When I left the Army in 1990 my first job was selling cars. Since then I have sold advertising, insurance, manufactured homes, mortgages, light bulbs, gutters and have owned several businesses. One business I started, in 2008, was a marketing firm that was producing over $2 million a year with a staff of 8 and an almost $0 cost of goods sold. Then it all ended in one fell swoop.
Why is that?
I lost focus and took my eye off the ball. Life was good and all I cared about was the money that was coming in. I started drinking and gambling heavily. Through a series of events and the fact that alcohol was no longer working for me I stopped drinking on February 4, 2011. Things got better for a little while. Then clients started falling off the books, software we developed became obsolete overnight, my home life was unbearable and my will to grind it out was extinguished.
On July the 4th, 2013 I pulled the plug on that business and life as I knew it.
The life that I had created for those around me and myself did not matter any longer. I did not care about myself or anyone around me. To me to continue life as it was, was futile. More than anything I wanted out.
I was in a state of major depression that lasted for several years. My life and my family’s life was in shambles. Four people rode with me down into the hole that none of us understood. Many others were affected as well but none as much as those that depended on me. Why they decided to stick around and be a part of that tragedy can only be described as unconditional love. They loved me when I did not even love myself.
I learned that my brain does not work like everyone else’s. I had to dig deep and stop looking for relief from the symptoms, I must fix the core problem. The core problem was me. I was spiritually, emotionally and financially bankrupt.
First and Foremost
I found God of my understanding. He is loving, caring and compassionate. He is not demanding, vindictive or a punisher. I speak to him on a daily basis. Prayer is part of my life. I also listen to him on a daily basis via meditation. That is my spiritual path. I do not participate in organized religion I will not force God upon you, that is your choice. If you want to know more about my relationship with God please ask.
Second and Very Important
Despite my strongest assertions I realized I am not perfect. I am very good at somethings I do like selling, marketing and defining processes. I am not very good at other things like managing expectations, managing my emotions and keeping my cool.
I have learned to keep things in check and understand that not everyone will march to my tune. It has been a process. It did not happen overnight. Today I am a lot more less likely to lose my cool or allow negative emotions to ruin my day.
What is it like now?
Life is good. I look forward to each day and the opportunity it holds personally and professionally. First of all I do not use any mood altering drugs, prescribed or otherwise, and I am a good friend of Bill W. My life is intimately richer for many reasons. I constantly look for ways to give back and in doing so I am paving the road for those yet to travel it.
- I constantly look for ways to improve the life of those around me
- When I make a mistake I own it 100%
- I can disagree without being disagreeable
- If there is someone to blame he is always in the mirror
- I am always looking for ways to improve personally and professionally
I try to do these things on a consistent daily basis. If at anytime I fall short I make the best possible effort to correct it as soon as I notice.
My Sales Management Philosophy
My insatiable desire to control all the outcomes is untenable. I learned that when I set expectations for others and myself without defining the path to achieve them is a recipe for disaster. Before I can define the path to meet expectations I must have buy in. Without buy in the best laid plans are worthless. Getting buy in from those that rely on me to teach them how to sell is the most important part of my job. I cannot increase performance of others without them wanting to do so. I help create accountability and hold people accountable in a fun and energizing way.
Why did I tell you all this?
It is all out there whether I tell you about it or not. Many people are not willing to put it all out there. The truth is we are all people with good and bad parts in our story. In the past I have tried to hide from my past and failures. Now I see them as the stepping stones to where I am today and where I will be tomorrow.
If someone is using this as leverage against me or my affiliations, God bless them. I hope they get whatever they are trying to achieve. If you do not want to engage me due to my past that is fair enough, move on and have a nice day. I am positive my life will be better for it.