Good, better, best. Which one are you?

Good, better, best. Which one are you?

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

Personal achievement. Success. Fulfillment. Big words that every entrepreneur or salesperson seeks. “Get there by setting goals,” they say. “Wrong,” I say.

Now, I’m not saying don’t set goals. I am saying don’t set big goals and think that they’re the direct path to personal achievement, fulfillment, or success. They’re not.

In my experience, I have found most people set their goals for the wrong things and reasons. The problem with “big goals” is that they are usually “big dreams.” And to further complicate the goal process, most goals are about “it” or “things,” (material stuff like big house, long vacation, million dollars, luxury car the usual), not goals about “you,” (personal achievement stuff like college degree, promotion, physical fitness).

Most people with big material goals end up at low achievement, low esteem, frustrated, and cynical or they just become complacent and accept their lot as mediocre. Why? And more to the point, what’s to ensure it won’t happen to you?

Why are some people able to achieve their goals and others not? Big question. Is there a formula to follow? I can’t tell you what will work for sure there’s no universal law of achievement, no universal law of success. If there was, everyone would be successful.

Rather, there are elements of success, and degrees of achievement of success, tempered and limited by an individual’s desire, determination, dedication, and drive. It’s a combination of your persistence (never quit) and your positive attitude (I will get it because I believe I will, and I deserve it).

The other day on a radio interview, someone asked me if I had a sales success secret. “Jeffrey, how did you get to this position in sales? What drives you? Do you have a secret success formula?”

The question caught me off guard. Hadn’t much thought about my formula. Didn’t think I had one. I do have a philosophy, and I live my philosophy. Should I answer with that? No. That’s not a secret. So, I answered with one simple truth that I live by be the best.

“When I found out I liked sales, I made one goal be the best.” I said. “When I discovered I liked writing, I made one goal be the best. When writing led me to speaking and training, I made one goal be the best. Last year I began to make sales tapes same goal, be the best.”

When I got off the radio show, I rushed to my laptop to capture the essence of what I’d said. As I developed the thought, I realized that there was an elemental process, a formula for personal achievement and best is just one element in the formula. And I figured I’d add the word “secret” to the formula so that it was more likely to be read. No one likes a formula, but a secret formula, now you’ve got something.

So, there are six parts (elements) to the secret of personal achievement:

  1. Vision.
  2. Love.
  3. Best.
  4. Attitude.
  5. Personal.
  6. Student.

Best. The operative element of the secret is best. But it’s not the first element, best is element number three. If you find (do) something you love, (the second element) and consistently strive to do your best, and be your best, all the goals about cars, vacations, houses, and the ever popular money, will appear. The material things are a by-product of personal achievement. They are automatically attached to best. So the question is what drives you to want to become the “best” at something?

Vision. The first element of the secret to personal (goal) achievement is to identify a vision and put it in front of your goals.

Got a big goal? Sure you do, everyone does. The big question is, What’s before (in front of) your goal? Do you have a personal vision that will drive you to achieve all your goals? Where do you see yourself?

Love. Last year I made an accidental discovery. It occurred when I examined all the elements of my career, and tried to structure some of my thoughts into a ten year plan. I was asking myself, “What do I do best? What do I love to do? Where have I been most successful? How do I want to spend the next ten years?” From those answers, I decided my success would focus around selling and customer service writing, speaking, and making videos. I love selling and the selling process, and serving is an extension of selling.

Once I realized that my choices were also my passion, the vision became clear.

OK, so we have vision, love, and best defined. Stay tuned next week for the rest of the secret.