Behind On Your Goals or Need Inspiration? Sell Like Louis Armstrong

My friend The Irreverent Sales Girl (ISG), whose identity remains stealthily behind her mask, inspired me last night with the first line from her post, “You today have 31 days to meet your first quarter goal.”

My keyboard must have been possessed, because the next think I saw was my comment “31 days to surpass…”

ISG generously replied, “RIGHT! You said it better.”

Then I remembered an interview I heard many years ago about Louis Armstrong’s playing that changed how I think and work towards my goals. The radio host was speaking with Louis’s former wife who related this story that remains embedded in my soul.

“People came from everywhere to hear Louis play the high F. It wasn’t just how high he played; he held it for so long and with so much feeling. But at home he practiced the high G.

Louis said, ‘I’ve got to be sure I can hit that F, so I practiced the high G.”

There is a reason why Louis is still popular and why future generations will continue to listen to him. He reached higher than his goal with unbridled passion to deliver his best.

Louis is proof you can give more than 100%.

Back in the 1970s when I heard that story, I determined to set high goals and then aim even higher. And it worked! Often, when I was struggling, in a sales slump, or down because I lost a sale, I played Louis’s tracks as a reminder. He always put a smile on my face. I learned how he makes us feel good with that deep raspy voice and mellifluous, incredibly high dancing notes that make you wonder if he didn’t have to stop, but did because he wanted to. He worked hard and practiced continually to deliver better than his best.


If you’re behind schedule on surpassing your goals, it’s not to late to “pick yourself up and get back in the race.” I mixed a little of Frank Sinatra’s Lyrics in here. I don’t think Louis would mind.

Go sell like Louis and surpass your goals this quarter and for the year. But first, go read The Irreverent Sales Girl’s “It’s first quarter, baby!”