Aug 16, 2021 • Podcast

What is the 30-Day Tough-Timer Challenge?

Paul lays out a plan to help you build mental resilience and become more successful.

Show Notes 

“If you choose to accept the 30-Day Tough-Timer Challenge, you will notice positive change throughout your life.”

The more you plan, the more disciplined you will be, the more successful you will be.

What if we spent as much time building our mental strength as we do our physical strength?

Gratitude is critical in tough times.

Prune negativity from your life and plant positivity.

“Success doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it.”

Ninety percent of you will not successfully complete this challenge. Prove me wrong!


Visit to get started on the 30-Day Tough-Timer Challenge!

Connect with Paul via LinkedIn and watch his Tough-Timer Challenge progress!

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What is the 30-Day Tough-Timer Challenge?

(Transcribed from podcast)

I’m really excited about today’s show. I’m going to share some news with you. There’s something that I’ve been working on. This has been actually for the past year, been working on this, and I’ve been sharing the idea with other salespeople, with other thought leaders, authors, sales leaders. It’s really an interesting topic and it all involves mental strength. We know mental strength, resilience, is absolutely critical. And so the question I’m going to answer for you today is, “What is the 30-day tough-timer challenge?” What is the 30 day tough-timer challenge?

Now, before I answer the question, I want you to know that this 30-day challenge is about building mental resilience and helping you become more successful. There’s one thing I can guarantee you, if you choose to accept the 30-day Tough-Timer Challenge, you will be more successful, you will be mentally stronger. You will notice positive change throughout your life. So on this show, I’m going to explain what it is, how you do it, and where you can find more information.

Now, before we do that, a quick shout-out to Andrea over at The Creative Impostor Studios. Podcasting is a great way to connect with your audience, to connect with your base, whoever it is. It may be your customers, it may be your big fans. You may be growing a business, starting a business, keeping a business going, whatever it may be, podcasting is a great way to connect. And if you’re thinking of starting a podcast, you don’t have to do it on your own. It might seem overwhelming. It’s really not. Reach out to Andrea and her team over at The Creative Impostor Studios. They will guide you through it. They are your go-to resource. They do a wonderful job. And they’re a big part of the reason why this podcast has been downloaded in over 75 countries. It’s spanning the globe and Andrea can help you do the same.

Think about the Tough-Timer Challenge. So, all of the information I’m going to mention is available on our new website, It’s Make sure you check it out. We’re going to go through everything, everything that you will need to get started with the 30-day Tough-Timer Challenge. So, with that being said, let’s get right into it. And we’re going to talk about what the challenge is, but we’re also going to talk about why you should do it.

The Tough-Timer Challenge is a two-part challenge. Every single day, you need to complete the Daily Mental Flex, which is a collection of six mental exercises to help you build your resilience. That’s the first part of it. The second part of it is, you have to plan every single sales call throughout the day. If you do those two things for 30 days in a row, here’s the guarantee I’m going to make you: number one—you will be more successful at the end of these 30 days than you were before. Your newly built mental strength and preparedness will spill over to other areas of your life. You’re going to notice that you’re going to be happier. You’re going to notice that you’re able to achieve more—both professionally and personally. Also, you will build a foundation of mental resilience, mental resilience that will help you thrive through the challenging times that we have ahead. Not only that, but you are going to be more disciplined in your sales approach. The more you plan, the more disciplined you will be, the more successful you are going to be. The key is you have to do the work. You have to commit to doing the 30-day Tough-Timer Challenge.

So, let’s break it down. What I’m going to do for a few minutes is just explain the different elements of the Tough-Timer Challenge. I mentioned you need the Daily Mental Flex, and you need to plan every call. The good news is, I have two templates available for you. They’re available at We’re going to have a link to those templates on this episode’s webpage. But if you don’t feel like going to the podcasting website, simply go to, and right there, on the homepage, you’re going to see a description that says Tough-Timer Challenge. Get started. That’s going to take you directly to the Tough-Timer Challenge page. And on that page, you can download the Daily Mental Flex and our call planning guide. So those two resources are available for you, complimentary. You don’t have to pay for anything. You don’t need to do anything. You just need to visit the website and download the templates.

So, I want to share the why behind this challenge: why I started this challenge, why I created the Daily Mental Flex. And it happened about a year-and-a-half ago, during the pandemic. We all know what’s going on in this world. We don’t need to belabor that point. But what happened is, I started talking to salespeople. And on our calls or in our meetings, I would ask them a question, “How are you doing?” And I would get a very generic response. Salespeople would say, “Given the circumstances, I’m doing fine,” or “You know, I’m doing good.” As we started to progress through this pandemic, I started hearing salespeople say, “You know what? I’m having a pretty good year.” Other salespeople saying, “I’m having a great year. minimum crushing my quota.” And I started talking to more of my clients and many of them said, “Paul, we’re having record years. It’s unbelievable. Profit is up. We’re growing, we’re reaching new prospects. We’re able to go after new opportunities we weren’t able to go after before. Man, we’re doing good.”

But then I would dig a little deeper, and I would ask them, “So how are you doing really? Mentally, how are you feeling? How is it right now?” Then I would get a different answer. I would hear salespeople say, “You know what? Man, I’m struggling. It’s been a tough year, you know, yeah, my performance is fine, but man, I am frustrated. I’m not happy. I’m sick and tired of Zoom calls. I can’t go see my customers. I’m trying to homeschool my kids and, at the same time, close deals and make things happen. People aren’t calling me back. Man, I feel frustrated every day. It’s like Groundhog Day. If I have to sit in on one more Zoom meeting, I’m going to pull out my hair.” And it’s become clear to me, over the past year and a half, salespeople are struggling mentally. And we know how important mental strength is, especially in sales—especially in sales.

And so, I wanted to create an exercise that will help salespeople build mental strength. Think about it. It’s common for people to work out, right? Many of you listeners, you work out every day or a few times a week. What if we spent the same amount of time building our mental strength as we do our physical strength? And so, I created what’s called the Daily Mental Flex. I’m going to go through the six exercises of the Daily Mental Flex.

The first exercise is a gratitude exercise. The goal here is to think of one thing, or a couple of things, whatever you want to do, think of one or two or three things that you are thankful for—things that you’re grateful for. And then, I want you to journal a half-page about those topics. And the reason we do this, we know that gratitude—gratitude will improve your health, it can lower your risk of heart disease, it keeps you happier. Gratitude is critical, especially when we’re going through tough times. And if you go through a tough day, you can reflect back on what you’re thankful for and it changes your whole perspective. So, every day you’ve got to think of something you’re grateful for and then journal about it.

Exercise two is continuous improvement. When we’re going through challenging times, progress is critical. So, you need to spend 15 minutes a day on some sort of continuous improvement activity. That means maybe improving your sales presentation. Maybe it’s working on your probing skills. Maybe it’s listening to a motivational podcast, reading a book, whatever it may be, you need to spend 15 minutes every single day to improve yourself in some way. And that could be physically as well. Maybe you spend a little more time working out, taking a walk, whatever it may be. But that’s exercise number two.

Exercise number three is discipline. Self-discipline is absolutely critical during tough times. Anytime you do something you don’t feel like doing, you become mentally stronger. So every single day, write down an activity that you don’t feel like completing, and then you complete it. Every time you do something you don’t feel like doing you gain a sense of pride. It’s going to help you move forward. And it’ll encourage you also to take on some other tasks maybe you don’t feel like. So that’s exercise number three.

Exercise number four is called pruning and planting. You need to prune negativity from your life. That might mean pruning negative thoughts from your own mind. And I share some examples and ways to do that on the website. It could mean pruning certain people from your life. During tough times, you can’t afford to surround yourself with negativity, so you’ve got to prune it from your life somehow. Think of a way to do that. And at the same time, you need to plant positivity. Plant positivity. That’s absolutely critical.

Exercise number five is what I call positive reframing. Throughout the day, negative things happen. They happen almost every single day. The key is to find the positive outcome from the negative event. For example, I took a phone call today from one of my clients. I’m going to be, well, I was going to be speaking at their live event this Fall. However, the event was cancelled. The event was cancelled because of the resurgence of the COVID or the Delta variant, whatever it may be. So, I had to think about that. Man, that’s a negative event. But you know what the positive outcome is? I was going to have to leave on Sunday afternoon to fly up there for this meeting. I hate leaving town on Sundays. I just do. I’ll do it, for my clients listening, I’ll do it. I promise. But I don’t necessarily like to do it. And the positive outcome from that meeting being cancelled is now I get to spend the Sunday afternoon with my family. That’s called positive reframing.

Exercise number six—the final exercise: reducing friction. Reducing friction is all about setting yourself up for tomorrow’s success today. We all have goals, right? We have a list of things we want to accomplish tomorrow. Ask yourself, ‘Okay, what can I do to help myself be more successful tomorrow?’ For example, let’s say tomorrow’s goal is to make 10 prospecting calls before lunchtime. What can you do to set yourself up so that that success is easier to achieve tomorrow? If it’s me, what I’m going to do is I’m going to print out that list of prospects that I’m going to reach out to. I’m going to have their contact information. I might even have a little background information on each one of these prospects so that when I’m ready, all I need to do is pick up the phone or fire up my inbox and send out those messages. The key is, you’re reducing the friction. You’re making tomorrow’s success easier too. Success does not have to be as hard as we make it. Reducing friction is about making it easier.

So those are the collection of six mental exercises that we call the Daily Mental Flex. Every day, you’ve got to complete that. Now there is one addition here. The Daily Mental Flex also has a weekly focus exercise. For example, right now, my weekly focus is Discipline. So, I’m going to spend a little extra time. Remember, I mentioned discipline, self-discipline: exercise number three. That’s about achieving that one thing you don’t feel doing. So, you list out two items when that is your weekly focus, two items that you have to take care of that you really don’t feel like taking care of. So that’s the weekly focus part of it. Now again, the Daily Mental Flex is going to be available for download at So check that out.

The other part of this exercise is completing the Tough Time Call Planning Guide for every single sales call. And this is where many of you will struggle. You have to complete the call planning guide for every single sales call. Our research shows that fewer than 10% of salespeople routinely plan every single call. That means, that means 90% of you, 90% of you listening to this podcast, will not be able to successfully complete this challenge. Now, I don’t say that to frustrate you. I say that to motivate you. Think about it. Throughout your entire career, how often has someone told you, “Well, you won’t be able to go after that prospect,” or “Don’t waste your time trying to call on them,” or “They’re never going to buy from us”?

Does that frustrate you or does it motivate you? When I talk to most salespeople, that’s what really drives them is when someone tells you that you can’t do something. So in that vein, I know that many of you are going to struggle and not be able to complete this challenge. Walter Bagehot said that the greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you can’t do. Prove me wrong and complete this 30-day challenge. Now, the call planning template—it’s a collection of 10 questions, 10 questions that you can download on the website. So again, all of this information is going to be there for you.

As we kick this off. So, I’m kicking it off today, which means by the time you listen to this podcast, you know, I probably will be three to four days in on the 30-day Tough-Timer Challenge. I’m going to be doing this for 30 days—30 days, and I’m going to record my progress, and I’m going to do that via video on LinkedIn, mainly. So, connect with me on LinkedIn. I’m going to have a link to my profile so you can follow me if you’d like. And for 30 days, every single day, even on the weekends, I’m going to complete this challenge. And speaking of completing it on the weekend, some of you out there make sales calls on the weekends, so make sure you plan your calls on the weekend also. Make sure you complete the Daily Mental Flex, even on Saturday, even on Sunday. And what I would encourage you to do is rather than take a business approach on the six mental exercises, take a personal approach.

For example, continuous improvement. Ask yourself, ‘Okay, what can I do to be a better husband or wife or father or brother or sister or cousin or a better friend?’ And that could be your continuous-improvement idea. Pick one thing to become a better friend, a better person. Maybe it’s reaching out to a friend that you haven’t talked to in maybe a couple months, or whatever. So, make sure your continuous improvement team piece takes a personal tone. When it comes to self-discipline, I know for me, one thing that I could do this weekend is pull some weeds. I don’t want to do that. I hate pulling weeds. It sucks. But you know what, maybe I do that. That’s the personal piece I’m talking about. So, you do need to complete this on the weekends as well for it to count.

I’m going to be doing this every single day. I’m going to post a video on LinkedIn, Twitter as well, Facebook also, just so you can track the progress of it. And here’s the key, at the end of 30 days, at the end of 30 days, you get a certificate. The certificate of completion is available on the Tough-Timer Challenge page on the website.

I encourage you guys to join me on this journey. I know that these times are challenging. We’re not out of the woods yet. As I was talking to a sales leader today, it feels like we’re on a, you know, a 14-hour road trip, and we’re like 15 minutes out. Then, all of a sudden, we hit a two-hour traffic jam. And so, we’re in that two-hour traffic jam right now. We’re not through the woods yet, but I know that mental strength is going to be absolutely critical. When you complete this 30 day challenge, you are going to be happier, you’re going to be more successful, and you’re going to be mentally stronger. Take this challenge.

A couple of final thoughts. As you begin this 30-day Tough-Timer Challenge, I would encourage you to recruit a couple of your sales colleagues to join you. If you’ve got two or three of your sales colleagues that are struggling, that are facing challenges, encourage them to join you on this Tough-Timer Challenge. Not only that, if you’re a sales leader listening to the podcast, challenge your sales team to go through this process. What a great way to build comradery.

Now, also, as you go through this 30-day challenge, share it with people. Share it on all of your social-media channels. Use the hashtag, toughtimer. Use that, #toughtimer. That will be a great way to follow your progress. And not only that, once you complete the 30-day challenge or when you get close to completing that 30-day challenge, nominate some of your colleagues to go through it. Imagine that. If you’re at the end of your 30-day challenge period, you’ve seen the success; you’ve witnessed how it can change your life. Nominate one of your colleagues or one of your friends that is in sales so that they can experience the same benefits you have.

Alright folks. That’s the show for today. Thanks for tuning in. Make sure you visit the website. On there, you’re going to have all the content you need to get started.

Make it a big day.

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