Cultivating a Winning Mindset: Edd Young’s Strategies for Professional Success

Catch episode five of Fireside Chat, now available on YouTube and Spotify.

In an era where change is the only constant, the challenge is no longer about having the right skills or knowledge — it’s about cultivating a mindset that embraces growth, adaptability, and resilience. That’s why a strong, growth-oriented mindset is essential for overcoming obstacles and seizing opportunities.

In this episode, we’re joined by Edd Young — VP of Sales Operations at Martal Group — who delves into the power of having the right mindset and what it means to develop a passion for sales. 

Our discussion with Edd produces answers 

  • How does mindset influence a sales professional’s career path?
  • Why are continuous learning and adaptability crucial in professional growth?
  • How does passion drive success in sales?
  • What are effective strategies for staying organized and managing time?

The insights in this episode are not mere theories but practical tools that can be applied in your daily professional life. By the end, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of how to cultivate a mindset geared towards success, a crucial element for thriving in today’s dynamic business landscape.

Join us now in exploring these transformative ideas with Edd Young!

Meet Edd Young: A Journey from Reluctance to Mastery in Sales 

Edd Young’s path to becoming a seasoned professional in sales and operations is as unique as it is inspiring. With over two decades in the field, his career is a blend of diverse experiences and a testament to his adaptability and skill. 

His initial stance towards sales was one of avoidance, influenced by his father’s expectations. “My dad turned wrenches for a long time… he’s like, ‘That boy’s going to be a salesman.’ And I always was like, ‘No, I’m not. I’m never going to be a salesman,'” Edd recounts. Yet, despite this reluctance, sales became a significant part of his career after his time in the military, where he honed his operational skills. “I’ve been doing sales for probably 15 years, 16 years, operations for 20 years,” he says, indicating the depth of his experience in both areas.

Edd’s entry into sales was unconventional, starting in credit and collections. “I hung out with the salespeople… I could never do it until I spoke to a salesperson,” he explains. This experience, along with his Sandler Sales Training, laid the foundation for his understanding of sales as a process of building relationships and negotiation.

Joining Martal four years ago, Edd’s role evolved beyond operations. “I didn’t think I’d be getting into the sales side of it, but we’ve grown into this organization over the last four years, learning new ways to sell … It’s been a ride,” he shares. 

Edd’s story is not just about the roles he has filled but about the mindset he has cultivated. His initial reluctance to enter sales, followed by his eventual embrace and mastery of it, underscores the power of adaptability and a willingness to learn. It’s a narrative that resonates with many who find their calling in unexpected places, and it’s a reminder that the path to success is often non-linear and full of surprises.

Key Insights from Edd Young’s Interview

1. The Foundation of Success: It’s All About Mindset

Throughout his interview, Young highlights how mindset is crucial in various aspects of professional life, from hiring practices that prioritize potential and attitude to fostering a culture of continuous learning and adaptability. His insights offer a clear vision for developing a mindset that is geared towards sustained success.

It all comes back to mindset. …  If you go into something and you give up easily after the first two or three no’s, you probably are not going to do well in sales. But if you have a mindset of like, hey, this is just an objection, this is a number I can get past, and you push yourself to go forward, and you build patience in your process … This is something that’s foundational for a salesperson,”- Edd Young states.

By focusing on the significance of mindset, Edd Young presents a compelling case that success in sales, leadership, and business is not solely about knowledge or skills but fundamentally about how one thinks and approaches challenges. 

In fact, he places a strong emphasis on the mindset of candidates, focusing on how they answer questions rather than just the answers themselves. This method goes beyond assessing technical skills or experience; it delves into the candidate’s ability to communicate, adapt, and learn. Edd believes that these qualities are crucial indicators of a person’s potential success in a team.

Edd explains his philosophy as a recruiter during interviews: “When I’m talking to somebody… I don’t even look at the interview card or the resume. I start talking to the person… I want to see if that person communicates, if they just make statements or make claims or do they ask questions? And so do they have the right mindset? Are they communicating with me?” 

His approach is about uncovering the person behind the resume, understanding their thought process, and evaluating their potential to grow and contribute meaningfully to the team.

By focusing on these aspects during interviews, Edd aims to identify individuals who are not only skilled but also possess the resilience and flexibility needed to thrive in any fast-paced sales environment. This approach ensures that the team is composed of versatile and agile members who can contribute to the company’s growth and adapt to its evolving needs.

2. Learning and Adaptability in Professional Growth

It’s long been debated whether the ability to sell is an innate trait or an accessible skill.

In our conversation with Edd Young, he firmly planted his flag in the camp that believes in the teachability of professional skills. This belief is not just theoretical for Edd; it’s a practical philosophy that informs his approach to team building and personal development at Martal. He sees potential where others might see limitations, advocating for a mindset that embraces growth and learning.

Edd illustrates his philosophy with a personal anecdote: “I honestly think you could be taught anything. I actually proved this with my wife. She didn’t believe that she could be an artist. Now she’s drawing everything because I made her take classes.” This story is more than just a testament to his belief in the power of education; it’s a reflection of his commitment to unlocking the latent potential in everyone.

However, Edd acknowledges that the journey to becoming proficient in sales varies from person to person. He recognizes that some individuals may have a knack for sales, noting, “There are people that will naturally have those gifts.” This acknowledgment doesn’t diminish the value of learning and adaptability; instead, it highlights the diversity of paths to success in sales.

In modern B2B sales, where change is constant and adaptability is key, sales remains a challenging yet rewarding field. It’s a domain where continuous learning and the ability to adapt can turn even the most unlikely candidates into successful professionals. Edd’s insights remind us that while some may start with a natural advantage, the doors of opportunity in sales are open to all who are willing to learn and grow.

3. The Role of Passion in Sales

Most of us would agree that in our formative years, we didn’t go around saying, “I want to be a salesperson when I grow up.” A sales career is rarely a childhood dream fulfilled, so a fiery passion for the process must be lit rather than stoked. 

Empathizing with his fellow reluctant sales professionals, Edd explains, “Here’s the thing. If you are in sales, there’s a reason you’re in sales. You just don’t go into it because you were a kid and you watched Glengarry Glen Ross while your dad was out of the room. Nobody wants to be a salesman. I didn’t want to be a salesman. I ran from it.”

The reasons for pursuing a sales career are as diverse as the roles, but whether it’s the paycheck or the people that motivate your choice one thing is for certain: pursuit without passion will lead to burnout. 

When asked about his advice to those trying to avoid burnout, Edd stated: “To stay on top of your craft and sales, it does take a passion. You do have to continuously learn. I would say that staying engaged with people in your —- I guess you would say —- sales community constantly asking what they’re doing to better themselves… It’s all about staying in a community of like-minded people. Continued education does help, but I would say it also depends on how you want to progress in sales. Is this your ikigai? Is this your one main purpose in life or is this just a job? So for me, Martal is my ikigai. I eat, breathe, and sleep this.”

By highlighting the necessity of passion for ongoing learning, Edd underscores the dynamic nature of sales, where success is often a result of staying informed, adaptable, and deeply engaged with the broader sales community. This perspective encourages sales professionals to view learning as an ongoing journey rather than a destination, ensuring they remain relevant and effective in their roles.

4. Organizational Skills and Time Management

Being able to manage time effectively will not only streamline your workflow but also pave the way for a more balanced and productive work life. It can mean the difference between feeling perpetually behind schedule and moving through tasks with purpose and clarity.

Throughout the episode, Young continuously underscored the importance of mastering organizational skills and time management for professional excellence. He shared a blend of practical techniques, such as time blocking and the use of digital tools — to streamline work processes and enhance efficiency.

Edd revealed his approach to organization:

“There’s a lot of different ways to stay organized. First things first, time block everything, just everything. Like you said, I have a morning routine. I typically only sleep a couple of hours, so I can start my morning routine, get going, and I stick with it… I would suggest using some sort of task management software. I use Click Up. I was using Google Tasks, but Click Up is easy to use, but the most important is to start.”

Such an approach ensures that every task at hand is given due attention, which is crucial for maintaining a balanced schedule. Moreover, the seamless integration of email and task management tools allows Edd to effectively track and prioritize his duties, ensuring thoroughness and reducing the chance of missing critical tasks.

5. The Human Element in Leadership and Sales

In the high-stakes world of sales, it’s easy to forget that success isn’t solely measured in numbers or achievements; it’s also about how people are treated and supported throughout their professional journeys. Edd believes that a human-centric approach — built on understanding and empathy — is not just beneficial but necessary. 

It all starts with knowing that behind every decision, every challenge, and every achievement, there are people with their unique stories and experiences. Young acknowledges that everyone is human and capable of making mistakes. And he firmly believes that patience and empathy are powerful motivators that can give team members room to learn from their mistakes and grow.

“You have to remember that people work for people. They’re just people. So you have to have patience… Something that is different here at Martal is that I am repeatedly told everybody gets second chances…”

A sympathetic leadership style must be rooted in nurturing relationships and creating a supportive work environment. Edd focuses on recognizing the individuality of team members, catering to their unique needs and learning styles. This is the most effective way to foster a cohesive, motivated team and cultivate a productive workplace culture.

6. Staying Motivated and Goal-Oriented

Motivation is perhaps one of the most critical aspects of success in the workplace. Yet, we’re still far from understanding what makes some people so determined to do more while others struggle to accomplish basic tasks in their day-to-day life.

In this context, Edd Young offers insightful advice on maintaining motivation, especially during challenging periods like year-end sales. He emphasizes the importance of staying goal-oriented and passionate, even when faced with potential slowdowns or distractions.

“… just reflect on the year’s success. You’ve got to set goals for Q1, make the conversations about what you’ve done and what Q1 is going to look like, rather than, hey, it’s going to be slow, it’s a holiday.” He also added, “If you have goals to sell a certain limit… sometimes you gotta do things that other people don’t want to do. That means working through the holiday season while everybody else is taking off.”

Young’s mindset of keeping the focus on past triumphs and future plans is a gateway to fostering a forward-thinking and optimistic attitude. His advice is particularly relevant for sales professionals who might find it challenging to stay motivated during times when the market typically slows down. By staying focused on their objectives and maintaining their enthusiasm, sales reps can navigate through challenging times and emerge more prepared for future opportunities.

Key Takeaways: Unleashing Potential Through Mindset

This Fireside Chat episode with Edd Young is a treasure trove of insights for anyone looking to excel in sales, leadership, or any professional endeavor. The overarching theme revolves around developing the right mindset and why that’s crucial for success. 

Here are five key takeaways that encapsulate Edd’s wisdom:

Assess Mindset in Hiring: When evaluating potential team members, focus on their mindset, adaptability, and communication skills, rather than just their past achievements.

Encourage Adaptability: Emphasize the importance of adaptability and a consultative approach in your team, recognizing these skills can be taught and developed.

Commit to Lifelong Learning: Stay engaged and passionate about your field by continuously learning and staying connected with your professional community.

Organize and Plan Diligently: Use tools like time blocking and task management software to stay organized and manage your time effectively.

Lead with Empathy: Embrace patience and understanding in leadership, recognizing that people are actual humans who are more than just their job roles.

Vito Vishnepolsky
Vito Vishnepolsky
CEO and Founder at Martal Group