11/07/2012 - 10:31

First big success breeds the second

11/07/2012 - 10:31


Save articles for future reference.

The Miami Heat has just won the NBA basketball title and LeBron James won the most valuable player award.

The Miami Heat has just won the NBA basketball title and LeBron James won the most valuable player award. 

He completed a nine-year mission. 

A reporter asked him what his first thoughts were. He instantly replied with a big smile: “It’s about damn time.”

As most know, the game of basketball is a team effort and a team victory but James’ individual performance ranks as one of the all-time greats.

For the next week or two, there will be euphoric celebrations by players and fans alike. Then it’s time for the reality of next year.

Think about James’ first eight years. Season after season, no championship. He made the finals twice but got beaten. 

The disappointment for the fans pales in comparison to his personal discouragement and frustration from not winning a championship. 

It seems as though the entire sports world was relieved with the victory. Sure, there are plenty of people who don’t have James on their “like” list but that’s mostly the result of petty jealously or envy. 

In his post-game interview, James talked about his mentality of trying to prove others wrong during the finals loss last year, versus his mentality that led to the win this year. 

He said: “I just got back to being who I am, just got back to enjoying the game I fell in love with and why I fell in love with it.”

Question: How do you think James is going to play next year? 

Answer: With the quiet confidence of a champion. 

Major clue: The first championship is the hardest. (Just like earning the first million is the hardest and just like winning the first sale is the hardest.)

It’s important for you to understand the confidence that’s instilled in your soul after you make that first big sale. It’s easy to see in others, it’s difficult to see in yourself. The only way you can gain it is to take the responsibility to make it happen – for you. 

The Heat won as a team but I guarantee you James is sitting there with a personal feeling of accomplishment that can never be explained, only felt. 

There’s an old adage that says “there’s no I in team”. This is wrong thinking. A winning team is made up of superior individuals. 

Jack Ramsay, one of the greatest coaches of all time, says: “You coach the game and you coach the player.” He left out the word team and won championships because of it. 

I have watched  Ramsay coach since 1963. I have never seen a coach get more out of individual players. In many of the championships he won, he coached those players to victory and as a result the team won. 

Have you reached “championship mentality and qualification”? Ask yourself these questions:

• What is your confidence level?

• What is your skill level?

• How strong is your love of the sales game?

• How intense is your desire to win? (Or are you still taking the first “no?”)

• What is your anger and or frustration level?

• How good is your coach?

Win a big sale and your confidence level to win the next one cannot be measured. It’s off the chart.

Champions do not start out that way. First they work very hard, then they win.


(LeBron James’s post game interview – an interview I believe every salesperson should download and put on their playlist once a day, can be found at http://bit.ly/L48nq7.)


Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts Internet training programs on selling and customer service at www.trainone.com. He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to salesman@gitomer.com 

© 2012 All Rights Reserved. Don't reproduce this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer. 704/333-1112 www.gitomer.com.


Subscription Options