EPISODE 305: Women in Sales: Growth Mindset Expert Jamie Crosbie Says This Is a Great Way to Get Past Your Self-Limiting Beliefs

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a replay of the WOMEN IN SALES Webinar sponsored by the Institute for Excellence in Sales and hosted by Gina Stracuzzi on December 1, 2020. It featured Sales Mindset expert Jamie Crosbie.]

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EPISODE 305: Women in Sales: Growth Mindset Expert Jamie Crosbie Says This Is a Great Way to Get Past Your Self-Limiting Beliefs

JAMIE’S TIP FOR EMERGING SALES LEADERS: “One of the biggest challenges we face are limiting beliefs. Ask yourself what is the #1 obstacle that I’m facing right now that’s holding me back from being truly who I was created to be personally or professionally to being my very best self? Then examine the belief that’s associated with that. Ask “When did I start believing that? What happened in my life?” There are a lot of lies that we tell ourselves that you wouldn’t tell your best friend. If you were treating yourself like your own best friend, you would be saying something totally different to yourself. Figure out what that is and go through the exercise of adopting a new belief is very powerful.”

Fred Diamond: Today we have an expert on mindset. Actually Jamie was a guest on one of our first Optimal Sales Mindset webinars way back in the spring, it seems like a decade ago. I’m very excited to bring on the Program Director for the Institute for Excellence in Sales Women in Sales Program including our award-winning Women in Sales Leadership Forum, please join me in welcoming Gina Stracuzzi.

Gina Stracuzzi: Thank you, Fred, nice seeing everybody, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’m super excited to get talking with my guest, Jamie, she’s going to help us get in the right frame of mind and ixnay all those limiting beliefs so we can rock 2021 even if we are all in our houses. Jamie and I are going to dig down and figure out how we can get rid of some of the limiting beliefs that hold us back so Jamie, welcome.

Jamie Crosbie: Thank you so much, Gina, pleasure to be here with you.

Gina Stracuzzi: Thank you. Jamie, tell us a little bit about yourself before we get started.

Jamie Crosbie: I started my company, ProActivate 16 years ago and prior to that served as Vice President of Sales at Career Builder and prior to that, I was in the traditional staffing industry leading sales and operations. On a more personal note, when I was young I remember my mom telling me often in various situations that when I would feel nervous or uncomfortable, that meant I was growing and that to get out of your comfort zone was actually a goal because it meant growth. I was introduced to the concept of peak performance mindset at a young age and then several years ago got certified in the area of high performance mindset. I do workshops and keynotes around the country in this very area and it’s so impactful in the area of sales because sales increase 38% when you’re at your optimal level of mindset

With all that being said, I got certified in that and my company, ProActivate helps sales leaders of revenue generating companies to protect and propel revenue as it relates to talent in the area of sales, sales leadership, marketing and things of that nature. A passion of mine and a purpose is to help others really maximize who they were truly created to be and be able to perform at optimal levels personally and professionally so that’s why I’m so excited to be here in this discussion with you today.

Gina Stracuzzi: First, let me just say yay mom, that is great advice because sometimes we think that if we’re uncomfortable, it just wasn’t meant to be and your mom was right, it’s really the opposite, isn’t it?

Jamie Crosbie: It really is. I have children and of course I teach my children that if you have a gut instinct that something is not right, of course that’s different but if you’re just nervous, you have butterflies, you’ve got that excited scared feeling, that is growth and that is normal when you step outside of your comfort zone. When you do, that means you’re elevating to a new level so you want to do that. It’s really been a game changer as a parent and a professional.

Gina Stracuzzi: The excited piece really needs to be embraced. Let’s talk a little bit about what you think holds us back and how that might hold us back in 2021. This has been an unprecedented time so we’ve got to come up with some new things.

Jamie Crosbie: One of the biggest challenges we have and what really inhibits our performance is our mind. Naturally, Gina, we have 60,000 thoughts a day which is crazy, we’re not aware of all those thoughts. 80% of them are naturally negative so learning to recognize when that happens and flip the script, that really gets in the way. What inhibits our performance is us and more specifically, it’s what’s in our mind and what our thoughts are that lead to certain behaviors and actions and results. Interestingly enough, many of us as sales organizations or individuals or sales leadership, we’re very focused on the skill set of salespeople and aren’t so focused on developing mindset but 80% of sales success – and our success in any role as individuals – is based on mindset and 20% is skill set. Mindset is what often gets in the way and holds us back.

Gina Stracuzzi: What percentage of those 60,000 thoughts are negative?

Jamie Crosbie: 80% naturally unless you learn how to grow your mindset but if you just look at the natural science of it, we have 60,000 thoughts a day and naturally if we’re just in our automatic mindset operating system, 80% go to the negative and we often pass right over those thoughts. I love this example, often when I do a keynote I’ll ask for a volunteer and you can have a room of 500 CEOs or VPs of Sales, it could be thousands, the results is always the same. One or maybe two people stand up to volunteer and when they do, they come up and I’ll say, “What’s your name? Nice to meet you, here’s a hundred dollars in cash, you may have a seat” and everyone’s saying, “I would have volunteered if I knew that.” That’s a really poignant question, I say to everyone else, “In that moment when I said I need a volunteer, what thought went through your mind that you probably didn’t even notice until we’re talking about it now?” The truth that most people come up with – and that really happens to us – is they think, “I don’t want to embarrass myself, I might look stupid, I don’t know what to say.” There’s a myriad of negative thoughts and we do it all the time and we miss the opportunity for the “hundred dollars” or many opportunities because we hold ourselves back with our thoughts.

Gina Stracuzzi: That hundred dollars represents a big fail because if we’re afraid we’re going to fall on our face or make ourselves look stupid or whatever, we hesitate. That hundred dollars is representative of so many things. That’s wild, 80%, they are under the radar but they do affect ourselves and the way we think.

Jamie Crosbie: More importantly, we can learn to flip that script and that’s what I teach in these mindset workshops or we talk about at a higher level in the keynotes but we can learn to change that and think at a higher level so that we don’t have that happen.

Gina Stracuzzi: Considering what we’ve all been going through and the idea that there doesn’t seem to be any end to it on the horizon if anything is going to get extended, what would you suggest for people who run teams to how they might help their teams overcome these limiting beliefs, these challenges that they have right now?

Jamie Crosbie: What I liken this to is helping your team live in the solutions room versus the situations room. What Carol Dweck teaches – she’s one of the pioneers in the field of mindset science and she’s written this book [Mindset: Change the Way You Think to Fulfill Your Potential]. It shows the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset and this is as sales leaders, people leading sales teams, our job is to teach our team to embrace a growth mindset especially right now. It’s more challenging than ever, we have to work with the challenges in our mind more so than ever because there’s a lot going on in our world as we all know.

Here’s what happens, often our team says, “Here’s the problem, I’ve got this problem” whether it’s COVID, quota, comp plan, the territory or whatever it is. “These are all the reasons why I’m challenged” and they just only see the problem and that is an example of a fixed mindset or what I say, living in the situation room. You’re just talking about the situation, as leaders we need to teach our teams to embrace a growth mindset which is saying, “Here is an obstacle and here are possible solutions.” People who have a growth mindset live in the solutions room and they are thinking of how to overcome this with anything you can control. Obviously there are things we can’t control.

One of the things as a leader of a team I would throw out there is people can’t come to you with a problem without coming with a few solutions. I tell my team this all the time, you can come and say, “Here’s the issue and here are a couple things I thought of, what else can you think?” and we can brainstorm, but don’t just come and dump the problem. At a lot of companies where we’ve done these workshops, obviously right now it’s a little bit different, it’s a virtual solutions room but they create a solutions room. When someone comes to talk about one of the challenges or one of the hard things, “Let’s go to the solutions room and talk about how we might overcome that.” I would encourage leaders of teams to do this exercise with their teams to say, “What’s the #1 challenge you’re facing right now that would change the trajectory of your success? Living in the situation room you just thought this was the problem, but now let’s move to the solutions room and talk about some solutions.” Pair up in a team or small groups or just even one-on-one with the leader of the team to take that challenge and create solutions that are within our control. What are the things we can control about this?

Gina Stracuzzi: I was thinking about this virtual solutions room, even the act of taking it from a phone call into another Zoom but maybe it’s decorated somehow to jolt people out of their current mindset. A couple of things came to mind as you were talking, Jamie and that’s the intersection between mindset and limiting belief but also right now mental health, I know this is taking things a little out of the business realm but it affects the business.

Jamie Crosbie: It does.

Gina Stracuzzi: Mental health is precarious at best, even the strongest of us who feel the strongest, I think everybody perseveres to the level they can depending on their circumstances, but it plays on you. I think it messes with your mindset in ways that you don’t even imagine so I wonder about the intersection of all those things and what you see with teams

Jamie Crosbie: First of all, it absolutely is more challenging now than ever even if you’re a person who always has that positive high-performance mindset, it’s challenging to sustain that right now. That’s just real, people who are the most positive ever, I’ve talked to several of them and they’re like, “I feel like I might be depressed” or at least this stands out like this. We have to activate peak performance in ourselves differently than ever so self-activation is one of the things we can do to grow our mindset. These are the simple things but right now, the self-activation piece in terms of the mindset growth is one of the simplest things but I feel like they’re obvious but we don’t always do them. For example, eating the right foods or getting enough sleep or listening to music that energizes you or removing negative people from your life or celebrating successes. Those are all things we’re like, “Yeah, sure” but are you really doing that? Are you doing the self-care you need?

One of the most important parts of self-activation which is just one of the growth modalities of mindset is starting your day with positive affirmations. There are days, quite honestly and especially right now, where you don’t feel like it but if you get up and do your positive affirmations, just practice that. I have a practice in the morning of saying three things I’m grateful for and then saying my affirmations. One of them, “I refuse to worry about things that are out of my control” or, “God has a plan and a purpose for my life”, whatever they are, I have a list of like ten, “I choose faith over fear, courage over comfort.” These types of things are reaffirming and sometimes you just have to do it, you have to go through the act of them to believe it again and jolt ourselves. Another part of self-activation is just exercise, there have been studies that show just getting that exercise is as effective as an antidepressant. I think I would say just in the area of how this all intersects, it’s a real thing, people are challenged in the area of mental health right now more than ever and people aren’t alone. Even those individuals who feel like, “This is one of the things I never struggle with”, right now they’re struggling.

Another key to growing our mindset, Gina, and really flipping the script between the thoughts that are negative, the 60,000 thoughts a day and 80% that naturally go negative, one of the keys to changing that is engaging the inner CEO. Our inner CEO is in the prefrontal cortex of our minds and it essentially is what allows us to think at a higher level. The inner CEO is the thing that regulates our mindset so when you notice that you have that negative thought and you’re able to capture it and then think at a higher level, detach from the emotion that you’re feeling at the time, that’s what allows us to view our situation from a higher perspective and perform optimally. One great example of that is Sully Sullenberger who was in a crisis situation and was able to save 155 lives even though he was told to go back to La Guardia. He in a split second had to engage his inner CEO and think at a higher level without emotion and detach and be able to regulate his thinking. Because he did that, he saves 155 lives because he landed on the Hudson River. That’s a great example of doing that.

Fred Diamond: That’s very powerful, Jamie. This is Fred again, we obviously had a bit of technical difficulty. A guy like Sullenberger in the example you just gave, is that something that we all have or do you think a lot of this is innate? I know you teach mindset all over the world, of course now you’re doing it virtually, but are there ways that people can learn and grow to get to his level or are we only going to get so far? I’m curious on your thoughts on that.

Jamie Crosbie: We can and that’s what’s so exciting about this, this is why I feel so passionate about this because first of all, all of us have the inner CEO. It’s when we get out of the amygdala which is what makes us do emotional things and get mad or get angry or say things we don’t mean and we literally get in the prefrontal cortex of our brain where we’re able to think at a higher level. When I teach this, we talk about the stages of mindset development and one of the things we talk about is people feel like they’re stuck. Whatever happened to them as a kid when they were developing their mindset? Whatever bad things have ever happened, “That’s just my life” and that’s more of the victim mentality but we actually get to control what we live with. We can choose to throw certain things out of our mindset guardian, so to speak, throw the rocks out, stop watering the weeds and only water the flowers.

There are specific modalities of growing our mindset and we have to engage our inner CEO in order to do them but things like self-activation like I just spoke about or self-talk management or understanding your bigger why. Doing a true exercise on your dreams and goals, self-regulation, overcoming limiting beliefs, there are six steps that are specific to growing our mindset that we can learn, we learn to take those thoughts captive and flip the script and think at a higher level. The results of that in sales is increasing our sales by 38%.

Fred Diamond: Let’s talk about sales professionals. We’re doing today’s show, it’s December 1st so we’re nine months into wherever we are right now, there are some bright things on the horizon with vaccination and therapeutics but at the same time, things are spiking. People have spent Thanksgiving with a couple as compared to traveling and seeing each other and it’s probably going to be the same thing for the December holidays as well. What are some of the suggestions that you have right now for some of the sales professionals to end the year strong and then also of course starting the year strong? What are some of your suggestions for sales leaders who are working with their teams to understand where they might be going through right now so they could be as effective as possible?

Jamie Crosbie: For the leaders specifically that are leading teams, I think you asked a really important crucial question. What can they do to better understand? I think one of the things we often miss – and we’re all guilty of it – is as leaders of sales teams or organizations, we’re constantly talking about quota. We’re talking about where we stand according to quota and we have to talk about that, that’s a real issue but the salesperson took the job and wants to hit quota for a bigger reason, they have a bigger reason than just hitting quota. The goal of the company is quota, the commitment of the salesperson is quota but the bigger why behind it for the salesperson is something that as managers we typically don’t know or ask. One of the biggest jobs we have is to understand our team members’ bigger why so that when we’re each setting our own goals we think about the what, why and how. The what is often the specific goal, the how is how they’re going to do it but the why is the bigger purpose behind it, the meaning behind it. The bigger the why, the bigger the try and the better the how. As a sales leader, I would encourage you to go through an exercise with your team members to understand why they’re really there. For some it’s providing for their family, for some it’s building a dream home or a vacation home or helping their kids get through college, whatever it is so then when we do talk about quota, we’re really talking about it according to their bigger purpose. How is this going with your children and reaching this dream or goal or this vacation home? That’s one of the things because it keeps our eye on the prize and the bigger picture.

The other thing I think is helping our team members engage in this growth mindset where we truly take them whether it’s physical or virtual to a solutions room, where we start really talking about what the #1 challenges are, “Let’s talk about what we can control in there and let’s brainstorm some solutions to this.” I would encourage them too to provide mindset development for their teams. Again, 80% of success is based on mindset so to provide some workshops or training or anything in this area of mindset is more impactful than anything in terms of their results.

Fred Diamond: Jamie, let’s talk a little specific. Everybody in the most part in B to B sales and most of our listeners to the Women in Sales webinar and the Sales Game Changers podcast are in B to B sales, most of them aren’t really in offices right now. How do you suggest that they engage in these conversations about mindset knowing that almost everybody is interacting like we are right now? They’re interacting over some type of video conference, there’s a fatigue associated with video conference, you can only see people above the breastplate, if you will. What are your tips and suggestions for having impactful conversations as a sales leader for this particular topic and as a participant, as an individual contributor today? What’s the best way to have those types of conversations?

Jamie Crosbie: I know most everyone is virtual and experiencing a little bit of Zoom fatigue or GoToMeeting fatigue or any of that, but I do think it’s important to have these conversations on camera face-to-face. Do what you can to make it fun. I’ve been delivering these workshops virtually and you can do it in a very engaging way by having polls, by having breakout rooms, exercises and things like that that are truly engaging. I know that if I can do that, the leaders can do that as well but you could also get someone outside, an outside speaker or someone to bring something different to your team so it mixes it up. The other thing is just little things, Fred. We have a theme for next year, I don’t think any of my team is on this so I can say – although one team member. Our theme for next year is going to be gratitude, having gratitude for everything we have because we can’t control everything going on. One of the things we’re going to do on every call is start with a gratitude practice and we’re saying what we’re thankful for or we have a happy hour taking it to a whole other level.

You can make some of this fun, “Bring objects that represent the #1 challenge you’re facing right now and you’re going to show the object on the Zoom to everyone. We’re going to have a happy hour and let the juices flow and brainstorm how to overcome these challenges.” I think we’ve got to do stuff, wear your favorite hat or for example, we’re doing our company kick-off meeting virtually, we are having a live entertainer on their virtually, we’re having a mixologist teach us how to mix a drink, we send a big box to everyone ahead with all these fun things for the meeting. We got to mix it up, add a little spice, make it fun and it depends on your culture but you can use technology in ways to really engage people. I’ve had some virtual meetings, Fred, where we all said, “This was even better than when we were together.” As much as we want to be together, we felt like we were.

Fred Diamond: I have one last question for you and then I’m going to ask you for your final thought. You mentioned gratitude and gratitude comes up frequently. We’re doing four webinars a week, we’re going to be starting our fifth starting January 1st, we’re talking about a lot of topics that sales professionals can implement and should be implementing right now to be successful. Most of the people who are participating or who are watching today’s webinar or listening as a Sales Game Changers podcast, they want to get better, they want to take their sales career to the next level. They want to provide more for their company and for their family. You mentioned gratitude and gratitude comes out a lot and again, Jamie Crosbie, you’re a world-renowned expert on mindset. Why is gratitude so important? You mentioned the gratitude practice, talk about how that can really be positive for the sales professionals listening to today’s webinar. Why is it important and then how can you really make it impactful in your career?

Jamie Crosbie: I think it’s important, Fred, because that practice alone helps us to overcome our automatic mindset operating system, we have all these thoughts every day and they flip negative a lot of the time. We literally can rewire our brains by engaging our inner CEO to think at a higher level. The practice of gratitude actually is part of that rewiring so when we stop every day and just start the day or at some point in the day have a practice of thinking about a few things we’re thankful for, a few great things that happened that day, at a deep level it starts to do that rewiring. All of the challenging things we’re facing right now, it helps us to reframe that and when we can teach ourselves how to reframe, we achieve at much more optimal levels.

There’s lots of fun ways to do this, there’s a gratitude journal on Amazon, it’s called The Five Minute Gratitude Journal and it gives you a little practice to start your day. We have a gratitude jar on the counter in our home and in the mornings I have my kids write down one thing they’re thankful for and sometimes we’ll read those. It’s just doing something that stops you whether it’s just you knowing when you wake up you’re going to say three things that you’re grateful for, you will start wiring your brain accordingly to where the negative thoughts are actually more positive and the script is flipping because of that practice.

Fred Diamond: Jamie, we got a comment here from Marcie and Marcie says, “I write in a gratitude journal every morning before I get out of bed.” Sue says, “This is fantastic, thank you so much, Jamie.” Jamie, you may not realize this but you’ve impacted so many people in your career by helping them get focused on the most optimal mindset to take their sales, their business and their leadership careers to the next level. There’s been so much value in what you’ve done with not just helping individuals but then helping them with their families, with their companies, right now extended families and friendships as well. I want to acknowledge you for all the fantastic work you’ve done in your career presenting these ideas and helping companies and people really take it up a notch.

Jamie Crosbie: Thank you.

Fred Diamond: You’ve given us so many great ideas, give us a final action step. What should people watching the webinar or listening to today’s podcast do? One thing that they should do that’s going to help them take their careers to the next level.

Jamie Crosbie: One of the biggest challenges we have is limiting beliefs and we don’t realize that we really have a few very poignant limiting beliefs that impact us. What I would encourage you to do – and if there’s anyone who’s interested, I have an actual exercise you could do that I’d be happy to send you and you could email me – ask yourself the question, what is the #1 obstacle that I’m facing right now that’s holding me back from being truly who I was created to be personally or professional to being my very best self? Then examine the belief that’s associated with that. There’s a true exercise of going through it thinking, “When did I start believing that? What happened in my life?” Because there’s a lot of lies that we tell ourselves that you wouldn’t tell your best friend. If you were treating yourself like your own best friend, you would be saying something totally different to yourself. We all probably have a really big limiting belief that’s holding us back and to figure out what that is and go through the exercise of adopting a new belief is very powerful. That would be my #1 exercise and tip that I would engage in.

Fred Diamond: You said there’s a few that are on that list, hopefully you’re not going to have like a hundred. As you’re talking about this, I know one that’s my limiting belief and then get deep into it, find out why it’s there and really work to uncover it. On behalf of Gina Stracuzzi, the Program Director for the IES Women in Sales Program and the Institute for Excellence in Sales, I want to thank Jamie Crosbie for being on today’s webinar, thank you so much for everything you do. To everybody else, see you tomorrow on the Sales Game Changers Live.

Jamie Crosbie: Thank you.

Transcribed by Mariana Badillo

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