“A good night’s sleep!” With Parveen Panwar, Mr. Activated & Edwin Rubio

A good night’s sleep! Studies have actually linked lack of sleep to the onset of early Alzheimer’s which is a testament in itself of the power of a good night’s sleep. Similarly to exercise, sleep is directly linked to your physical health and can drastically influence your overall performance. If sleep is something that you […]

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A good night’s sleep! Studies have actually linked lack of sleep to the onset of early Alzheimer’s which is a testament in itself of the power of a good night’s sleep. Similarly to exercise, sleep is directly linked to your physical health and can drastically influence your overall performance. If sleep is something that you struggle to create a healthy habit around, I strongly recommend visiting a sleep specialist or exploring hypnotherapy to help improve this aspect of your well-being.

As a part of our series about “Optimal Performance Before High Pressure Moments”, I had the pleasure of interviewingEdwin Rubio.

Edwin Rubio is the VP of Sales at Vapor Empire, a Los Angeles based E-Cigarette retailer. As VP of Sales, Edwin oversees both wholesale and consumer accounts, managing high-revenue driving accounts. He has a B.A. in Business Administration from California State University, Fullerton with experience in marketing and small business management. Sales is unarguably, one of the most challenging and high-stress industries or departments that you can work for. As the VP of Sales for Vapor Empire, finding ways to manage stress and prepare for high-pressure moments is something that is always front of mind for Edwin.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

From a young age, I’ve always loved engaging in persuasive conversations and debates with anyone who was willing to listen. Part of what I’ve always enjoyed about these types of conversations is the ability to participate in dialogue that can help expand your ideas and open your world to new things. As such, I knew early on in my childhood that I wanted to pursue a career that would allow me to leverage this passion in some capacity. I’m also from a big family and having a strong voice and being able to stand up for yourself was a necessity for holding your ground. As a result, I developed a strong personality and a passion in my beliefs and ideologies early on. While I am firm and passionate in my beliefs, I also come from a very diverse background, so I’ve always been open to new ideas and hearing the opinions of others. I think these experiences have influenced my journey and led me to where I am today as the VP of Sales at Vapor Empire.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career as an entrepreneur or business leader? We’d love to hear the story.

I was introduced to Tony Robbins in my teenage years when I read his book, “Awaken the Giant Within”. Tony Robbins is known as one of the greatest salespeople and inspirational speakers that our generation has ever known. His books, seminars and motivational speeches helped me to reach for the stars and work relentlessly towards my dreams. Tony Robbins has faced unique challenges in his own life that helped me to overcome some of the roadblocks and hurdles that I’ve faced. Being in sales requires a level of self-belief that can be difficult to maintain. Sales requires you to go through repeated rejection and to be successful, you cannot be discouraged or disheartened by these disappointments. Tony Robbins says, “The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships”, which is why one of my biggest beliefs as a salesperson is to build meaningful and lasting relationships.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

My father is my greatest inspiration and the person who my success is attributed to. My father has made many sacrifices over the years for his family’s happiness and well-being. From working long hours, to continuing education to move up in his career, he has never let anything hold him back. Growing up, my dad found ways to not only provide for his family but was always looking for ways to give back to our community as well. I often saw the appreciation from the people my father gave back to and that is part of what inspired me to develop meaningful connections with others. Whether he is providing someone with a suit to wear to an interview, buying someone a meal, or lending a hand through manual labor, he is always willing to help.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

As the VP of Sales, I have trained countless Sales Reps. Being a trainer comes with lots of learning lessons. To be a good trainer you have to be willing to take feedback from your team and learn from your mistakes. At one point, we implemented an anonymous survey as part of our training program. This was a great opportunity for me to improve on our training program and my skills as a trainer. One area of consistent feedback that we received was around industry jargon and relevant knowledge. This feedback has made me realize that the further along you are in your career, the more you tend to forget what it’s like to just be starting out. This can create challenges during the training process. Try to remember what it was like when you first started and take the time to really craft and develop the employees you train. If you do, there’s a good chance they’ll view you as a lifelong mentor and will gratefully attribute their wins towards you and the time you’ve invested in them.

The road to success is hard and requires tremendous dedication. This question is obviously a big one, but what advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Of course, it’s important to understand when you are dealing with important or serious situations and to handle all things professionally but remember that you are a human and will inevitably make mistakes along your journey. Being a perfectionist and beating yourself up over every mistake, will take away from the chances you have to learn from these lessons. Most people are their own worst critic and getting in your head and obsessing over something that already happened is a good way to psych yourself out and perpetuate failure. So much of being a great salesperson comes down to your mentality. If you take yourself too seriously and can’t let go of your mistakes, it will be hard to keep your head in the game and maintain focus. Not only that, but you’ll have more fun if you can laugh at yourself and keep a positive attitude.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

As I mentioned, “Awaken the Giant Within” is a super powerful and inspiring book but there are a number of great books that have influenced me on my journey. “The Greatest Salesman in the World” is the book that has influenced me the most when it comes to my career. I read this book at a time in my life when I was questioning whether or not I had made the right choice in pursuing a career in sales and I was struggling to figure out what the right path was for me. When I was introduced to this book, it reaffirmed all the reasons that I choose a career in sales and lit a fire of motivation under me. Since reading that book, I’ve stopped allowing doubt to creep in and have committed myself wholeheartedly to being in sales. The story obviously paid off as I am now thriving in my role as VP of Sales.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

“Why not make cheerfulness, outrageousness, playfulness a new priority for yourself? Make feeling good your expectation. You don’t have to have a reason to feel good — you’re alive; you can feel good for no reason at all!” — Tony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within

This is a quote from Tony Robbins book “Awaken the Giant Within”. I love this quote because it reinforces my belief of not taking yourself too seriously and reminds me of why we each deserve happiness and greatness.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I am currently working to develop myself as a thought leader in the sales space by sharing my experience and the lessons I’ve learned. I am working to establish myself as a thought leader by volunteering with mentoring programs, such as Friends for Youth. I am also working to create content on a number of different platforms so that I can share my stories and connect with members of my community. Through these efforts, I hope to inspire others and form meaningful relationships. I hope that through these meaningful relationships, I am able to support budding sales professionals as they navigate their new career.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. As a business leader, you likely often face high stakes situations that involve a lot of pressure. Most of us tend to wither in the face of such pressure and stress. Can you share with our readers 3 or 4 strategies that you use to cope with the burden of stress?

Stress is an inevitable caveat that comes with a sales career. I learned this early on in my career and this is one of the aspects of the job that made me question if I was ready to commit 110%. I also realized that for me to be successful in sales, I would be required to commit 110% and that would mean learning to manage my stress.

One of the main ways that I work to manage stress is through breathing exercises. I utilize an application called Breathwrk to help me develop and maintain this habit. Breathwrk allows you to create a schedule of daily breathing exercises, with different types of breathing exercises throughout your day to implement what works best for you. Creating a schedule will also prompt you with reminders before an upcoming breathing exercises is scheduled. I utilize this application on a daily basis as a way to improve my focus and manage my stress but can also be used right before or after a particularly stressful situation.

Not taking yourself too seriously and allowing a certain level of playfulness into your job is another great tool that I use to manage my stress. I have a few quotes that I keep at my desk that help to remind me to maintain this mindset. I try to change the quotes out every few weeks so that I have new reminders and so that the quotes continue to hold significant meaning for me.

Even with practicing the above, sometimes at the end of a long, tough day the only thing that will really help to clear my head and de-stress is a nice long run.

Aside from being able to deal with the burden of stress, can you share with our readers 3 or 4 strategies that you use to optimize your mind for peak performance before high pressure, high stress situations?

Prioritizing my physical health is one of the best strategies I implement to keep my mind at peak performance for the inevitably stressful situations I have to deal with. Through exercise and a consistent diet, I make sure to keep myself feeling physically healthy to aide in my overall mental well-being. It’s truly amazing how much of an impact your physical health can have on your mental performance. If you don’t believe me, give it a try, and see for yourself. For me personally, I just feel like everything starts to align when I prioritize my health.

A good night’s sleep! Studies have actually linked lack of sleep to the onset of early Alzheimer’s which is a testament in itself of the power of a good night’s sleep. Similarly to exercise, sleep is directly linked to your physical health and can drastically influence your overall performance. If sleep is something that you struggle to create a healthy habit around, I strongly recommend visiting a sleep specialist or exploring hypnotherapy to help improve this aspect of your well-being.

This one is a little silly but if I have a high pressure, high stress situation coming up, I always feel better after watching a few funny or light hearted videos. This is an easy way to improve your overall mood and helps to reinforce one of my driving principals of not taking yourself too seriously.

Do you use any special or particular breathing techniques, meditations or visualizations to help optimize yourself? If you do, we’d love to hear about it.

In terms of visualization, Tony Robbins as well as many other inspirational speakers have a number of great videos available online. These videos can really help to motivate and inspire and can easily be played in the background while getting ready in the morning.

I also like to practice what is known as power poses. Power poses are a non-verbal communication tool that can be used to express confidence, assertiveness, and feelings of hopefulness. These poses can be practiced in the privacy of your home and the feelings these poses generate will be carried with you throughout your day. These power poses can also be utilized during important meetings or presentations to non-verbally communicate positive feelings.

Do you have a special technique to develop a strong focus, and clear away distractions?

As a high-energy person, meditation is always something that I’ve struggled with. As such, I’ve found that active meditation is a great solution for me. Active meditation is a type of meditation that can be practiced while walking. The primary focus of this technique is to keep your mind clear of any thoughts aside from what you are experiencing through your five senses. This helps to quiet the mind without necessarily having to sit still. Focusing on your senses not only helps to bring clarity but provides a sense of calm and for me personally, has helped to increase my sense of gratitude which I feel has improved my overall happiness and success.

We all know the importance of good habits. How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?

Good habits have truly been the building blocks of my success. Consistency is the key to maintaining performance and actualizing success and good habits have played a huge role into helping me maintain consistency. Good habits tend to work in synchronicity with each other. Once you’ve established one good habit, it’s easier to start building other good habits. Reading regularly, physical exercise, a healthy diet, breathing exercises, active meditation, power poses and maintaining a regular sleep schedule are all habits that have aided me along my journey to success.

What is the best way to develop great habits for optimal performance? How can one stop bad habits?

Unfortunately for many people, the fallout or consequences of bad habits often has to become more uncomfortable than building good habits for many to begin implementing changes. Hitting rock bottom may be the only thing that will inspire action for some. With that said, what helped me break out of my bad habits was frequently visualizing what the success I yearned for would look and feel like. The more often I visualized how that success would make me feel, the less and less I thought it was unrealistic or unattainable. Once you’ve wholly committed yourself to building good habits, start by picking the good habit that you think will be easiest for you to maintain. Wake up each day and recommit yourself to practicing that good habit, for just one day. If you focus on practicing the good habit for just one day, you’ll feel less overwhelmed by the overall change you are working towards. Recommit yourself to that habit every day for 30 days and then pick a good new habit that you will focus on implementing for the next 30 days. This should make creating good habits feel more manageable.

As a business leader, you likely experience times when you are in a state of Flow. Flow has been described as a pleasurable mental state that occurs when you do something that you are skilled at, that is challenging, and that is meaningful. Can you share some ideas from your experience about how we can achieve a state of Flow more often in our lives?

Embrace failure. Flip your mindset so that you start viewing failure as a stepping stone to getting to where you want to be. Most of what interrupts a state of Flow is getting hung up on a misstep, mistake, or failure. By learning to embrace failure, mistakes will be less disruptive to your state of Flow. Additionally, by embracing your failures, you’ll improve your mental state, feel less discouraged and will likely achieve your goals faster.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

Do one good thing for someone else every day. Can you imagine how much good karma and kindness we could all spread if we all made a point to do one small, good thing for someone else each day? Pretty powerful stuff.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

Based on my answers so far, you might be able to guess who I would pick but I would have to say Tony Robbins. He’s been a great inspiration to me, and I would love to be able to share my beliefs about success with him and see if he has any personalized feedback for me based on my unique experiences and journey towards success.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Continue to keep an eye out for my upcoming thought leadership efforts and follow us on Instagram for more updates!

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

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