Another Birthday. Bah Humbug or Day of Celebration?

Another Birthday. Bah Humbug or Day of Celebration?

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

Another Birthday. Bah Humbug or Day of Celebration?

24,470. That’s how many days I’ve been alive. You? I’ll save you the math. I just celebrated my 67th birthday. (I know. I don’t look it.)

For the past 17 years, I have been angry at birthdays — didn’t want any more — and didn’t want to have any acknowledgement. Didn’t want any celebration. But, people always encouraged me to anyway.

This year I’ve decided to go from grumpy to grateful — from stoic to celebratory. And it was a joyful decision. I have so much to be thankful for. It’s a shame to waste another second lamenting my age.

Celebrate the day and the days.
Celebrate the year and the years.
Celebrate with family and close friends.

I’m so happy to be with my family and in good health. I’m so happy to reflect on achievements and create the vision for new milestones to pass this year and in the coming decade.

How do you celebrate your birthday? Many people celebrate the wrong way. They party to a stupor. Drunk, hung over, stoned, high, and in general overindulgent to a point of “need a day to recover.”

Let’s take it deeper
How do you celebrate the sales you make?
How does your boss celebrate the sales you make?
Are they two different celebrations?

Most salespeople have a plan or a quota for the month, the quarter, and the year. To accomplish this task (goal) is often more arduous than most salespeople are able. Sales have to take place on a regular basis.

When salespeople make a sale, there’s a celebration. Sometimes a very small one. Sometimes a negative one.

Here’s the scenario:
Salesperson — (in an elated tone) “Hey boss, I just made a sale!”
Boss — “You still need three more before you hit your goal.”Salesperson — “Thanks boss, you (expletive deleted).”

The boss could have just as easily said, “GREAT! Way to go! Tell me all about it.” Your boss could have embraced your success, celebrated the moment, and helped you discover what went right so you could repeat the process, and have a great attitude toward the inevitable next sale.

Which celebration would you rather have?
Which boss would you rather have?
Which boss do you have?
Which boss are you?

Here’s what I discovered this birthday: Celebration, and the type of celebration, is both a choice and an attitude.

I choose happy, and I try my best to make others around me happy. You?

If your boss is grumpy, it might make you grumpy. That’s what I was the past 17 years on my day of birth. I wasn’t snippy about it, but people knew it was not my choice to celebrate a birthday as I was aging. And it only took me 17 years to figure out that I was completely, utterly wrong.

Not only was I gloomy, I made others around me gloomy. In spite of the fact that people called me, in spite of the fact that people gave me gifts, or took me out to dinner, or “surprised” me with a party, I still wasn’t happy on the inside. I wasn’t my normal gung-ho, laughing, smiley self. So I made a choice through my own self-realization that I couldn’t stop my birthday from occurring, so why not make it a happy time with my family and the people I love.

The good news is I have gone from 364 days of celebration to 365 days of celebration. You and your boss may not be the same.

You will make more sales if you celebrate the sale and the day, every time. And your boss will be perceived as a great boss if he or she celebrates with you.

For the past four years, we have been discouraged as a country and a corporation from celebrating. Please join me in celebrating everything and every day. Please join me in finding all the good in whatever happens rather than nagging on what didn’t happen or what still needs to happen.

It boils down to the choice between four simple words:
Discourage or Encourage?
Criticize or Harmonize?

Which words and actions do you think work best?

While the choice may seem obvious, the actual implementation and communication are often the opposite. In fact, they are more often the opposite.

Want to grow your business?
Want to make more sales?
Want to make more profit?
Want to increase productivity?
Want to have better morale?
Want to keep your customers loyal?
Want to keep your employees loyal?

It’s real easy — celebrate more.
Happy Birthday!