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Put Two Feet In…

31 July 2010 7,704 views One Comment

Photo by Flickr User klorrainegraham

I’ve officially worked my first “real” job for 4 weeks now. It hasn’t been the smoothest of rides so far (I’ll explain later). Oh yeah, and did I mention that the pay is commission only as well? The fact that it’s commission only doesn’t bother me. In fact, the job itself is challenging, fun, and discouraging all at the same time. So why the hell would I ever graduate from a respected four year university with my Bachelor’s just to begin my “real life” journey at an entry-level sales job that’s performance based and on commission? Good question.

So, where to begin. These last four weeks have been exhausting. I’ve been working literally 12 hour days with my sales job. To top that off I haven’t had a day off from work because I spend my weekends working at a restaurant in Fashion Island in Newport Beach. Now you’re saying to yourself, “man Gregg must be making some big bucks.” Not yet. I’m still working on that part. I’m doing alright, but not performing at the level I know I can perform at. It’s rough though, I just want some time to myself and to be able to have the freedom to do the things that make me happy. I just don’t understand how people manage to work their whole lives. How they’re content with mediocrity and with the same rituals and habits everyday living paycheck to paycheck. I want more in my life and am willing to sacrifice anything to get to where I want to be.

I mentioned that the job is challenging, fun, and discouraging and I mean it in every sense possible. It’s challenging because I’ve never done entry-level sales business-to-business or business-to-residential. I’m not going to lie, I’m a shitty sales person and I know that I have a lot of ground to make up if I ever want to be a top dog high rolling the office every week. It was a reality check when I saw my name at the bottom of the production list last week. I never want to see my name at the bottom again and I never want to feel the punch in the gut I felt when I saw my name at the bottom. It was like, damn this is embarrassing I don’t want to experience this feeling of shame ever. I’ve always been good at anything I do…but I’ve never been great. So now I’m challenging myself to be great at what I do (sales for the time being).

I was fortunate enough to have the chance to listen to a bronze medalist speak at my office earlier this week. His name was Simon Cho. This kid is 18 years old. He grew up on skates since he was 3 years old and it’s the only thing he knows. I was able to take a lot away from the things he said, which I hope to apply to my life in general. First of all, Olympians are the top 1% of athletes IN THE WORLD. You don’t become an Olympian by half-assing it all the time when you’re training. You must have the willingness to sacrifice everything else. Like I said, you can’t half ass something and expect to be great. For Simon, he put 100% of his time into skating. This made him better than his fellow peers because they were putting 50% towards skating and the other 50% towards their studies in school. You must have the diligence and consistency to keep at it. It takes someone special to keep doing something for 10 years and not giving up. To stay motivated you must be able to answer the question why you’re doing it. Simon, for the longest time, was doing it for his father. He saw how much time his father sacrificed for Simon’s career to get him where he is today. Simon finally began skating for himself and not his father. We have to be doing something that we want to and not because someone else wants us to. You must have the support and atmosphere to act as a backbone when you truly just want to call it quits because you don’t think you can take it anymore. Athletes mentally quit all the time and lose track of their vision and don’t see the future. When Simon wanted to quit and didn’t think he could make the Olympic team. He was having a bad season so he called his Dad and said “get me out of here,” and his Dad said that he believed in him. He was right. We all go through struggles and have to overcome those struggles. Quitting cannot be an option. We must be quitters at quitting. When standing on the podium Simon said that is was like a piece of Utopia. He had flashbacks of all the hardships he overcame to get to that point. It was the journey that got him there that’s been the most valuable.

Now that I got through that I wanted to bring up the fact that you should ALWAYS have a student mentality when it comes to any endeavor you take on personally and professionally. Knowledge is priceless and I’ve realized that I can learn something new every day as long as I apply myself and am willing to grow as a person mentally, physically, and emotionally.

I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.
-Socrates

My job is also fun. I get to surround myself with a bunch of young, like minded individuals who want more out of life than to settle for average. I’ve never been in an atmosphere with so many young go getters who are also there to support each other every day while at the office and in the field. It truly amazes me how much of a family everyone is outside of work as well.

Lastly, working in general is discouraging, but sales has made me feel quite discouraged at times. I’ve learned that I must keep my head held high and a positive attitude. Not to let the little things get to me and know that there’s always tomorrow. It’s discouraging when you come home from a long days work and didn’t close an account. “Fuck, I just worked a 10+ hour day for absolutely nothing.” There’s nights I’m driving home constantly asking myself “what the fuck did I get myself into” or “why the hell am I putting myself through this/doing this when I could work a shitty job for a wage that’s less demanding and requires less energy.” Yup, that’s what goes through my mind. Then I take a step back and realize that I need to take a deep breath and focus on how and what I need to improve.

Overall, the experience has been great. Having experienced first hand entry-level sales has allowed me to develop a skill set I can take with me anywhere I go for the rest of my life. Sales is a great vehicle to develop a strong root system and grow from that point on. At first I was worried about the performance based commission only structure, but have become fond of the whole structure. This is because at a job that pays a wage the employer pays his employee just enough so he doesn’t quit. The employee works just hard enough not to get fired. With a commission only structure I have to work my ass off to get paid. I have to be willing to learn and stay motivated in order to succeed out in the field. It lights a fire under my ass because if I slack off I won’t close any accounts and if I don’t close any accounts the bills don’t get paid.

What I wanted to get at is that in whatever you pursue you must be willing to put two feet in. You’ll never reach your true potential if you never dedicate 100% of your efforts towards whatever it is you want to excel at. That’s why my short-term goal is to close enough accounts in during the week (8 accounts) so I can generate a steady income every week high enough to quit my job at the restaurant. This is so I can work my sales job Monday through Saturday with nothing else on my mind and have one day (Sunday) to relax, reflect, and gather my thoughts for the upcoming week.

And no, I wouldn’t trade this job in for anything else. Give me one year and we’ll see who’s on top!

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