Stock sales

Recently, I was talking to Nick, who happens to be a 29-year-old sales-person at one of my clients’ businesses. He said something to me after I commented on his upbeat personality and award-winning way that he answered the telephone. It took me back for a second, not only since it was so profound, but to come from someone who (yes, I am old) was so young but wise at heart.

I was complimenting him about the way he immediately took the conversation we were having along with his genuine enthusiasm he portrayed on the phone. He then said to me, “Hal, my attitude is the only thing you can control.”

This blew me away because it was very simple and so correct. He nailed it.

This really is something to think about with respect to whatever mood you are in and how you respond to what’s around you. We let our attitude control the moments or the people at the time. What we say and do affects others or even the situation. The attitude that we can control is the center of it all.

When I was diagnosed with cancer at 28 years old, everyone said to me I had such a positive outlook and was a “hero.” Huh? A hero, not even close. Yes, my attitude did influence people around me and even myself. Who wants to be around a depressing person who is constantly complaining? I realized that I had to get “with the program” and let the doctors and nurses do their job. I really did not have too many choices.

What I do remember from those days is sometimes I did wrap myself in a sheet since I weighed about 83 pounds to the severe weight loss from chemotherapy. I grabbed my IV pole and walked up and down the hall doing a really good Ghandi impression, which made people feel more comfortable around me since at that time I was dying or fairly close to death. Did my attitude save me? Nope, but it did help with my recovery and the comfort of the people around me who were helpless as well.

This of course is an extreme case of attitude, but we can use it to our advantage every day. Think about it and see what happens if you are in any of theses situations.

• Driving in traffic and you are running late

• Another driver cuts you off or is driving very slowly

• A co-worker is rude to you

• A friend or family member says something that rubs you the wrong way

• Your internet goes down or smartphone has an issue

• You are on hold calling your bank, utility company or cell phone carrier

• You have bad service in a restaurant

• Your flight is delayed or canceled

The list can go on and on, and we just call this life. Before I continue, I am a phony since I let this stuff bother me as well. I know my wife will read this and say, “Yeah, look who’s talking.” But, and this is the big but, I am thinking about the control of attitude as I write this. How long will I be able to control a good attitude and not let the outside nonsense bother me. If it does, and I catch myself, can I control my attitude?

Hal Becker is a nationally known speaker on sales and customer service. He is the author of numerous business books including two national best sellers “Can I Have 5 Minutes Of Your Time?” and “Lip Service.” Hal’s newest book on sales is titled “Ultimate Sales Book.” He can be reached at


Letters, commentaries and opinions appearing in the Cleveland Jewish News do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Cleveland Jewish Publication Company, its board, officers or staff.

How do you feel about this article?

Choose from the options below.