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Same Attitude, Different Uniform

January 31st, 2018

By Payton Bieker

My attitude comes from my past and all that it includes.  My whole life I was an underdog and loved it.  At 5’8″ and 155 soaking wet I wasn’t exactly a big time prospect. I had zero offers after high school. I went to Vincennes University for a showcase camp and was offered a scholarship on the spot. That was my first opportunity and one that I will never forget.  Jon Adams at Vincennes gave me a chance that no one else was willing to give me and I will forever be grateful. After two seasons at Vincennes I decided to walk on at Purdue.

Division 1 baseball was always the dream and Purdue was going to give me another opportunity.  My time at Purdue was amazing. I started at 4 different positions during my time as a Boilermaker.  Upon graduation I was offered a coaching position with the team.  I stayed there for 3 years, one of which was a Big Ten title.  I spend my days now in a sales “war room” hunting down prospects and finding opportunities for my company in order to put us in the best possible situation to be successful.  My same underdog, hard-working, passionate attitude is still there, my uniform has just changed.

Teamwork

This is what makes all good engines go.  In sports or business, if everyone isn’t on the same page that is a recipe for disaster.  Sometimes in sales this is a hard concept to grasp on to because your own livelihood is sometimes dependent on your performance.  The truth is if one guy wins we all win.  In sports you look out for your teammates both on and off the field.  The same is true in business. If you can assist your fellow employee he/she will find a way to repay you whether that is with some kind of referral or help along the way.

If you don’t have each others back in business it will fracture any company and you will soon find yourself looking for a new team very quickly.  When I was a coach at Purdue my mentor Jeff Duncan (Current Kent State Head Coach) told me that it is not what you know, it’s all about trust.  If every player trusts you he/she will run through a brick wall for you.  The same can be said in business.  If you gain the trust of your fellow employees in the trenches they will always be willing to go to battle with you and help you along the way.  That is something that has always stuck with me throughout my career.

Learning

“The day you stop learning, is the day you stop growing.”  This is another lesson that I took from Duncan.  He used to always tell me to learn something new everyday.  That has been especially true for me transitioning into sales. I just didn’t know what I didn’t know when it comes to sales. I used to be able to talk to recruits on campus and connect with them and sell them on the school, but how does that translate when it comes to making a sale? It has taken about 7 months to truly be comfortable, but I am there now.

I keep learning and surrounding myself with people who can elevate my game. I do not want to be around people that I am better than, I want the people who are better than me and I can challenge and they will in return motivate me to be better.  That is where growth comes from.  If I am not learning, Dunc was right, I am not getting better and not doing anything to better my life.

Competition

I had the privilege of playing along side 3 current big leaguers (Kevin Plawecki, Cameron Perkins, and Nick Wittgren).  These guys taught me so much and they probably didn’t know it.  The way those three carried themselves day in and day out just always rubbed off on me.  The confidence they had when they showed up to the park was just infectious.  I have always been a pretty confident guy due to my height. Most of you would refer to it as little man syndrome.  I have it and I am not afraid to admit it. If you tell me you are better than me, I am the type that will say prove it.  That is how I will be until the day I die and a lot of that I owe to those three guys.

Plawecki and I came into Purdue at the same time and both as catchers.  I was the better defensive guy at the beginning, I was older and had 2 years of JUCO under my belt.  That didn’t last long.  He is currently on the Mets roster so I will let you figure out how that panned out. To this day, he is still one of my good friends and like to think our battles elevated both of our play.  He pushed me and I pushed him which is what it is all about. Healthy competition is crucial in sales. If the top dog isn’t being pushed, why would he/she care about getting better? When they start feeling pressure and someone is nipping at their heels they know they better elevate their game in order to keep the crown.  I love competition. I don’t care if it is sales or NHL on the Xbox, I want to win and win big.

Motivation

There is always something that keeps you moving forward.  When I was playing it was proving people wrong or getting to the big leagues. We all had that person in our life that thought we shouldn’t have gotten the chances we got or they would have been better.  Proving people wrong is and will always be a motivation of mine.  I had coaches growing up that told me no college team would ever touch me because of my size and because I had a cocky attitude. I told that coach recently that I used his words as motivation and still think about it.  I am not mad at him. If anything, I should thank him for lighting a fire in me that was not going to be burned out until I was playing big time D-1 baseball.

Motivation changes when you get in the business world and start to mature more as an individual.  I want to be better for my family now and provide for them financially. I cannot do this if I am not pushing that needle forward. My goals have shifted from fame and glory to financial freedom and providing for the ones I love. At the end of the day if you are not motivated I don’t see how you plan on meeting the goals you set for yourself.

I am the same person I have always been, I just go into a different locker room every day now.  I traded my glove and bat for a computer and product.  Instead of hearing my name announced over the loud speaker, I hear a bell when I make a sale.  No one can take away my past and what has molded me.  I continue to use all those lessons to make my sales career a home run.

Payton is a Brand Engagement Ambassador with Aptera in Fort Wayne, IN. Click here to connect with Payton on LinkedIn. 

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