"In a Rut"

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by Joe Bonura, CSP


The Dictionary Tells Me So

The dictionary defines a rut as: A state of being that has become so routine that it is no longer interesting or challenging.

Buried Alive

I believe a better definition is a grave with both ends kicked out. The second definition has stayed with me since the first time that I heard it years ago. You are dead and buried, but you don't know it yet. A rut is continuing to do the same things and expecting different results -- especially if those things are not working.

Get Out The Shovel

If you are going to succeed in sales, you must dig yourself out of the hole that you are living in and look for new ways and means of doing things.

Butterflies Are Free

You may be comfortable in your rut, feeling safe and protected by the walls on both sides. It is as if you were living in a cocoon. It is time to break out of your self-inflicted cocoon -- and if you have to struggle to do so, all the better. I read once that if you release a butterfly from its cocoon, it will die. It is the struggle to break out of the cocoon that gives the butterfly the strength to survive.

Watch For The Exit

Sometimes you are so focused on the interstate that you do not see the exits. As I was driving along the interstate, the traffic was heavy, and I spotted a dog walking in the median. My reaction was to stop to help the dog; he looked hungry and emaciated. He had passed an exit, and he did not realize it. It broke my heart to know that he would probably be hit by a car or die of starvation.

Do Not Bite The Hand That Feeds You

I know it was foolish but I pulled over to the side of the road, and after almost being run over, I reached the median where he was. Every time I approached the dog, he ran away. He did not know that I was there to rescue him. I tried to coax him to come to me so that I could read his collar and call his owners, but the harder I tried to rescue him, the more he resisted.

Can't See The Forest For The Trees

When you are in a rut, you can't see the exits or the help that is waiting for you. You are afraid to make a move. The dog on the interstate missed out on an opportunity to go home. Out of frustration, I gave up and left him to determine his fate. I sincerely hoped that he found the exit that would lead him to safety.

The Question Holds The Answer

If you are feeling frustrated and unhappy about your job, you may have slipped into a rut, and the first step in getting out of a rut is knowing that you are in one. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. When you get up in the morning, are you excited about the coming day?
  2. Do you make sales calls with a positive attitude?
  3. Are you focused on problems, instead of solutions?
  4. On Monday morning, do you find yourself looking forward to Friday?
  5. When is the last time that you smiled during your sales call? (check out my "Smile" video on YouTube.com)

Change Your Job Or Change Your Attitude

If your responses to the above were negative, you are in a rut. You have some major life changing choices to make. Should you change your job, or should you change your attitude? In order to get excited about your job, ask yourself what your life would be without it. If you say that you would be much happier, then it is time to look at a new profession. If you say that you would not know what to do without it, then it is time for a new attitude.

This Is Your Life

Remember, this is not a dress rehearsal; this is the real thing. This is your life, and how you spend it will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If you can have, be, or do anything that you want in life, and it is impossible to fail, what would it be? The answer to that question can change your life.

Bloom Where You Are Planted

If you decide to bloom where you are planted, look for new and unique ways to have more fun in your job. It is time to find a ladder to climb out of your rut and to move forward. It is all up to YOU.

The Real Ready Teddy

I would like to close this E-Zine with a quote from Teddy Roosevelt that hung in a frame in my office when I opened my advertising agency in 1972. I had no money or clients, and this quote kept me going when times were tough. I still read it on a regular basis:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again... who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.

So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

(Theodore Roosevelt, April 23, 1910)


© 2008 Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.

To see Joe and hear one of his favorite selling tips, follow this link to a video he created to share with folks who are interested in making more sales, or finding a job:



Joe Bonura would be pleased for you to reprint the article text free of charge (non-exclusively), but asks that you include his name and contact information:

Joe Bonura
Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.
Website: www.bonura.com
407 Landis Lakes Court
Louisville, KY  40245

(502) 553-1746 phone

E-mail: joe@bonura.com

About Joe Bonura

His background is unique. Joe owned and operated a highly successful advertising agency for 18 years. During that time, he found his advertising campaigns were more effective when he educated his clients in the areas of sales and service. He conducted training seminars for his clients as added value. Word spread that Joe was a quality speaker and more and more people asked him to speak. The demand became so high that he sold the agency to three of his associates to start his own speaking and consulting company, Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.

Joe is past President of the Kentucky Speakers Association and a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), a prestigious designation earned by only 8% of the 3,600 member National Speakers Association. Joe presently serves on the board of directors of NSA.

He is author of the audio learning systems "Three-Dimensional Selling®" and "Turning Customer Satisfaction Into Customer Excitement®." He is author of the book Throw the Rabbit—The Ultimate Approach to Three-Dimensional Selling.




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