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March 28, 2019

Sales professional – Are you a castle builder or a cathedral builder?

sales professional cathedral builder

As a sales professional you’re the master builder of your life.

Builders all find their niche. Some build houses, some build apartments, some build office blocks and some build castles (not so much anymore). The rare ones get to build Cathedrals.

Of course, castles and cathedrals are just a metaphor for how we conduct ourselves in every moment we have. It’s a metaphor for the phase in our lives we’re in as we head from immaturity to maturity.

A house or a castle is utilitarian and serves a base purpose: to house us and to protect us. A cathedral is something majestic. It’s a praise-song to God for giving us a chance to create something exceptional in our time on this planet. That something exceptional could be you.

Castle Builders

sales professional castle builder

Sales professionals who are castle builders are in the stage of their life where security and significance are most important to them. They need to pay for the base stuff of life – the bond, the school fees, food, medical aid. So money and commission is what drives them.

They’re also in a phase where they want to ‘dent the universe’ (a phrase coined by the late Steve Jobs). They want to be recognised and seen. They want to feel significant. They aspire for the status that will bring them that significance. They compete for space and prestige. They’re typically brand conscious.

This view of the world is typically from a younger sales professional. Self-interest is the main driver.

Cathedral Builders

Are you a castle builder or a cathedral builder

Sales professionals who are cathedral builders are in the stage of their life where fulfilment and harmony are high on their agenda. Of course security will always feature on their agenda too.

This is the stage of their lives where money is a lesser driver. This is the stage where they’re looking for meaning. They’re in a more benevolent phase of their life where they’re not contending for space but co-existing and co-creating to make this a better experience for all they come into contact with.

You’ll find this kind of sales professional mentoring the young ones, they’ll be into charity and will relook at their relationships with their family and be humble and grateful that they’ve got this far and have all he blessings they’ll ever need.

Unlike castle builders, cathedral builders come to work for something bigger than a paycheque. They come to work not for their self-interest but for the benefit of others. They get that the money has left them feeling unfulfilled and there must be more to this existence than combatting for commission.

They get that no matter how much they earn, that they’ll never be satisfied because it’s never enough. The new shoes aren’t enough. The new car isn’t enough. The new house isn’t enough. They get that when they want the world to fulfil their self-interest it’s an impossible Grail Quest.

Nobody I know has ever really got what they wanted. From my experience when I get what I want, it’s not really what I want or it’s not enough. So, it’s not a helpful way to conduct one’s life as a sales professional because one will always be in a state of disillusionment and disappointment.

The trick is to be in the space where our aim is to set others up for success: our prospects, our clients, our boss and the organisation that feeds us. And of course, our families and friends too.

I’m unsubtle about the whole thing. I think as the master-builder of your life it is better to conduct oneself as a cathedral builder. Coming to work just for a paycheque is an empty, short term experience. Coming to work for something bigger than yourself … to build a cathedral is a much more satisfying choice in the long run.

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