The War Room

Has the profession consumed your life… yet?

Fellow savages, this is some real talk here. Be gentle with me.

I’ve been in sales basically my entire professional life. It’s all I know, all I want to do, and all I can see myself doing.

Don’t get me wrong, I want to spread my wings and grow beyond dialling the phones, but honestly I do enjoy it. I love flexing a muscle I’ve worked super hard to build, and it shows. I’ve been in leadership and management for a few years now, but I still see myself as a direct salesperson. Tactics, strategy, leadership are what I get paid for, but I have never stopped rolling up my sleeves and doing the work. That’s the core DNA of what I do.

Someone else recently posted about imposter syndrome, and that’s 100% me. I know I’m good, but like, I don’t at the same time. I’m not down on myself by any means, but I know what I know, and I know what I don’t know. I constantly see room to improve, and what I’m doing wrong, and strive for that growth. But then I see myself in comparison to others, and it’s like damn, I really am good. Other people (in some case 2-3x my age and experience) see my execution as flawless, and all I can see are the gaps.

After years of feeling undervalued and under appreciated, even though I was constantly delivering at a very high level, the tables suddenly turned in 2020. My income (and income potential) exploded - I’m having opps pitched at me that I thought were reserved for the “big fish” just a few years ago, when I was looking up to the big fish. I went from being an AE go on the cusp of the C-suite. It’s flattering, but I also realize it’s all I have.

Since this platform is all text, without the benefit of tone, I should mention that I say that very ‘matter-of-factly’. I’m not sad, I’m not depressed about it, but the fact remains that my life has become my work. Without it, I’m basically an empty human being.

I read to perform better at work. I read fiction, and non-fiction just to give my mind the proper decompression outside of work, to maximize my performance. I exercise frequently to make my body healthy and strong, so I can perform at work. I think about eating well and good nutrition as a keystone to success at work. I think about getting enough sleep so I can perform at my best. I should note that my sleep schedule and nutrition are trash, but I try. Travel is the one passion I have, and will always have. COVID was a bitch, but when I’m on the road, it’s invariably alone but it doesn’t dampen the mood. Travel is the one thing that makes me boundlessly happy, and I do as much as I can.

I’m a single, straight male in my late 20s. The one who got away, got away a few years. She broke my heart, and at the time ruined my life and my career. I spent years putting my future back together and getting back on track. I keep my distance from women, or only partake in casual relationships especially because - the way I rationalize it to myself - “the risk [of vulnerability] is too high”. I don’t lie to or manipulate women, though I definitely could. I’m straight up about what I want and that’s generally offputting to most.

I know this isn’t normal. I’m not convinced it’s unhealthy, but I’m betting that it is. I’m feeling the remnants of what makes me human slip away. I used to have a personality, now I just have a mask I wear in public, and most of me is disturbingly at peace with all of this. I just see this as the way the cards have fallen in my life.. and that’s ok.

Has this happened to anyone else? Can anyone relate? Is there a way back?

I’d love to hear what you all have to say.

🙏 Mental Wellness
💆‍♂ Mindset
🤘 Personal Growth
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
You have so many different topics here so it's hard to answer. So I'll break this down:

1) Imposter syndrome:
There are previous posts about imposter syndrome. I encourage you to read them. I believe that imposter syndrome tends to result from people deeply overvaluing the importance of work in their lives. Take a step back and get some perspective. Measuring yourself by one aspect of your life is kind of insane if you think about it.

2) Work future: 
If you decide to go full work mode, the mask is gonna be an asset sadly. But then you gotta get post the imposter syndrome stuff. The stuff about empathetic leadership is bullshit. You don't get to the top by being compassionate but ruthlessly pragmatic and self-serving. There really isn't anything wrong with going "oh shit, this is cool," and getting after it. A lot of people that become successful see the opportunity develop in front of them and flip the switch.

3) Travel passion/covid
Yeah, this happened to a lot of people and is still happening. It sucks and you're allowed to think it sucks. But you should embrace your passions.

4) Your romantic life
Yeah, this is something you need to work on. You should be seeing a therapist if you're still in this boat and unable to trust. Deeply cynical of building relationships with people is no way to live your life. Most people get absolutely crushed at some point.

TL,DR: Stay in sales. It's okay to focus on a career. Get a therapist.
BDR - Enterprise and Partnerships
Thanks for the insight. I'm still only getting a taste of success and while your post is a bit concerning, it's definitely still inspiring. It sounds to me like you're a victim of your own success in some ways(Everything in your life ties to sales). 

Do you have hobbies outside work, passions, etc? I definitely relate to the travel aspect. I have like 40k miles saved up, PTO, and nowhere to go right now so It's driving me off the walls.
Chief Revenue Officer
I guess to answer your base question, this happens to a lot of us.  For me, its never really been about the "sale" but the puzzle.  Selling (and then now leading a large team) is the ultimate in brain stimulation -- and I love it, some would say (and I may agree) that I need it. Its become part of my wiring. 
WR Officer
Business Development Team Lead
Finding as many hobbies as possible has helped me stay happy. Everyone's situation is different and I agree sales is very hard to turn off, but I do believe the more interests a person can have in life the more they will have to do and ultimately the happier they will be. It's awesome you exercise and read so just continue to add activities like that to your routine and I think you will be able to find meaning outside of just your job.

Thanks for sharing. Great post🤝❤️
Sales guy
Travel more. You love it, its your passion outside of work. Every older person who has traveled a bit wishes they travelled more when they were younger... Especially as a single younger person. 

Locally or as far as you can for now... but once covid clears, I'd take a few months and get a different perspective on life by just experiencing a ton of different cultures. At 29, not married and no kids... make the most of this time with no commitments.

Make a list of all the places, cultures, people, landmarks, buildings, mountains, oceans etc you wanna see... and make a plan to tick as many as possible off over the next few years
vicepresidente de ventas y marketing
i think already did it because i love what i do there is no vacations for me because i only feel good when i got enough money to waste my time 
Account Executive
A lot of great comments already in here from CaneWolf, Chep, etc.  So I won't repeat their words, instead I'll focus on one thing I think can overwhelmingly help you and that is finding a therapist.  

The reward of healing trauma will help you in all areas of your life, this cannot be overstated.  It completely turned my life around when I was in a different industry and that was all I focused on.  

If you are open to it, is a low cost great introduction to mental wellness that lets you take things at your pace.  It is all virtual or it can literally just be a forum chat.  I followed this up with a local therapist and I'm mentally stronger than I've ever been with the best numbers I've ever put up in my life!  

Wishing you happiness!
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