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A few years ago I boarded an airplane bound for the island nation of the Philippines. I spent a couple of years there learning the language (Cebuano/Visaya), meeting and making new friends, and providing service to those in need. 

In my pursuit to learn the language, I was provided with some basic training and taught a proven pattern that would have me learning the language fluently in just under a year. The pattern consisted of a few basic steps:

  1. Be willing to learn the language (from which also sparked the desire)
  2. Talk to the people (This was really embarrassing and awkward at first)
  3. Mimic their way of speaking (intonation and tone)
  4. Read books in the language
  5. Incorporate new words learned into conversation
  6. Constantly point to things and ask “Unsa man ‘na?” or “What’s that?” and write down the answer
  7. Keep following the pattern.

Let me tell you, it was not easy. In order to learn the language properly one could not take shortcuts. If you wanted to learn new words, you had to read and talk to people. If you wanted the people to understand you, you had to speak to them and mimic them. If you wanted to succeed at any of it, you needed a strong willingness and desire to do so. There were no shortcuts.

As mentioned, following this pattern had me speaking fluently in under one year. There were others however, who chose to take shortcuts. They would skip some of the steps in an effort to streamline the process.

After nearly two years of being in the Philippines, I was able to speak to anyone about almost nearly any topic, while those who chose to not follow the pattern were still having trouble with basic conjugation.

You see, there really isn’t such thing as a “shortcut”. Today’s instant gratification society that we live in is all about shortcuts. In North America, we strive to find more shortcuts in everything we do whether it’s a “10 minute dinner plan” or the GPS charting a new course for us that MAY take less time. We’re conditioned to look for shortcuts everywhere.

What’s the Problem?

You see where I’m going with this? Shortcuts almost always turn into “Longcuts”. Just as it did for the others that I was in the Philippines with trying to learn the language. Them being out there for nearly two years and still having problems speaking and understanding was their “Longcut”.

Let’s look at the salesperson who complains that they aren't selling enough or pushing enough units  each month to meet ends meet. Are you taking any shortcuts in your process? Are you trying to take shortcuts to educate yourself on the product or on selling? Are you taking shortcuts in relationship building? Are you taking shortcuts in that you’re waiting for customers to come to you rather than prospecting for new business? All of these shortcuts ultimately lead to longcuts, and the longcut is almost always felt in the wallet. 

The Point

You need to stop focusing on instant gratification by taking shortcuts and start focusing on following a proven pattern that will see you on your way to greater success.

Learn from those who have what you want and got it by doing what they’ll teach you. The industry is loaded with mentors who have proven that the pattern to success works. If it works for them, surely it will work for you. The only difference is that none of them took shortcuts. They all followed a pattern no matter how long it took and they stuck with it.


Take some time to identify where you could improve. Think about what shortcuts you are currently trying to take, and define the result of those shortcuts. Remember, shortcuts most often lead to “longcuts”.

Have you had an experience taking a shortcut that has ultimately taken you on a “longcut”?

Views: 297

Tags: cebuano, development, personal, philippines, selling, shortcuts


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