How to Thrive in a World That’s Just Surviving

by | Oct 17, 2018 | Mannix Motivation

Hey guys, the team asked me to talk about this concept of thriving versus surviving, which you’ve probably seen in a lot of our marketing materials. The core concept is this: most people in sales and most small-to-medium business owners are doing something that looks a hell lot more like surviving than thriving. The bottom line is: the opportunities are out there for all of us, but we get stuck in what I call “vicious loops.”

To explain that concept I thought I’d take you through a really simple model but a very powerful model, which is around collars. I believe that all of us are collared whether we know it or not. So let me explain that concept.

Thriving VS surviving in sales

We can relate this to anything in life, but let’s relate it to money and let’s relate it back to salespeople and how much commission or how much success they might engage in any given month.


Now for most of us, let’s just call this middle line “budget,” okay? And let’s pretend that budget enables us to pay the bills, and maybe take the family on a holiday once a year, but we’re probably using credit card debt to fund part of that, which is not ideal. But that’s in the middle.

Now, whether we know it or not, we have collars both below that and above that, and what I mean by this is fundamentally, if all of a sudden, you’re way off budget and you’re looking like you might lose your job or you’re earning less than it takes to pay the bills—alarm bells will go off. And what happens when those alarm bells go off? Next month we do what it takes to earn a bit more money so that we can get back to this line called “budget” or “surviving.”

But here’s the scary thing: the opposite happens as well. So when we have those fantastic months where we absolutely smash it out of the park, what happens to most salespeople? Unfortunately next month they earn a lot less money or they sell a lot less so that the thing normalizes over the year, and we actually get stuck in this average middle line where maybe one month we’re up near the thriving line but then the next month we’re down near the surviving line. It all basically just averages out into this vicious cycle of just paying the bills and doing enough to get by, and that’s why most of us never achieve a step change in our life and really improve things.

Thriving in other aspects of life

Now I can apply this to your health. Let’s just say that five days in a row you don’t drink alcohol, you eat healthier food, you take good care of yourself. What do most people do on Saturday or Sunday? “I’m gonna reward myself by eating out”—and ends up overeating— just to average all out.

Same with relationships. Maybe you’ve just had a fantastic week away with your partners or your kids, so what do you do? You get back into work and work your butt off and refocus in that area of your life and let the relationship area of your life go past, so it averages back to normal.

Great lives are actually lives where people keep changing their standards to keep moving through this loop and getting better and better. And the example I often use is: you come to run five kilometres, you get good at that. Guess what—five kilometres seems short so you run seven kilometres. Seven kilometres seems short so you run 10 kilometres. 10 kilometres seems short so you run a half-marathon. The big thing is, as you move through this curve, even if you don’t train for another three months, a short run is now probably closer to 10 kilometres, rather than a long run feels like 5 kilometres.

So the bottom line is, guys, in terms of thriving versus surviving, unless you identify where you want to thrive and what you want to move up that curve, you’re gonna be stuck in this vicious cycle forever.

Now a lot of you say, “But, Dean, I earn more than I did three years ago.” That’s true, but I’m betting that your bills and your budget have also moved up, so actually you’re in the same place with a different amount of money.

Six areas to improve for a better sales life

So the question you’ve gotta ask yourself is: what are you doing to deliberately thrive, and how do you get out of this cycle of just surviving?

Remember: six areas in your life we want to be thriving in.

1. How we’re feeling emotionally. At the end of the day it all comes back to how you feel emotionally.

2. What’s going on mentally for you, whether you’re suffering stress, anxiety, frustration, pain, or whether you feel like you’re learning, you’re growing, and you’re in control mentally.

3. The quality of your relationships. How much you enjoy the people that you work with, that you sell to—and that you go home to is very important.

4. Physically. Where are you at physically? I’m not talking about looking like Brad Pitt; I’m not talking about looking like Angelina Jolie and being a supermodel. I’m talking about just feeling good in this thing called your “body,” which you’re stuck with 24 hours a day.

5. How are you using your time? Do you spend more time doing what everyone tells you to do and responding to urgency, or are you in control of your time and you feel like you’re using your time for things that are valuable, that matter to you?

6. And then finally, all that adds up to: where are you financially? The bottom line is: Are you feeling free? Are you feeling relaxed? Are you feeling good about money, or is it a constant source of anxiety, frustration, and stress?

You’ve got to get these six areas handled.

And the bottom line is, until you choose to thrive you will be stuck in this loop forever. So if you need some help with that, please go to and get onboard with my coaching programs. This is all part of the #BetterSalesLife, and I really want you on this path towards thriving—the last thing in the world I want for you is to be stuck surviving.


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