Send Your Sales Brain to Summer Camp


Americans don’t take enough time off. Even though there are plenty of benefits to taking them, vacation days are often forfeited. Sometimes, getting away from work only means you will have to catch up on return, a rationale that discourages extended periods of recreation. According to Canopy Health, roughly 40% of employees don’t take time off from work even though they are entitled to it. What’s more, 61% work while they are on vacation, 25% have been contacted by a coworker and 20% have been interrupted by a supervisor about a work-​related matter while attempting to get some R&R. Considering your schedule, you owe it to your sales brain to arrange some downtime, and this summer season is as good as any.

Your sales brain deserves to be healthy

As we age, our mental function changes along with every other part of our body. Therefore, keeping your brain healthy is essential for living a long, full life. Being in sales, the brain is the most important tool you have at your disposal. Day to day, your sales brain experiences anxiety, stress, highs, and lows that tend to derail your thought process at the most inopportune moments. Sure, you develop skills to cope with these stressors, but what do you do to help your sales brain heal and give it a refuge?

Reflect on the exhilaration of summer camp

Many adults look back fondly on the days of summer camp. Afternoons spent swimming under the sun and evening campfires with new friends were much more than a way to pass the summer break. At camp, children grow, explore and learn about themselves and the world around them. Cheerfully, the special activities of summer camp give kids a unique perspective and challenge them to escape their comfort zones. Further, they learn to be independent and develop critical lifelong skills.

Develop a calm, strong and happy brain

Your sales brain depends on mental resources like determination, self-​worth and kindness to function. Consequently, these are the characteristics that make it resilient, according to Rick Hanson writing for the Aspen Brain Institute. Remarkably, a resilient brain is better able to ‘"bounce back" from adversity, trauma, tragedy, and threats. Hanson goes on to say that you can improve brain resilience in the same way you strengthen muscles. Interestingly, there is a cumulative effect where the efforts build over time to establish true resilience.

Make a "resilience camp" for your sales brain

Just as vacations don’t have to be long or expensive to be effective, your trip to "‘brain camp" doesn’t need to be excessive. In fact, when you focus on the 12 inner strengths recommended by Rick Hanson, you may find the process resembles a spa experience. Here are just a few of his suggestions:

Compassion – We are all human. Therefore, acknowledging our faults, mistakes and suffering, and those of others with kind understanding and without judgement aids the healing process. 

Mindfulness – Morning is a great opportunity to practice controlled breathing and meditation. 

Learning – Just as the experience of summer camp expanded our world, learning is a neuroplastic process. Hanson offers tips to teach our brains to be happier by “taking in the good.”

Gratitude – Unfortunately, our brains have a negativity bias that protects us from potential threats. It served our ancestors well but can be detrimental to your sales brain. Offset this bias by praying, writing in a gratitude journal or making a thankful phone call.

Aspire – Leaning into the future is what we do. Hanson says, “We’re always stretching toward one thing or another: the next person, the next task, the next sight or sound, the next breath.” He suggests we look back to our youthful dreams (perhaps at camp) and think about what we hoped for before the world taught us “to be sensible.”

Photo by Tegan Mierle on Unsplash

Tim Londergan

Tim Londergan

Tim is a research contributor at SalesFuel and he writes for SalesFuel Today. Previously, he worked as a Sales Development Manager, representing products such as AdMall and AudienceSCAN. Tim holds a B.S. from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.