Lessons Learned

Last week I wrote about Mr. Ely loaning me a set of Earl Nightingale cassette tapes named Lead the Field. The lessons from those six tapes gave that young me the motivation and courage to get out of the isolation of my cubicle.

Jumped the Gun

While listening, I imagined doing anything I wanted to do.

Looking back, I see that I became a little too eager and wanted to get going a little too fast. I jumped at the first opportunity that came along in the classified ads.

Culligan Man.

I became The Culligan Man!

During the day, I knocked on doors trying to engage in a conversation that would get me invited back that evening to do a demo at the kitchen sink to show that the water was hard and needed a Culligan treatment system. I tried to stay confident and optimistic that it would work out. However, after just a couple weeks, I suspected that this was not the life I had imagined.

I started to watch the classified ads again, concentrating on what I had dreamed about in my cubicle.

Like Magic

Then it appeared. A structural precast prestressed concrete company was looking for a sales representative. I learned it was a salaried position, with a company car. Moreover, it involved calling on architects, engineers, and contractors.

I had just left an engineering firm because I had dreamed of being a representative calling on engineering firms.

I went for the interview, and I was HIRED! I still remember how I felt when they told what the salary would be.  My wife and I were very pleased. It was perfect. The job was perfect, the people were perfect, and the car was perfect.

I worked there for five years and then went into the construction equipment business for seven years, and then back to the precast concrete industry, where I have worked the remainder of my career. I still work two days a week in that business providing continuing education programs for architects.

Take-a-Ways, for me…

I believe we each discover our take-a-ways. These are mine. What are yours?

1. Before making a big move, discuss it with people you respect.

I should have remained focused on what I wanted and not taken the door-to-door sales job. A Master Mind group to talk with might have helped me slow down and not have jumped at that first opportunity.

2. Imagine, focus and be alert to opportunity.

It’s a big world with many choices.

Being clear about what we want helps it come into view. Imagine what you want, scan the horizon, focus, and be ready when the opportunity appears.

3. Be careful what you wish.

I got what I had envisioned. What if I had thought about being a National Geographic photographer, a novelist or whatever else I could have imagined? I am almost sure those dreams would have come true.

You are invited to post your thoughts on The Break Out Session Facebook page.