One of my favorite quotes of all time:
" Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first" - Mark Twain.
Spoken with his customary practicality and economy of words.
How do you feel when you read that statement? Whether you agree or disagree with what he said, it's true, in my opinion. The world does not owe me a thing. If anything, I owe the world. It's my moral responsibility to be a productive and creative member of the human race. It's not the world's responsibility to give me a job. It's my job to find a job, and if not, create one.
Think that it's tough today? Try living in the plains states in the midst of the Great Depression. That was tough enough. But to then have the great dust storms roll across the plains and blow away your livelihood and everything else that you owned and had worked for, that's a double whammy. Millions of acres of farmland became useless, and hundreds of thousands of people were forced to leave their homes; many of these families traveled to California and other states, where they found economic conditions little better than those they had left. Owning no land, many traveled from farm to farm picking fruit and other crops at starvation wages. Think you've got it bad?
Those of us born after World War II had it so good for so long we didn't fully appreciate how good it was. With the exception of the early 80's, things were rolling along quite nicely, thank you. We've never had struggle and suffer like those generations before us. We had it so easy, too easy for far too long. Which is why people of my generation sometimes have a hard time with hard times. Guess what? That's life. When I was born, the doctor didn't slap me on the behind and then whisper in my ear that "life is fair." He slapped me on my rear and then laid me down on a cold steel table and said, " You're on your own, boy ". I wasn't happy. After all, I had been living in the best womb in the house for 9 months. Toasty warm, never hungry, always cozy.
My parents clearly remembered the struggle and hard times of World War II. The blackouts, the rationing, etc. My grandparents were all too familiar with the desperation of the Great Depression. And my generations difficulty in handling and succeeding in today's world is a direct result of our parents and grandparents desire for us to never have to struggle as they did. Problem is, struggle is what builds character and faith. While it may be very noble in concept, the coddling did not adequately prepare us for times like we are currently living. But is it their fault? No!
At some point in your life, you have to figure out that life is not always fair. That the world does not revolve around you. I figured it out at a very young age, at 14 when I was not so politely asked to leave my place of residence. I might add that my parents were totally correct in doing so. But that's another story.
When you see someone on a corner asking for money, what do you feel? Do you feel compassion? Or do you think to yourself that this person is a lazy bum and should get a job? If you think the latter, I feel sorry for you. By the way, how is your job search going? You mean with all your talent and education, you're not getting any offers? You see, we are all just one bad break away from standing on a corner ourselves. And if you truly don't believe that, you're probably are going to have to pay some dues somewhere down the road. It's called humility. We're seeing people on the street who never in their wildest nightmares thought it could happen to them. Be careful about judging others, lest you be judged.
These are extraordinary times. And extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. If your chosen career path is not working out for you, it might be time to look at other options. I am extremely fortunate and blessed in that I have been in direct / professional sales for 20+ years. And the only times that I have ever been unemployed are the times that I chose to be. For 15 years I lived in the Caribbean. And believe me I chose to be unemployed more often than I care to admit. I mean really, work or beach? Easy choice, for me anyway. And my goal now is to back to the Caribbean. And I will, within 24 months. And the reason that I was able to enjoy that type of lifestyle then, and will live again is because one day, many years ago, I made a decision. A decision to get out out of my comfort zone and try sales. Was it hard in the beginning? Yes. Was it frustrating at times? Without a doubt. Am I glad I didn't quit, that I stuck it out and figured it out? Absolutely!
So much of sales has to do with attitude. Unfortunately, the sales profession has gotten such a bad rap that many professionals have a preconceived notion of what a sales career is all about. The image of a gold encrusted dude wearing enough cheap cologne that you can smell him a half a block away comes to mind to many. And it's a shame, because many professionals in other fields have already developed the necessary skill sets that would allow them to be very successful at sales. And of course, many people think that to be successful at sales, one has to be pushy, high pressure and soulless. And that could not be farther from the truth.
The problem with traditional sales practices is that all parties to a transaction are put on the defensive, right from the get go. And this is why objections are created. What if there was a sales process that eliminated the tension, rejection and objections that arise in a traditional sales process? Would you consider a career in sales if that were the case? Well, there is such a sales process. It's called natural selling and it's what we teach to all of our associates. ( I didn't invent it, I just teach it. ) It has allowed many people, from many different backgrounds to experience tremendous success in sales. It is a dialogue based selling and it is highly effective. It does have one caveat however. You must learn to remove yourself from the outcome of the process ( creating a sale ) and first determine if there is a sale to be made. In other words, if you determine that what you're selling does not fill a legitimate need for someone, you have be ready to say thank you, and walk away. Just the opposite of what has always been taught in traditional sales training. This is quite obviously the short version.
Do yourself, and the economy a favor and give a career in sales a shot. If you get with the right organization that trains you in the above techniques, and you learn them thoroughly, your life can change forever. And I'll see you in the Caribbean.
To your success.