Its 7pm on a Tuesday evening in Sydney. I’d just returned from doing a presentation to the Cisco and EMC teams in Beijing to fill in for my VP Sales who decided last minute that he’d dial in from the US. My baby girl Isabella is snuggled up next to me on the bed listening to me read the Hungry Caterpillar.
Suddenly, I feel my left arm starting to go numb and my chest begins to tighten. My vision starts to go dark and I’m struggling to breath. I’m thinking hmm…I’m a 40-something yr old male. I’m working 17-20hr days. Practically living on a plane. Super stressed. Over worked & under resourced and my left arm is going numb. This is probably not a good sign.
I call out as calmly as possible to my wife to come and take over reading the Hungry Caterpillar while I go and sit in the bedroom next door. Trying not to panic. Trying desperately to breath.
After several deep breathes the numbness subsides. My vision and breathing return to normal.
You know they say your body whispers to you. Then if you aren’t listening it screams at you. Then if you are still not listening it hits you with a baseball bat. My body was clearly screaming at me and I was determined to avoid that baseball bat. It was at this point, that I realised I needed a dramatic change in my life or I wouldn’t be around to see Isabella grow up. So, I left that company, I sold the Porsche and we sold our Bali-themed house with the million-dollar mortgage.
Over the next several years, working for other large multinational companies in an Account Management capacity, I started observing other Account Managers and Business Developers around me to see if it was “just me”. I was hearing things like “this is killing me” or “I’m in a really dark place and I don’t know how much longer I can do this” to “If I get shot on a Friday I need a job on the Monday” or “We drink to forget”. They all look a million dollars on the outside by the way (with the expensive cars, beautiful suits and exotic holidays) but many of them were barely coping on the inside.
When a young-gun Account Director told me recently that tragically 2 of his 40-something sales mentors had died within 6 weeks of each other (one suicide and the other had a heart attack in the office late one night) and that I was his 3rd sales mentor I immediately thought 2 things: 1) I’m not going to be his third mentor that dies early and 2) I have to do something to help other Account Managers survive and thrive in this high-pressure world of account management to improve their quality of life.
We live in a VUCA (volatile uncertain complex ambiguous) world and the complexity and pressure is only increasing. I don’t believe that we are evolving fast enough as a species to cope. Account Managers and Business Developers are the engine of the business and while you wouldn’t run the engine of your car into the ground this is what I often see happening with many Account Managers and unfortunately many of them aren’t getting the support, mentorship and guidance to help them cope. This realisation is how WisdomMakers was born.
Sales and account management is a highly lucrative career with immense upside. At Wisdom-Makers we’ve found ways to be mindful and focussed which can be an effective way to manage this kind of high-pressure career so you can be both WELL and Wealthy. We want to share these key secrets with you.
Learn our SECRETS to HIGH PERFORMANCE ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT. Then tap into the deep wisdom of the TRIBE we are building here at www.wisdom-makers.com to help you SURVIVE, THRIVE and SUCCEED in the high-pressure world of account management and business development so you can minimize your stress and maximize your success.