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Mindfulness In Business

May 1, 2017
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Having the right state of mind can change everything. When you are stressed out you're not at your best. Things slip through the cracks and your work is average at best. Learning how to manage your state can not only change the way you work but also improve your life. 

Whether you are in marketing, sales or any other role, having the right mindset can increase your productivity and the outlook you have on your work. Letting your mood dictate your actions is never a good idea. If you want to increase your performance, learning how to leverage mindfulness while at work is a must. 

Below are a few stats about stress and the American workplace: 

  • 40% of workers reported their job was very or extremely stressful
  • 25% view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives
  • Three-fourths of employees believe that workers have more on-the-job stress than a generation ago
  • 29% of workers felt quite a bit or extremely stressed at work
  • 26% of workers said they were “often or very often burned out or stressed by their work”
  • Job stress is more strongly associated with health complaints than financial or family problems

(Source: https://www.stress.org/workplace-stress/)

In this week's SMA Marketing Minute, my friend Jordan Benjamin from HubSpot and I discuss ways to create a growth mindset and being mindful in our businesses.

 

Hey, what's up everybody? I'm Ryan Shelley, and this is the SMA Marketing Minute. Today, I'm here at HubSpot HQ in Boston for Partner Day, having a really good time. I'm actually getting to spend a lot of time with my buddy here, Jordan Benjamin. We do a lot of work together with the HubSpot platform, with some of the companies we work with, and building their full funnel inbound marketing strategies.

Today, Jordan is going to share a little bit of his passion, which is mindfulness in business and mindfulness in sales and to give you guys some practical advice on how you can start really putting that to work for you. Let's go.

Ryan: I'm going to let Jordan introduce himself, tell you a little bit about who he is, what he is doing right now, and why he's really gotten into mindfulness.

Jordan: Cool, thanks man. Thanks for having me. I have been in sales for the last five or seven years. I'm a Colorado native, Boulder, more specifically. I got into yoga quite awhile ago. For me, after taking a lot of yoga practice and moving into sales, I started noticing that a lot of the training has really just been around closing tactics. How do you turn somebody into a customer? What are the questions you ask?

Yet, there's this gap between: How do we actually train our brain? How do we train our mind to perform? How do we build awareness of ourselves, so we can work with people more effectively? That's where, over my sales career now, working at a lot of different tech marketing startups and now HubSpot Post IPO, is where I continue to see this theme of: How do we train ourselves more effectively? That is what's started me down that path of mindfulness of business, and really bringing your whole self into work.

Ryan: Cool, when you're explaining this mindfulness stuff, was it because, a lot, that you just found a disconnect between human interaction and the current sales processes?

Jordan: I think that's a lot of it, and it was really exploration for myself. Really, for me, it's just been this process of understanding: How do I manage my stress more effectively in the office? In sales, I know Ryan and I talk a lot about it, you get told "no" a lot. It's really hard where, more often than not, you're going to not succeed. You're going to ... If in baseball you succeed four out of 10 times, you're really good.

It's really similar in sales. For me, it was a lot of a process of understanding: How do I bounce back from stress? How do I be effective in those conversations, to really understand myself better, so I could empathize with my prospects more effectively, and really put myself in their shoes too?

Ryan: I can testify to that, first hand. I remember when I was early on in the sales process, with becoming a HubSpot partner, I have a lot of anxiety and a lot of stress. What helped me, was that you were a little more human in your approach. It wasn't about selling me a product. It was about helping me solve a problem.

What are some practical steps that you could share with people? I think this fear of failure runs even across the sales line into marketing, and then to lots of other jobs. Where we feel like, if we fail or get rejected, we just shut off. What are some tips that you've started to put into practice, that have really helped you?

Jordan: One of the things that I love, coming out of Stanford, is a woman called Carol Dweck. She does research on: How do we perceive failure? She does a lot of studies with school students, around what she calls a growth mindset, where a lot of people have this fear of failure. They look at failure as just that, failure. It is the endpoint. It means you are not good enough. You can't do better.

She talks about people that adopted a growth mindset. That really focuses on, not a win or lose mentality, but win or learn. You say, "Okay, at the end of every sales call ... " In my world, it's ... What went well on that call? How do I reward myself? I set a good agenda, maybe. It's something very simple sometimes. Maybe it's, "Hey, I ran a really effective call the entire time. What would I like to improve?"

What are those two simple questions that I ask myself, that help me start thinking about, "Hey, that sale didn't work as effectively. What went well? What can I improve?" I start training my mind to be more focused on growing those skills. As opposed to, just saying, "Man, I suck at sales."

Ryan: I think it's this interesting thing, that psychology has proven over and over again, that we, as humans, have automatic negative thinking. That's just part of our natural process. In order to stop that, we have to retrain ourselves to combat those negative thoughts in a positive way, so that we can turn ... I want to call them failures, but slips or learning experiences, into something positive.

You talked about yoga, so you're active in yoga. What are some other areas that you've used to help clear your mind, and to prepare you? Just for your day, not even just for sales. Before you go into the office, before you sit down at your desk, what are some things that you do to prepare your mind for what's going to happen?

Jordan: Morning meditation practice, I definitely sit. Some days it's five minutes. Some days it's 20 minutes. Some days, it's really crazy, and it's 45 minutes or something like that. I think that helps me find space for myself to just know that my mind's going to race. How can I slow it down? How can I see what's moving through my mind? Then, having a morning routine has been really helpful for me. I have that understanding of what I'm going to do through the morning, to get myself into the day.

Then, I like to visualize what's going to happen. I look at my calendar before I walk into the office, and start saying, "Here are these three or four meetings I have. What do I want that outcome to be?" Now, I'm prepared to understand: What's going to happen to my day? How am I ready for it? That meditation practice, I think, helps me create space in my thought process, or in the moment, and then continue that on.

Those are a couple of things. I also love, before I get on a call or after a call, one deep breath. Just one breath to go.

Ryan: Breathing exercise has been something that I've really used to manage stress. There's the 4-7-8 technique, which my coach taught me. It's four counts inhale. You hold it for seven counts. Then, you exhale for eight. You do that four times. I'll tell you, that's one of the things that, when I'm sitting down and I feel like there's too much go on, I just stop and breathe. It's amazing how much that clears your mind, and how much physiology plays into effective work.

If you've watched some of my videos before, I've talked a lot about tactics and tools. I also try to attach human elements to it because we're all people. We're all struggling to find our purpose, and making sure that what we're doing it to the best of our abilities.

Is there anything else you want to share? Any kind of projects that you're working on, that we can look out for?

Jordan: You just said stop. That's actually a really good acronym, that somebody taught me, in terms of: stop, take a breath, observe what's going on in your mind, and then proceed. Go back onto your day, just like what you're doing. That's one thing that I've held onto, that's helped me out. Okay, just stop. Go through that quick process. Take that breath, and really continue moving on with your day.

I think, for me, I'm starting to work on a couple projects around mindfulness and business. I'm starting a website Mindfl.biz, starting to work on: How do we bring this into the workplace, in every different role? I think there are so many ways that this can help us impact our own leadership skills, how we manage and work with teams, and how we even manage ourselves.

Ryan: Cool, since I'm connected with Jordan, you'll probably hear a lot more about that. Hey man, thanks so much for hanging with me and sharing a little bit. Until next week, happy marketing.

Going For Gold ; Inbound Marketing 

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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

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