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Selling Furniture & Mattresses – 7 Secrets to Winning from a Gold Medal Winner!

I love watching the Olympic highlights at the end of the day. The intensity these athletes display is awe inspiring. It keeps me wondering, “What is the secret of their success?” How much would our sales increase if we approached our sales with the same intensity that an Olympic athlete approaches their sport.  Chances are we would be even more successful than we already are.

I was lucky enough growing up to have a good example right in front of me. Jeff Blatnick was a senior when I was a freshman in high school. Many years later he went on to win an Olympic Gold Medal in Greco-Roman Wrestling in 1984. Here are some observations that I made about Jeff before he won the Gold! Here are Jeff’s 7 Secrets to winning.

1. Commitment

Jeff was committed to be the best. He wrestled all summer every summer. The only time he didn’t wrestle was when he was playing football. He was focused on succeeding in wrestling.

2. Passion

Jeff loved to wrestle because he enjoyed some initial success with it after he was cut from the basketball team. He enjoyed the positive attention he received from winning in wrestling and he wanted more. His focus became more and more intense until he burned with a passion to win.

3. Discipline

Jeff decided that he was willing to pay the price. He went to wrestling camps just to challenge himself there with the best wrestlers. He was always climbing ropes to make himself stronger. And he was a heavyweight!

So what if he didn’t have the money for a matt?  He wrestled on his lawn instead. Anyone who has ever made an excuse really needs to study Jeff. He wasn’t interested in excuses. His only desire was to win. And nothing was going to stand in his way.

4. Persistence

Even Olympic athletes have to overcome set backs. His first set back was when President Carter withdrew from the 1980 Olympic Games. Through no fault of his own he could not compete.

During his preparation for the 1984 Olympics he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1982. His spleen and appendix had to be removed as part of his treatment. After he completed his radiation therapy he once again made the Olympic team.

5. Enthusiasm

Jeff’s enthusiasm was more than just passion. It was highly charged and positive passion. The literal translation of enthusiasm from the Greek is “The spirit of God within.” He did not practice. He practiced enthusiastically! He loved wrestling and it showed in everything he did.

6. Teamwork

Yes, wrestling is a team sport! Jeff did not limit himself to wrestling just locals. He found the best wrestlers to practice with. If no wrestlers were around he would settle for football players. And yes I against my will had to try to wrestle Jeff to my dismay!

7. Celebrate

“I am a happy dude” was all Jeff could utter when he won the gold. A lifetime of dedication and sacrifice culminated in winning the Gold Medal. He was so happy when he won that he cried. I did too! I was so proud of him for never giving up when he had every reason and excuse to do so. No one would have blamed him if he threw in the towel after he was diagnosed with cancer. He didn’t, he persevered, and he won! We all should celebrate our achievements. And then get back to work!

Action Step

Jeff had fun while he strived for his goal. He was full of joy even though he was working hard to make his dreams come true. While on your journey make sure you have fun! The Olympics are full of great lessons if we are willing to learn. What did I miss? Please share your wisdom with us! Your feedback is critical to this blog’s success. Please post your comments and questions. I answer them all. Please visit and Like us! Our Facebook  page has the latest breaking news in the industry as well as product information, inspiring videos, motivational quotes, and selling tips!

Please email me any ideas for articles that you want me to write. Have you written an article on sales, goal setting, or time management? I’ll be glad to publish them in my ezine and on my website! Please email them to me at

Wishing You Success,


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Comments (15)

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  1. Allen Landau says:

    This was great. Keep them comming.

  2. Douglas says:

    Great article Pete! Very inspiring.

  3. Marina Klima says:

    Each person has his or her Olympic medal to win. I think that in this economy to see people striving and being motivated is already an achievement. You don”t have to be a famous athlete to get victory over your own insecurity and doubt, In fact selling mattesses could be just as heroic as winning the Gold. After all you have to get up every day, kick yourself in the butt and perform no matter what. You are sort of performer every day. There are no reporters and cameras but you still make a difference every day helping people make the right decisions about their choices and about their health. You know that rest and good night sleep is everything. So you are making a difference in your own way.

  4. Bob Vari says:

    “VARI ” interesting article..I have always said it simply comes down to– ONE’S ATTITUDE AND EFFORT !!

    • Pete says:

      Thank you “VARI” much Bob! I knew a hall of fame athlete such as yourself would appreciate Jeff’s story.

  5. Brian C. Pancost says:

    Very inspirational. Sales require a dedication to be the best.

  6. Jonathan DiPrinzio says:


    Jeff probably had a understanding of what his strengths and weakness were and also his opponents strengths and weakness. He probably planned his strategy along with worst case scenario’s. And then he trained on the fundamentals of his sport. He had to be so prepared that he didn’t even think about what his next move was. When the contest starts everything happens so fast, your reaction is what you did in training. He probably watched his diet, rested his body and mind properly, and did not miss any details. He took every measure in order to be ready to wrestle. Don’t skip steps. There is no elevator to the top.

    Pete you can edit this, (please) I was in a hurry. Great article. I love it.

    • Pete says:

      There is no need to edit this. You are so right! We all need to execute our fundamentals in order to enjoy maximum success! Thank You so much for your comments!


  7. Vickie McCarroll says:

    Great article! As you have mentioned many times – also remember to take breaks from time to time. When you do – it will make you want to come back for more success!

    Thanks Pete!

  8. […] learned a lot from Jeff and wrote about it in this article I have now learned my last lesson from Jeff. Something that I already knew but with Jeff’s […]

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