This past weekend I spent Saturday and Sunday meeting with clients in Philadelphia. That’s about four hours away from where I live in Pittsburgh. Along with writing books, blogs, hosting podcasts, and advising college students, I also work in sales. Life insurance actually.
It’s something I love to do because of the leadership in the company and the people I have opportunity to associate with. Also, the money doesn’t suck. The flexibility in schedule and travel is a plus and something that congeals well with my lifestyle. I have a good time meeting new people and hearing their stories. Sometimes I forget why I’m even there because I get lost in connection.
I had never worked in sales prior to meeting this organization and I wasn’t very good at it my first year. Actually, I sucked. I sucked so bad.
When I moved back from California, I had 64 cents to my name and a broken heart. (I wrote more detail about that experience in these blogs: “That Was A Mistake”, “An Apartment Floor In California“, and “The Lighthouse Conclusion.”)
Being broke all around makes it hard to begin a new profession. Especially one that requires you to step outside of your comfort zone almost daily. Being broke all around makes it hard to step out of bed let alone into the realm of volunteered discomfort. After a year of healing, making very little money, but staying connected with good people, I finally came through the fog.
I sucked for so long that I almost forgot how good I am at connecting, writing, speaking and even selling. I might have begun to lose the vision of seeing myself as being good at these things, but the people around me never did. What an important lesson that’s been. Walking through our darkness should never be done alone or it will swallow us up entirely. We’ll believe the darkened lies delivered to us by the darkness.
I had such minimal success in my first year of selling that I began to wonder if I could ever be successful at ANY of the things I enjoyed doing. Thankfully that time of lack is only there to grow your character and your person. It’s not a diagnosis of what the future will hold. If anything, in regard to the future, tough times only show how bright it will actually be as defined by how dim it currently is. So, if it’s really dark right now, you have a lot to look forward to because your bright tomorrow is a perfect inverse parallel to your current cloudy today.
You just have to endure and let what must be grown to grow.
After more than a year of walking through hell and not exactly being the top sales person within my organization, I’ll say this; I travelled four hours away to meet with clients this weekend and my bank account is not in the negative. Actually, my bank account has grown a little.