Grandpa Charlie’s 8 Success Tips for Sales, and Life

Marc Demetriou

Many people, including sales and marketing folks, tend to overthink things. Haralambos “Charlie” Pistis, the archetypical self-made man and my grandfather, fortunately was not one of them. He traveled as an immigrant from Cyprus to the U.S. at age 16 to make a new life for himself, and retired at 60 a millionaire.

The secret to his success was not that complicated, as you’ll see below. In my book, “Lessons From My Grandfather: Wisdom for Success in Business and Life,” I’ve codified the wisdom Grandpa Charlie passed down to me; and I a glimpse of this knowledge here. It’s a set of strategies sales executives should remind themselves of from time to time.

Be awake and alive to the suffering of others. “You must give in order to truly live. Live with  compassion, honor, and humility – the key qualities that Charlie embraced and exemplified in his service to others. The more that you embrace these great tools for living and carry them always in your tool chest, the greater your success and life will be.

Ignore realistic expectations. All limits are, in the end, just artificial creations. It is you who hold them, you who design them, and you who give them their standing and their power. They most certainly do not hold you, as you are the author of this relationship. It is you who render unto them, the power to hold you down. If you are willing to do the work, you can damn well improve and most certainly change for the better.

Keep emotions in check. Not easy when we are, at our core, emotional beings. Remember, though, the vision and the end game or culmination of any plan will, in the end, be the culmination of literally tens of thousands of actions, tens of thousands of choices, tens of thousands of steps forward, and tens of thousands of attitudinal responses to both those choices and steps. Planning and drawing the map that will lead to your successful life is no small thing.

Respond to people as quickly as possible. This is what I like to call my “rapid response formula,” and it is truly one of the primary secrets to my success. The faster you respond to people, the more highly they will think of you. It’s easy to think that people work on your time.  The formula is simple, and it suggests that you both value and respect them. I love overly impressing anyone who emails or texts me. I try to respond within minutes, if not seconds, when they send me a message.

Celebrate the achievement, not yourself. Keep the ego and pride at bay in the workplace and in the company of your peers. Celebrate the work and the achievement, but not yourself.

Write the story of your life. It doesn’t matter if it’s a sentence, a paragraph, 50 pages, or a book. Writing the story of your life and addressing what you want to be remembered for is a telling and often game – changing exercise. It forces you to imagine and envision. It forces you to construct your best possible plan and, maybe, just maybe, to replace the one that you originally cobbled together.

Nothing is final. High-achievers are never fully satisfied. The day may come when you switch gears, and, while you may redirect your energies, you will never stop achieving. there are no limits and no ends. There are only new beginnings. There are and never have been any final victories. The journey always goes on, just as your pursuit of your best life always goes on.

Reflect. Take 10 minutes to ask yourself questions like: Am I where I want to be? What more, if anything, can I do? What happened yesterday or today that I can do more with? Who can help me? Where do I turn next? This goes a long way in helping you become better, so I strongly suggest that you make it a habit to pointedly take out ten minutes each day for introspection, and when used wisely, I promise you that these 10 minutes will become the most important minutes of your days.

Marc Demetriou is a nationally ranked mortgage broker based in New Jersey and the author of “Lessons From My Grandfather: Wisdom for Success in Business and Life” (Highpoint Life).

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