Ritual Confessions

January 3, 2008

A little more about this resolution

Filed under: Uncategorized — elissakaren @ 5:07 am

In a previous incarnation as VP of Sales and Marketing for an IT company in NYC, it was my responsibility to train new salespeople. I really had only one requirement of them. I never asked them to sign a certain number of clients each month, nor even to set a certain number of appointments each week. I asked them only to “create 20 open-ended possibilities a day”. In other words, they had to make contact with 20 new prospects a day, in a way that left a door open for further communication. An open-ended possibility might be created by, say, making a cold call, reaching the voicemail of the CEO, and leaving a message about our company. If, however, the CEO picked up the phone, and slammed it down a moment later with instructions never to bother him again, the call could not be counted among the 20 open-ended possibilities. My reason for making this my requirement, rather than asking for appointments or actual sales, is that I believe in setting goals you can control. Beyond that, I believe that if one is disciplined enough to create 400 new open-ended possibilities a month (which — amazing to consider — is what 20 a day will yield), then he or she will be almost certain to set at least 40 appointments, and sign 8 clients.

Last year, ignoring the spirit of this rule, I resolved to finish my third book. Needless to say, this did not happen. It didn’t even come close to happening. This year, I’m asking myself only to write every day. To this end, I plan to blog here every day. By announcing this publicly, I’m hoping to create a situation in which I’m automatically accountable for doing so.

For most of my life, I was never without a notebook. If I was in any kind of emotional turmoil, for better or for worse, I almost needed to write about it in order to understand how I felt. It was as if I didn’t know what my own feelings were unless I had a pen in my hand.

Not writing has been the great sadness of my life for many years. Whether or not anything ever comes of my writing again, I would like to recover some sense of necessity, of facility, where it’s concerned. All I’m going to ask of myself is that I show up and do it. It’s my hope that, as with sales, the rest will take care of itself. 



  1. 1) Should you require accountability help, do feel free to ask. I am quite the wonder with baleful stares and guilt-inducing sighs of disappointment.

    2) You may require a return of necessity in regard to writing, but facility has never left you.

    3) Remind me never to work under you. 🙂

    Comment by davidrochester — January 3, 2008 @ 6:24 am

  2. Perhaps, like David, I can help with accountability. I’m not there, but I’ve got a book I’d like to complete this year. I can’t say it’s my third, but I’m working on two simultaneously, which seems, to say the least, a little scatty. In all senses of the word. 😛 We can sigh at each other. 😉

    Comment by thelittlefluffycat — January 3, 2008 @ 12:57 pm

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