039 – Bottom Line: It’s Not Failure Until You Quit | Keenan

039 – Bottom Line: It’s Not Failure Until You Quit | Keenan

At face value, most people would assume Keenan (@keenan) doesn’t know a thing about insecurity. Or failure, for that matter.

Certainly the CEO and self-proclaimed chief antagonist of the A Sales Guy (@asalesguy) empire doesn’t know what it’s like to fail. Not with thousands of fans and almost 16,000 followers on Twitter alone.

Yet he will be the first to tell you his failures have led him to exactly where he is in life. And for that he is thankful. Because in some way, shape or form, Keenan has been selling something to someone his entire life and has been teaching and coaching almost as long.

With more than 20 years of sales experience, which he’ll tell you he doesn’t give a shit about, Keenan has been influencing, learning from and shaping the world of sales for a long time. He’s even wrote a book about it, Not Taught: What It Takes to be Successful in the 21st Century that Nobody’s Teaching You.

He calls it like he sees it and lets nothing or no one go unnoticed. He’s sold everything from IT consulting services to chamber memberships, and even has some experience modeling for Tommy Hilfiger and Coca-Cola back in the day.

And he’s failed. A lot. He graduated at the bottom of his high school class. He didn’t apply himself as an athlete. He failed in three different business. He went from being loaded to broke to loaded to broke at least three times.

According to Keenan, he has failed in just about every aspect of life (except as a father, he refuses to fail there), but he will also be the first to say it’s all worth it.

All of it has led him to where he is today, a proud father of three and CEO of A Sales Guy, a sales consulting and recruiting firm that’s been recognized by the likes of Forbes, Entrepreneur and Inc.

Why? Because failure, when you do it right, is the one thing you can actually take more from when you leave than when you came in.


  1. It’s Not About Learning: It’s about applying what you love and who you are to what you do. While you need to understand your product, It’s more important to know how to sell than it is to know all the technical features and benefits of your offering. Comparing sales to fitness… you can educate yourself all you want about what it takes to get a perfect six pack, but none of that matters until you start applying that knowledge. Application and execution are the most important part of the puzzle.
  2. Be You: It’s okay to be inspired by successful salespeople, that likely why so many people listen to this show, but at the end of the day, you have be you. Everyone is different and what works for one person might not have the same impact on someone else. Whatever gives you energy, whatever makes you passionate, whatever gets you going in the morning – use that to build the YOU that you want to be. You have the power to make the choices that will empower you in the long run, so choose to be you from the start and you won’t let yourself down.
  3. Compete With Yourself First: Success in sales comes from a burning desire to be the best. That doesn’t by default mean you have to aggressively beat other people, it just means that you are uncomfortable staying where you are. As a result, you put in the work it takes to push yourself in order to move, grow and advance. That has to come from within or nothing is going to change.

Book Recommendation


  • Costello – What if every sales rep inherited the habits of your best rep? With Costello, they do.

Subscribe to SalesTuners