet a beaming face and good eye contact can win you a long term relationship as well as the transaction you were after.

Whether it is academia or work or even your personal life, you can only reap what you sow - So if you do not put in 100% effort, do not expect to get anything more out.


2. Be Prepared

As the old proverb goes – “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”.

Although we may have the ability to ‘wing’ our way through many situations, whether it be a business presentation, interview, (or if you are a student) even just a seminar, if given the option, preparing in advance is always advisable. Early preparation not only gives you peace of mind and clarity of thought, but it enables you to maximise the benefit from any opportunity or interaction.

In the example of a business meeting, by doing your research and having a solid understanding of your client’s business and personal situation, you can carefully adapt and personalise your pitch to make a much bigger impact and help maneuver yourself into the pathway of greater opportunities.

Equipping yourself with the knowledge beforehand is like coming to a poker table with pocket aces – although it does not guarantee that you will win, you are much better informed on how to react. Failing to prepare on the other hand, is like betting blind – whether you win or lose it is entirely out of your control.

Do you really want to leave yourfuture aspirations to chance?


3. Be On Time

Being on time may seem like a small point, but in reality, it carries much more weight than you may think.

Here is a simple test: Think of someone you know who is always punctual.

From the connotations of punctuality, you automatically think of them as being dependable, more organised and much more reliable. Whether as a manager, an employee or as a friend – these are all attributes we would all like to be associated with.

Being on time also ensures you are always on the frontfoot. It enables you to be more productive and prevents keeping your counter party waiting, which is not only impolite but may lead to slight resentment on their part. Yet if the other party arrives late, from a psychological point of view, as they made you wait, they are more likely to be sympathetic and patient with you in return. So, in either case, being on time is clearly beneficial.

[Although the example is given for a physical meeting, in the digital age, this same principle applies to email and phone communication - so always remember to respond promptly to emails and messages.]


4. Work Your Territory Correctly

In direct marketing, your territory is the area that you will be pitching during the day, where understanding the demographics of your clients enables you to tailor your pitch and approach, which is crucial for a successful sale.

However this same concept is universally applicable. By understanding the dynamics of your place of work, education, or social scenario, you can better ‘tweak’ your actions, behaviours and approaches to be most appropriate for the given situation.

Although we all may know we need to adapt our persona to different environments, we need to consider how often we strategically make this change to maximise the opportunity, by taking the best action.

An additional benefit of understanding and working your territory correctly, is the prevention of social ‘faux pas’ and reputational damage. We have all witnessed the uncontrollable drunk at the all important first work social, so let’s make sure we do not make the same mistake.


5. Have A Great Attitude

It is astounding what impact having an overtly positive attitude and enthusiastic approach can have . Despite the huge amount of literature and evidence of the effect of having a Positive Mental Attitude (like living a longer and happier life to say the least!), it never ceases to amaze me how many people are overtly pessimistic.

“Opportunity is found only by those who are looking for it”

By having a great attitude you become acutely aware and constantly search for opportunities that come your way, which make you much more likely to act with purpose and derive a positive response.

Great attitudes radiate from the inside out and can be incredibly infectious. We all know people who walk into a room and instantly have a presence and receive a warm welcome before they have even uttered a word. So why would we not want to make the concious choice to be that person?


6. Maintain Your Attitude

After your positive attitude has finally won the battle over pessimism, it is still a little early to celebrate. How you maintain your attitude in the face of adversity is a crucial part of having a great attitude, and until then, the war is far from over.

One of the best techniques that I have learnt to accomplish this, is the ability to forget. Rather than dwelling and stagnating on the negatives, you can make the concious choice to forget about it and move on, take a fresh perspective and start to look on the brighter side of life.

Agreeably this may be an oversimplification, however often people’s attitudes are negatively effected by factors which are outside of their control. Personally, if you have no influence in the situation, then why worry. If the situation is independent of your actions, then it is irrelevant, so choose your response and ignore it and maintain a positive attitude.


7. Know Why You Are There And What You Are Doing

Despite being a startlingly simple and obvious statement – it is one of the most crucial, yet most commonly neglected steps.

Having a clear understanding of your goals and expectations in any given situation enable you to act with purpose, with an appreciation for what you need to achieve to become fully satisfied for any given task.

Without clarity of what you value and want to achieve, you may find your path diverts away from what is truly important to you. The ‘side-effects’ of not doing this, is an incongruency is what you hope to achieve in the long term, and the path you are setting yourself on in the short term.

This harmonic imbalance of short term actions with long term goals is prevalent in careers and is why I personally believe it is vital to make the right choices when you start your career (see my guardian article on careers choices).

Knowing why you are there and understanding how it plays its part in your greater goal is also another mechanism to help protect your attitude. It enables you to justify and rationalise any obstacles you need to overcome and helps you to maintain motivation to continue onwards towards buy hardon xpower online your goal.

“If your goal is bigger than any obstacles you come up against – you can never lose sight of your objective.”


8. Take Control

Taking control is the final step and focusses on concious decisions and actions so you are an actor in determining your own success. Some may consider ‘seeing what happens’ puts you on a level footing with everyone else, but in reality, failing to take a proactive stance means you are leaving your fate to chance.

“Act or be acted upon”

Taking a passive approach to your prograf online life and career is relative to being a buoy in the ocean. You are constantly being buffeted around by external factors such as the wind and the tide, with an uncertainty and lack of control over where you will end up.

Taking control requires you to have a goal or destiny in mind (Step 7), but allows you to take positive actions to drive your own success and create the waves of change needed to reach your final destination.

By ‘brainwashing’ yourself with these 8 simple steps, it will act as a mechanism to make you think twice before you act against these simple set of principles. This process of qualifying each action you take with your long term goals and values, coupled with a proactive and organised approach to its execution, will ensure your first step remains on the path you truly wish to follow.

Disclaimer :

*Yes I am equally horrified (and slightly ashamed) by the fact I’ve linked an article from The Mirror – the use of the term ‘bad press’ was chosen with intention.

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Posted in Life Lessons, Personal Development
2 Comments » for The 8 Steps: The Guiding Principles That Got Me Where I Am Today.
  1. Nahin Alamin says:


    Just wanted to say, this is a very well written article and I must say I truly enjoyed reading through and checking how many of these steps I follow on a daily basis…

    Keep em coming!

  2. Lisa Gan says:

    Once again, you have provided a witty piece of Mahdi wisdom, look forward to more…

    (I completely empathise with the sales anecdotes having done street face-to-face, definitely one of the best and worst jobs going!)

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