Her story was fascinating.
She had been born inside a “glass that was always half empty” and her entire upbringing has been one surrounded by discussions of all that was wrong in the world.
She told me that most of her childhood memories of conversations at home involved topics of despair and desperation.
She remembered vividly her parent’s unhappiness regarding lack of money, lack of opportunity, lack of joy and lack of fun in their lives.
By the time she entered her twenty’s she had become convinced that life was a tough, long and hard journey filled with disappointment, shattered dreams, and missed opportunities.
That was just the way it was. So get used to it.
As she entered the workforce she found herself drawn to the types of employment that attracted people who, like her, had reconciled themselves to hard lives of heavy toil and little reward.
She sought friendships among those who thought as she did and by the time her twenty’s stretched into her thirty’s she had fully accepted her destiny of a life of struggle.
That’s just the way life was for people like her. A chore.
And then she told me that about a year and a half ago all of that changed when she found a book on the floor in the laundry room of her apartment building.
She wasn’t much of a reader but somehow she felt compelled to read this one.
And so she did.
And then she read it again.
And the book told her that she could change things in her life, she could have anything she wanted, if she simply began to make different choices and to think in a whole different way.
And the more times she read the book, the more excited she became.
And she started to believe that she could change the course of her whole life.
And she made a promise to herself; a serious, irrevocable commitment.
To flood each day of her life with great passion.
And she did.
Even when she couldn’t feel the passion.
She worked really hard at building her passion for everything.
It required tremendous effort but she perservered
And she became passionate about exchanging her job for an exciting, fulfilling career.
And she decided to enter the world of sales as an extreme test of her capabilities.
And she decided that she wanted to sell office products like printers and other such gizmos.
And she applied to nine companies before she could even get an interview.
And three companies interviewed her and decided not to hire her.
And she chose to view each rejection as a step in her journey to finding the one office products supplier that would be worthy of having her as an employee.
And finally, after being interviewed by four companies, she was hired.
And she resolved to become as passionate about her company and its products as she had become about her own life.
And she studied long and hard and learned everything she could about the products she would be selling.
And how they benefitted the customers.
And she began making sales calls.
And got thrown out of dozens of businesses.
And she kept going back and giving them another chance to throw her out again.
And some did.
And others invited her in and allowed her to tell her story.
And each time she told her story her passion shone through.
And it was obvious to her customers that she truly believed in the value of the products she was selling and they became convinced that she genuinely cared about them.
And they began to feel confident that she would provide fabulous service.
And finally she made her first sale.
And then her second.
And her third.
And in her fifth month she was the third top salesperson in her office.
And was number one in her eighth month.
And after one short year she was the number one salesperson in the company.
In one year!
No one had ever done this before.
And when she was asked how she had done this she simply said that she had learned that we only ever do one thing – we do what’s important to us – and that she loved what she did, and so every week, from Monday through Friday, from 8am to 5pm she made sure that most important thing in her life was to provide quality products and world class service to her clients.
And that’s all she did.
A simple formula.
Mega passion + world class customer service = top salesperson in the company.
She said one other thing that got my attention.
She said if she could change her perspective from fervent belief that life is a joyless struggle to absolute conviction that life is the product of the choices we make and that we can choose to live lives of passion and celebration, and if she – having lived almost forty years on one extreme end of that continuum – could move all the way to the other extreme, then anyone can.
She has a valid point, don’t you think?
Till we read again.