Sales tips for the aspiring rock star!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What's In Your "5"?

Mark Victor Hanson was interviewed in Success Magazine a few months back and shared some great advice he field tested after writing Chicken Soup For The Soul.

Mark and co author Jack Canfield had published the book (no easy task since it had been rejected by 144 publishers) but they had a much bigger dream for the book and that was the best seller list. Once again, they knew this would be no easy task and that it would require a daily focus to move them toward their goal; inch by inch!

They came up with a plan to take 5 actions everyday toward their goal. Some days it was a struggle for them to come up with something new, creative and exciting. Other days they were able to brainstorm ideas that quite frankly were pure genius! During the OJ Simpson Trial (the first one) they had heard that the Jury had been sequestered. They thought perhaps if anyone could use a little Chicken Soup For The Soul it was them! They sent copies to the jury and when they reached a verdict and all those news cameras were around, guess what book they were holding? Think about the virtually free advertising they received as news coverage went out to who knows how many millions of viewers. Nice ROI on a simple question each day of "What 5 actions shall I take?" huh?

Today, there are over 30 different "Chicken Soup" books that have sold over 56 million copies. Not bad considering the rocky start!

I'm wondering if we can benefit from the concept of a daily focus of 5 actions toward a particular goal.

Perhaps there is an account we want to grow
We'd like to be top sales rep in our organization
Find that dream job
We'd like to shed some pounds
Get closer to God and our family
Conquer the world
Write that book
Take that dream vacation
Buy that home
Become more valuable in our profession

I've been embracing this Daily "5" concept now since July and as simple as it is, it can be challenging to not only come up with 5 actions, but follow through with all the other things on our plate. I had thought about lowering the bar to a Daily "3" but then its too easy to do maybe 1 action item. 5 is where I've kept it.

To keep myself from clinging to my comfort zone I continually ask myself "In what ways can I change up my 5 and be more creative?" Otherwise I will just do the same things day in and day out and that isn't always a good thing. I, like the rest of us, need to continually look for new ways to improve my game and my creativity. This has certainly helped!

Just in case this sounds way too simplistic, I would like to invite you to think about: The power of a daily focus of 5 actions over even a 90 day period. Over a 6 month period, A year? How much ground could you cover with a relentless daily focus of 5? It's actually quite deadly when you do the math!

Action: Revisit your goals and dreams and dedicate yourself to 5 daily actions towards the fruition of them. Challenge yourself to try different things, make note as to what is working, what isn't. Make it a study!

So, having said that, I need to ask you . . . What's in your "5"?

Sales Playbook Group News: We are having a discussion about the elements of a successful sales meeting and you can join us by clicking here:

Subscribe to Paul Castain's Sales Playbook by Email


  1. Love it Paul and will get going on this today!
    James G from NJ

  2. Paul, this is actually very timely for me. I was going through some of my notes yesterday and saw there were a number of things I found that I hadn't done.

    This will be a great way for me to get on the right track and make sure that I make a dent in these every day. You're right. Over a period of time, this can make a huge difference.


  3. P.S. I wasn't sure what the video link at the top was for but it made for a great adder to this post!

  4. Thank you both for stopping by and contributing.
    I've been applying this daily "5" approach since July and honestly there are some days when I don't get my "5" in the bank. I've seen great results in the first 90 days!

    Paul Castain

  5. I always enjoy looking at new and creating ways to maintain the creative process. And a positive attitude! Thank you for your insight.

    Chris Borowski

  6. Paul, I think this may be my favorite entry among everything you've put in the Playbook.

    Thank you for your continuing generosity to all of us!

    :) mb, who quakes at the thought of trying to find time for ONE more thing, much less FIVE - but I'm in, my friend...I'm in.

  7. Paul,

    This post is a timely one for me, too. I've got some big goals on paper, but tend to get overwhelmed in the execution phase.

    Now there's a post-it in visible places...bathroom monitor... that reads "Which 5 Actions Today?"

    Do you spread your "5" across all of your goals, or pick specific foci for a day, week, or month?


  8. Thanks Michael!

    There are a few ways that you can approach the daily "5" philosophy.

    Mark Victor Hanson suggests putting the 5 in on what I believe he called a "Quantum Leap" goal (not sure if that was the exact phrase). The "quantum leap" goal is a goal that if you were to achieve it, would have a huge impact (even on the other goals) For my purposes, I focus on a quantum leap goal to one day have a best selling book.

    There is no down side to applying the "daily 5" to a weekly or monthly focus.

    Hope that answers your question and thank you for stopping by.

    All the best!

    Paul Castain


Free Sales Tips By Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Shades to hide my true identity! :)

Join Our New Linkedin Group! Click On The Picture

Add Me

View Paul Castain's profile on LinkedIn


Castain Guarantee

Castain Guarantee

About Me

My photo
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics (CGX) one of North America’s leading general commercial printing companies. Paul has over 25 years of sales and sales leadership experience. He has trained, mentored and coached over 3,000 sales and sales leadership professionals. An accomplished public speaker, Paul has delivered numerous key note addresses. He has authored numerous training manuals, articles, blog posts and is currently working on his first book for release in 2011. Feel free to email Paul This has been a paid announcement by the friends of Paul Castain!

About This Blog

Paul Castain's Sales Play Book is blog dedicated to strengthening our sales game, supporting rock star development and developing jedi like skills. All that is required is a willingness to learn and a sick sense of humor!

Topics Discussed: sales, sales leadership, cold calling, networking, telemarketing, presentation skills, social networking, twitter, linkedin, facebook, google, technorati, digg, training, sales tips, SEO, job hunting, hiring, recruiting, best practices, pipeline management, CRM, goals, time management, motivational, inspirational, social media, online marketing, ning, job openings, speakers, trainers, associations, blogs, bloggers, articles, sales management, onboarding, NLP, SPIN Selling, Unemployment, news, wordpress, dress for success, inside sales, call center,

Blog Archive


Add to Technorati Favorites


Sales Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory