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by Tim Roberts

Everything about the moment was uncomfortable. Anxiety had been building for days--heck, I think even for months. Fifteen years ago and wallowing in my career, the compass I had been using seemed to point to a different direction with every confused glance. I knew, however, exactly who I could get to set a new destination. My wife, Katie, would be at home when I arrived. Always welcoming and in a good mood, she's as honest as the day is long. I planned a bit of contrived, friendly small talk before I popped the question. Timed properly, I was hoping to catch her off-balance.

The moment arrived and in a voice of my younger self, and eyes locked on to hers, I spoke. "Kate, do you think I'm a mediocre guy?" Her eyes shot down and her body postured awkwardly. She started to move her right foot and toe back and forth as if drawing a line and then said timidly, "No, uh, no baby, I don't think you're mediocre."

My twisted mouth let fly a soft expletive and we both laughed an awkward laugh. Gut confirmed, I now knew what I knew and the journey from the bowels of mediocrity began. From that time until now, I have traveled a tough, but straight road out of mediocrity.

Mediocrity in sales, business or life ain't pretty. And fighting out of it comes with a price. But if you don't try, or worse, remain unaware, by the time you catch on, a chunk of life will have vanished.

Khalil Gibran, always a favorite quotable, could have been speaking of today's comfort zones when he wrote: "The lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters a guest, becomes a host, then the master."

Comfort is the holy betrothed of mediocrity.

At Sandler Training, Trustpointe, we help salespeople and sales managers battle out of their comfort zones every day. To learn more about personal mastery, contact Tim Roberts at 317.845.0041 or

Folks, this life isn't a dress rehearsal; it's the real thing.

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