# The Math of the Alphabet

I saw the math of the alphabet 10 years ago and stumbled across it again recently. It goes like this:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

is represented as:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

with

• H-A-R-D-W-O-R-K
8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%

and

• K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E
11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%

while

• A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E
1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%

plus

• D-I-S-C-I-P-L-I-N-E
4+9+19+3+9+16+12+9+14+5=100%

This math of the alphabet makes a silly seeming but valid case for attitude & discipline above hard work or knowledge.

### H-A-R-D-W-O-R-K

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve already talked about effort and action with you in the past. I’m not saying that hard work isn’t important… rather there are a couple of things that are just a little more important to add in.

### K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E

Too often we are sucked into believing that unless we KNOW everything about the 3 Ps of selling we can’t be successful: Product – Prospect – Process.

I have to say that although expertise is critical long term, lack of expertise isn’t a reason NOT to start!

You’ll be amazed at how forgiving even the busiest people will be as long as you remember the following rules (I’d call them laws but we aren’t talking about gravity):

Know what you know & what you don’t
NEVER pretend you know something you don’t
Always find out the answer & get back to the prospect

Easy enough right? Then why in sales do many people not want to make a sales call until they know absolutely everything about it all?

It may be fear of failure or even a huge discomfort about not knowing everything (especially when at their last job they did know absolutely everything), sometimes it is merely an excuse to not do anything.

Today – take a moment and figure out what your reason is that without doing something, you’ll never learn what you need to know to develop expertise.

### A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E

As for attitude, I always fall back on Charles Swindoll who said it better than I ever could:

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.

Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.
It is more important than the past,
than education,
than money,
than circumstances,
than failures,
than successes,
than what other people think or say or do.

It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.
We cannot change our past…
We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.
We cannot change the inevitable.

The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes.

### D-I-S-C-I-P-L-I-N-E

Interestingly, I’d put discipline in the same category as work ethic; something hard to determine if someone else has – but you can see the results.

“Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates.
There’s plenty of movement,
but you never know if it’s going to be forward, backwards, or sideways.”

~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Discipline is not only having a sense of purpose (although that is the first part of it). It is combining knowing where you’re going with making sure all of your activity and effort moves you in that direction.

Here is the fun thing about alphabet math, that is what it is FUN (and someone with more time on their hands than I can imagine to figure it all out).

Hard work, knowledge, attitude, and discipline are all critical to inside sales success!

Successfully yours,
Lynn