My childhood dream was to play pro-football.
I gave it a valiant effort, but in my Senior season at the University of Northern Colorado(Go Bears), 95 yards short of breaking our school record for yards in a career, I shattered my leg and ankle…and my dreams of playing pro-football.
After falling into a state of depression, I turned to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain of knowing that my life-long dream was now gone.
Fortunately, I made it to enough classes to graduate with a communications degree and in May of 2003, I made a move to the big city of Denver, Colorado.
5 weeks later, I was hired by a technology company called CBeyond Communications(Purchased by Birch) to go door-to-door(Business to Business) to sell internet and phone technology to small and mid-sized companies.
Don’t worry, the story is just heating up…
This was my first taste of the business world. It was an Entrepreneurial Bootcamp. Remember the movie Boiler Room?
Well, it was actually nothing like that, but kind of. Each day, our goal was to achieve a 50-point day:
• 1 point for a cold call – Measured by walking into a business and qualifying them for our services.
• 10 points for a meeting – Measured by whether or not a presentation was given to the owner.
Each day, I would go out into my designated territory and go introduce myself to as many businesses as I could, trying to find solid leads to close sales. I would then follow up with those leads via tele-phone to try setting in-person appointments.
Imagine that for a moment…walking into 50 businesses and saying something like, “Hi, my name is George with CBeyond Communications; I’m curious, who handles the decisions regarding your communications platform?”
The person at the front desk is also known as the Gate-Keeper. Their job is to get my sweet a** out of their office so they can move their business forward.
My job, conversely, was to interrupt their business and say, “We’ve got this great technology that dynamically allocates your bandwidth between your phone and computer. I would love to set up a meeting and discuss how we can save you money and upgrade your communications platform.”
Most of the time, it was “no” and sometimes it was “hell no”.
Lol – Side Story: One time, I was in a sassy mood as me and my teammate(Jake Cooper) walked into an office where the 2 workers were obviously in a hurry with something. I gave my canned intro and he said emphatically, “HIT THE DOOR!” So, in all of my sassiness, I turned around and literally smacked the door and turned back and looked him directly in the eyes with a fierce grin. He then said, furiously, “Get the fu** out of here!”
And this is what most people can’t handle when it comes to running their own business. They can’t handle the inevitable and constant rejection they are going to face when they bring their products/services to the world. I say instead of avoiding rejection, anticipate it. Expect it. Move on. My friend Jack Canfield once said, “SWSWSWSW…Some will…some won’t…so what…someone’s waiting.”
I eventually worked my way into a management position within 9-months of starting with the company, and now I was managing a team of 12 sales people. Blah, blah, blah…I went on to be very successful with that company until I resigned because I couldn’t stand some of the militant leaders above me.
Long story short, as a professional speaker, corporate trainer and seminar leader, I look back and see that my early days in corporate sales prepared me for May 1, 2009… when I started my own company. Without that experience, I wouldn’t have persevered during the most challenging times. I’ve been bankrupt, I’ve been homeless and both happened at different times.
If you plan on starting a business, I highly suggest you find a sales job or a great network marketing company with products you have experience with and passion for, and jump in. Get the experience you need to be great. It takes time, energy and effort – be patient with yourself.
If you’re in business for yourself, you know what I mean. It takes everything you’ve got to make it work, and it can be the most rewarding thing someone can do with their career. But you have to be willing to “learn the ropes” and get experience in an Entrepreneurial Bootcamp. And where better to do that than in a sales position, where you get the perks of being an employee while learning what it’s like being an entrepreneur. Or you can find a great network marketing company and go get that experience.
One of my friends and clients, Dawn Bower, recently joined an organization called Kannaway – they specialize in getting CBD products into people’s hands through the network marketing model. In less than a year, she is already making a monthly income in the comfy 4-figures and changing lives. And yes, she has worked her a** off in that short period of time to get there. She’s just getting started and success is inevitable because of one simple but profound word – commitment.
My friend John Assaraf once said, “If you’re interested, you’ll do what’s convenient. If you’re committed, you’ll do whatever it takes.”
RANT…begin: If you’re going to run a business, be prepared to WORK. Magical fairies aren’t going to bring you clients and customers. You have to go add value to people who are interested in what you have, until they become your client or customer. It pisses me off sometimes.. most people want the rewards that come with achieving their goals, but they don’t want the challenges that come with it.
It’s hard work. Right now, as I write this, it is 11:13pm and my wife and 2 sons (Callan, 20 months and Corbin, 8 weeks) are sleeping while I work. I love work so it doesn’t bother me. I have 2 working shifts:
1. 10am’ish to 3pm’ish
2. 9pm’ish to Midnight’ish
Everything between is family time, self-education time or exercise time. I am fully committed to growing my business, adding value to my clients and to the world, and that means working late hours when necessary. I lead a 3-day event called Whatever the Fu** it Takes and success really is about having the whatever the fu** it takes mindset.
I’ll leave you with this – jump in. Just jump. What ever it is that you know you need to jump into, just JUMP. Most people don’t jump because they’re worried about making mistakes. Oh for fu**’s sake…making mistakes is how you learn and grow. If you’re going to avoid something, avoid being in-decisive.