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About This Episode
You’re kind of at a loss for what to do next.
(This quarantine thing has been going on for quite a while now.)
Brendan shared his take on how SDRs can use this time at home — the Great Pause — to invest in ourselves and our futures.
“In the last 3 to 6 months, I’ve learned a ton about what people care about,” Brendan said. “It’s been fun to see a lot more willingness of people to just jump on the phone and share ideas and not specifically have any agenda in mind.”
Let’s dive into what SDRs should be doing while working from home.
The Great Pause
A pause can be a time for reflection about your true motivation.
Also, a pause is often followed by positive changes.
Let’s call it a pause rather than the “new normal” while we explore some existential questions about work and life.
1 — Ask yourself the hard questions
Don’t miss the opportunity during this pause to mull over deep questions about who you are and what you want in life.
- Where do I want to be long term?
- What are the things that I care about?
- What am I going to invest my time in?
- What are my boundaries around work?
Brendan has asked himself all of these. “The big one for me is, do I want to start a company again? Or do I want to double down on sales leadership?”
He actually built out a weighted pro/con chart to help him understand his values. “That was a lighthearted activity, but also it was revealing to me of what do I care about,” he said
Now is the ideal time to pin down the variables in your equation for finding your career purpose.
2 — Take an actual pause
Brendan advocated for allowing yourself to rest.
“You should be doing that on a micro and a macro level,” he said.
- Macro: Don’t beat yourself up for not working 60+ hours a week.
- Micro: Take a 15 minute walk every day.
“Literally walking outside for 20 minutes is super important to make sure that you still have fresh eyes on a problem you’re trying to solve,” he said.
If you have trouble taking breaks, set reminders. (And actually follow them.)
Pay attention to your effectiveness during the day. Brendan, for example, is most efficient in his time use between 6:00 and 10:30 in the morning.
3 — Be willing to change your work processes
Maybe you already know your optimal work hours and have a great tracking system in place.
“For me, I like changing things up in how I track things,” Brendan said.
It keeps him from going through the motions.
Say you get the same report in your inbox every Wednesday at 2:00. Well, after a few months of that, you just stop looking at it.
“Making a little tweak, even if it’s moving it to a different day or time, changing the colors or the formatting, it’ll catch your attention a little bit more,” Brendan said.
Switch things up to stay effective. Avoid letting yourself fall into the bad habit of ignoring your habits just because they’re habits.
4 — Create some content
“SDRs are already starting to create their own content — and that’s potentially the first thing that any prospect sees,” Brendan said.
Being the face of the company, that’s huge.
At the same time, the content needs to be tied to individuals.
“When you have companies where individual reps are posting on LinkedIn or Twitter, you start to see different channels being created that are just laying kindling out for that business,” he said.
“There’s going to be little sparks and little fires that start because of that,” he said.
Think about these channels:
- Video series
- Website (no coding required at Squarespace or WordPress!)
If you don’t think you have anything to say, imagine a ladder — and you’re on the second rung. “You can teach people who are on rung one about how you’re progressing,” Brendan said.
When it comes to choosing a medium, do what you enjoy. You don’t have to be a keynote at a conference to share your ideas with people who want to learn.
One more tidbit about good content: It’s not focused on your sales.
“Make it about your buyer, and talk about your buyer,” he said.
5 — Learn something new
Your content is something you take with you from company to company.
Well, so are your skills.
“Where do I want to go with my career? That’s a great lens to look at things through,” Brendan said.
Ask yourself this: Will this help me with what I want to do next?
That’ll help you decide whether to volunteer to own a project at your company or to launch your podcast.
“Is that going to give me skills that I can take to my next role in this company or to the next company that I go to?” he added.
Maybe writing certain frameworks for a specific eCommerce software won’t help you… but learning to write copy will.
“Or learning how to configure an outreach sequence,” Brendan pointed out. “That’s a super important skill that you can acquire and then keep that in your bag as you go to the next place.”
Basically, look for ways to grow during this Great Pause so that you can position yourself for your next career steps.
Unsurprisingly, Brendan’s 3 takeaways were brilliantly focused on self-reflection.
- Read, write, and think.
- Spend more time alone.
- At least once every day, just exist.
“Let your thoughts come and go in the inbox of your mind,” Brendan said. “Don’t don’t have any inputs in your mind. Go have coffee. It’s crazy what you’ll think about.”
Connect with Brendan at his newsletter, Sales Lessons of the Week.