Aug 31, 2022
Title: Six Figure Summer with Adam Webb
Adam Webb, Chief Revenue Officer at Sunder Energy, is a nationally ranked sales professional with diverse tactical and strategic experience in finance, marketing, human resources, and operations.
He is a seasoned leader and manager who strives to return value to the world through business and humanitarian efforts. Adam has been in the direct sales field for over 14 years now. He’s also a published author, patented inventor, a non-profit founder, and a father to 5 children.
I love his attitude towards life. He’s fun, open-minded, and exploratory. I think you’ll take away a lot from our conversation.
Connect with Adam
Adam’s book: Six Figure Summer
Connect with James:
4:33 The catalyst to thinking bigger
Adam: “Sales surrounded me with people that were thinking bigger and were doing bigger things. And I'd get to sit next to someone that made 4 figures in a day. Over several thousand dollars in a day. And we were doing the same thing. We have the same opportunity. And so that type of influence started me on this process of maybe I could do that too. And then you go out and do it.
You hit these milestones, you hit these new peaks, and then now your vista is expanded. You can see more. Because you just scaled up a peak. Maybe it was a small peak for you, but it's a new view and you can see higher things to climb.
That’s how it started to change for me. Just being surrounded by people that were doing bigger things.”
5:35 Self-talk is everything.
Adam: “My default mode was to assume that there was something different about me, inherently, that would prevent me from doing the things that other people were doing. That person is the top sales rep making a healthy six figure income, but that's not me. I'm not that guy.
My level up moments came when a leader called me up early in my sales career and just said, ‘Hey, Adam, I've been watching you. I've been seeing you. I feel you’re the type of person that could perform at the highest level. Like I really believe you could sell over 200 alarm accounts, be the top rep in the company.’ And I respected this leader. The fact that they believed, that they took the time to communicate that, I borrowed that belief and then that mindset shift was enough to actually go do it, and then doing it created that new reality in concrete for me.”
8:34 Balancing a successful career and a family
Adam: “Yeah, a little bit of extra effort goes a long way. Typically, when you're busy, you get back from traveling, you come home, you just relax. The kids are on their screens. You're on your phone scrolling. You're all in the same house together, but not interacting.
We're up here in Utah. There's all these amazing mountains everywhere. In 30 minutes, I can plan out a freaking sweet little backpacking. We can get away with the kids. Pack up the bags and we go into the mountains. So now, we're having like this top 10, incredible experience. Me and the kids up in the mountains, no phones. We're seeing moose. We're cold plunging lakes. And really all that was just taking the initiative and the intention of planning that out and doing a little extra work when I was tired, so that's how I try and maximize everything is just just be intentional about it. And go hard in all the areas of your life that matter.”
13:25 Three characteristics he looks for in recruits
Adam: “There's really only three things that I filter for. Outside of that I've learned not to over judge in the direct sales industry. There's way too much filtering and like prejudgment. I've just had too many experiences where someone that I was sure was just going to dominate because they fit the bill. Like a top athlete, straight-A student, good looking… like whatever these factors are that we think correlate to success. And then I recruit that person and they just fall on their face. They just can't even handle an ounce of difficulty when it comes to direct sales.
And then I've had people that I would not bet on at all. Like people you would not think of, just go dominate. So I've really learned not to judge outside of three things, which are work ethic, coachability, and positive attitude. And I assess those in the interview process just by asking qualifying questions that help me understand where they fall on each of those spectrums. And if somebody possesses those qualities, I don't even care if they seem like a sales dud. It's very difficult to teach work ethic, coachability, and positive attitude. So I just go look for people that have those attributes and they always succeed in my sales programs. “
17:05 His biggest challenges as a leader
Adam: “I've learned that 99% of disappointment and dissatisfaction is just expectation, mismanagement. I've had reps making hundreds of thousands of dollars getting a six figure paycheck, just livid out of their mind because even though it's a lot of money, it's less than where their expectation was. And there's been times where that's been their fault. There's been times when that's been my fault.
So I feel like that's one of the hardest things to do is to just set proper expectations. And from learning that lesson, now I'm not afraid to have tough conversations. I hate when leaders avoid tough conversations, whether it’s feedback or mentoring or tough coaching that they need to give to someone, maybe it's a situation where you have a conflict of interest with one of your people.
Have tough conversations, underpromise and over deliver, set right expectations. I did that wrong for a lot of years and I've learned, and I feel like it's something I do right now and people respect it and they'll stick around a long time.”
19:38 His one piece of advice for anyone trying to grow: expand your vision
Adam: “Looking back I limited my own growth and progression with my self concept of me. If I could go back, I would just tell myself, just think bigger. I would've grown so much faster and I see that all the time.
If you're a rep, stop thinking of yourself as a rep, start thinking of yourself as a manager and a leader. If you are a manager, start thinking of yourself as a regional manager, because it's just so easy to get into the day in and day out. You're in the weeds. You're putting out fires, you're doing this, you're doing that, but you have to stop and think and expand your vision because you can't grow beyond your own self concept.
I see that all the time when I have leaders that finally are like, ‘Okay, if Webb thinks I can do it, then shoot, let's go do it. I'm a regional manager. Let's go!’ Then everything starts falling into place. They start thinking like a top leader, acting like a top leader, talking like a top leader, behaving like a top leader. And over time that reality that they have in their head just starts materializing. So that's the most important advice I give to anyone trying to grow is just expand your vision.”
21:00 Using affirmations for manifestation
Adam: “I do my Brian Tracy's Top 10 every day. I just say out loud while I'm driving my top 10 goals, dictate them onto a notepad, and then erase it and repeat the process the next day.
“I cashflow six figures a month in real estate.” Say that every single day, eventually your subconscious brain is just going to be like “Okay, cool. Where's the real estate? Let's go get it.”
James: “I recorded an audio CD of myself talking to myself as if all the things I want, my goals are already achieved. I would listen to that every morning and put some music behind it. Those listening, find your own style that you feel you need, but this stuff does work and it is priming you to not only receive what you're working so hard to get, but also to sustain it. You're building that identity.”
28:02 His most important investments
Adam: “Owner-occupying investment property. That's been the best strategy for building wealth for us. That's how we built seven figure wealth. And it's a predictable format. Anyone can follow that so it's low risk. It's attainable. So that's been the key strategy that we've used to build wealth and then just dumping money into the stock market. Just buying index funds, buying the market. Consistently investing. That's the way you do it.”
33:20 Fatherhood as a sense of purpose
Adam: “Being a father extends to what I feel my core purpose in life is, which is just to create as much value for other people as I can. So for me having this blank slate that I can mold and create a human that will exist after I'm gone, that will perpetuate, and will continue to create value and like just make the world a better place. With everything I do professionally I feel like it will all pale in comparison to the work that I do with my kids.
If you think about it, like every solar system we sell will someday just be in a recycling center somewhere. Like none of it'll just be here anymore. No one will be on the earth that remembered us or knew us that has living memory of us. So really the only thing that lasts forever is the influence that you have on other people. And so that's how I see fatherhood. It's like my chance to perpetuate goodness and definitely because I could teach them and they'll teach their kids and they'll teach their kids. And that just goes on.”
34:02 His approach to challenges
Adam: “I like Jocko Willink. He wrote Extreme Ownership. He was a seal platoon commander. His response to problems and challenges is “good”. That's just what he says to everything. “Good.” That's just his instinctive response. Like here's a problem. Good. Why is this good? I don't know but it is good. All problems, all challenges. They're good. Every failure has a seed of an equivalent or greater success. So I just believe that. So when you approach it that way, then you don't have that same reaction. Like you're able to face anything because you know the more it sucks, the bigger, the downside, the bigger the upside.”
41:40 His advice to leaders
Adam: “I think in business there's a culture of perfection. And I dealt with this a lot where leaders don't want their people to see them bleed. They don't want to be vulnerable. They don't want to have their mistakes out on display. And I think that makes them come off as inhumane and hard to relate to. And it hurts relationships. So my advice to leaders, and this is one of my greatest weaknesses so I'm talking to myself too, is learn to be more vulnerable and just be okay with imperfection and making mistakes.”
43:40 Six Figure Summer
Adam: “I didn't set out to write a book. The six figure summer actually started as more of a pamphlet. But there was just one rep. That wanted to hit 200 alarms in a summer. That was the $100k mark in commissions. That was top 1% performance. So I trained him and I trained him and he went out for the summer and he did better, but he didn't hit 200. So we ran it back.I trained him. He went out again. He did better, but he didn't hit that 200 sale mark. And then I was like, okay, what's going on? I must not know what it is that allows me to do this, because I'm clearly not able to teach it to him. He's doing everything I'm telling him.
So I pondered on this for months. It was like driving me insane, just picking away at my brain. And then I have this epiphany where I realized that what separates top performers from everyone else is not their pitch or what they do. It's who they are as people, it's the principles that they embody.
So the question should be not what's your pitch, but what are the right principles? That'll help me become dominant in a top 1% performer. So I thought through that and I wrote them down, there was a short list of them. I wrote those down. I gave it to him and said, read this like every day during the summer he read it. He cleared 200. And then it just expanded from there. Other people wanted it and then the company wanted it. And then when I switched companies, they wanted it and it just grew into a book. So I never actually set out to do that. It just evolved naturally from a desire to create as much value for other people as it possibly could.”