In sales, my favorite prospects are those who offer a fair challenge – the ones who say “No” but who are open to genuine discussion and consideration. These require patience, skill, and clever strategy to provide the right combination that will result in the trust and purchase. They are altogether different than the ones who rudely block every approach like a rabid NBA Center who has a free pass to play like a hokey goalie.

I believe all challenges are good for us – regardless of size (I assure you I have had some doozies). They hone our skills, offer unique creative pressures that result in new strategies, and indicate our weaknesses.

They often hurt physically, mentally, or emotionally – sometimes all at the same time.
They are mischievously misleading in size, scope, and dimension.
They seem to be connected to strings of others.

But I believe they are always exactly what we need.

No matter the nature of each challenge you face; know that among the rubble of destruction and disruption lay the very things that will overcome it. It may take decades to overcome; require the sweat, pain, and livelihood of numerous teammates; and push you beyond the limits of comfort; but remain dedicated to overcoming it for it will not only change your life; but it will change the entire world.

Along your journey, you will make new friends, master new skills – some of which you don’t yet know exist, and provide unimaginable value to others for generations to come.

The start of a new year is not necessarily the start of new challenges; merely a new book in which to record our progress.

Here are some tips that continue to serve me well in overcoming challenges:
Keep daily reminders of WHY you are on the challenge, and what it would mean to achieve.
Maintain an ever-growing list of strengths and successes. Review them often.
Stop to rest a while (not too long) and take in the sights, sounds, smells, beauty, and clues.
Share your stories and journey with others. Leave a path should others wish to follow.
Ask for help.
Accept help from others (though it might not seem beneficial at first).
Trust your gut – but not your inner critic.
Express gratitude for everything.
Make a plan; follow the plan; adjust when necessary.
Know that every challenge is possible to overcome.

I wish you an enjoyable and prosperous 2014!