You Want A Salesman, I’m Not Your Guy

I decided to write this without pausing. Just what comes to my mind and let my fingers hit the keys.  Business thoughts.

I didn’t get into business to be like everyone else.

Always told it couldn’t be done this way. Always told it is about the money and can’t make money this way.

I hate the image of a salesperson. So why did I get into sales in my own business?  I don’t have to do what others tell me to do. 

Sure I want to make money. Sure I want a make a nice living. But I want to help others along the way. I want others to be ok with me making money because my efforts deserve it.  Because I am  not a slick order taker. Order takers deserve bupkus!  A computer screen and website can take an order.

I want to learn about your business. I want to be considered part of your marketing team. Develop ideas and present to you.  Pen orders are for computers. Oh, I will place them for you and make sure you get a great price. But, you don’t really need me. I don’t have much value.

I located a tribe. This tribe wants to do something different. The leader calls himself the Creative Director. His name is Kamran Popkin We connected on twitter.  He calls his tribe the Swag Club. Half the time I don’t understand what he is saying. He has his own language of sorts. But, I respect him. His outlook and what he is trying to do for the promotional advertising (or swag) business. 

Behind the  swagger, lives a man of heart. A family man. Along with a beagle that gets him out of bed way too early! We have shared books. He even sent me one in the mail. 

I barely knew him and he shipped a book of stories on Faith along with some other goodies. Wow.

Again, I barely knew him. I had nothing that could really benefit him. Giving without expecting in return. The tribe.  I liked it and him already. Even if I got lost in his dialogue.

 I am not officially part of his “tribe”, but he nudges me. He offers support.  Keeping steady and strong in a save me a few pennies, ordertaking world . Especially when balances scream.

Catalogs – forget it. Koozies — blasphemy.  He shares my desire to be the bright red flower in the bed of overgrown weeds of order takers.

My idea – Get excited.  Fresh ideas. Let me inside your goals.  Then let me bring you some thing that explodes.  

Hate my ideas–hang up. Not interested in what I show you….show me the door.  You don’t owe me a penny.

But if I surprise you. If I come up with an idea that gives you some chills. Bingo—we both win. 

Back to my original question. Why sales if I hate salespeople?

You missed the point.

I don’t want to sell.  I want you to dig my ideas. I want you to ask me to sit and talk and explore.  After all, unlike an attorney, I don’t charge by the minute. Only for ideas.  Sounds like fun huh?

This was free flow. Ideas coming out fresh and amazing how fast. Few minutes. 

Only thing I ask, please forgive grammar or sentence structure errors. I am sure there are many. 

Throw out a comment below:  Am I out of my mind?  Do I have a chance to create something or fools gold?  Was writing  like this a good idea or ……not so good? 

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The Butterfly Circus

Do you set limits based on how you perceive yourself?  Have you ever prejudged someone on your first observation?

I originally saw this movie The Butterfly Circus in a post by one of my favorites Michael Hyatt.  It won First Place in the “2009 Door Post Film Festival.” It’s only 20 minutes, but it has the power to change your perceptions forever! 

Make sure you find the time to watch.  Even better watch with your entire family!

To enjoy in fullscreen click here.

Questions: What moved you the most?  What stayed with you?

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How Stealing An Ink Cartridge Was A Test

Late yesterday afternoon I stole an ink cartridge from Staples. Sounds terrible right?  Well, I think I was being tested. Let me explain.

I am not going to get into a deeply religious diatribe here, but I have been doing  some reading recently. I will explain in more detail in a  future post. 

Part of this reading has also included books by John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach for UCLA. The initial book Coach Wooden One-on-One: Inspiring Conversations on Purpose, Passion and the Pursuit of Success, was recommended to me by Ray Lokar @CoachLok who I connected with on twitter. It has had a big influence on me. One of the statements I read that I constantly come back to is ” You do the right thing, because it is the right thing to do.”

Back to my theft at Staples.

I was working in my home office and went to print out a document. It came out blank. I tried again. Same result. I knew I couldn’t be out of ink because I just bought a new extra-large black cartridge about a month ago.  I checked my ink level status and sure enough it showed empty. I was annoyed and just knew this was not possible. I figured the cartridge I purchased was defective. I  grabbed it out of my printer, found my receipt and quickly drove off to Staples.

I explained to the associate at the customer service desk and he took my story to the store manager. A minute or two later he came back and even though he looked at me with a skeptical eye, he handed me a new cartridge as an exchange. He told me the next time I would have to go direct to the manufacturer.

I noticed at the checkout that I had been given a regular sized black cartridge instead of the extra-large that was on my receipt. The cartridge I handed to the orginal clerk did seem to be the same size so rather than make another complaint, I just accepted the exchange and left.

As I was driving home, I just had this feeling that something wasn’t right. Why did the cartridge I gave the clerk not appear larger? Why did the price at the register not seem high enough? The irony is when I purchased the ink originally I had only planned on replacing my color cartridges. But since I needed to purchase $75 or more of ink to use my $10 off coupon, I purchased the extra-large black replacement.

When I returned to my office, I decided to check my drawers. There it was.  The unopened XL black cartridge box!

Apparently, I never replaced the black because it wasn’t empty at the time. I had only replaced the color. That explained why the black ink  “appeared” to run out so fast.

So now I had a decision.  After all, Staples would never know. It was an honest mistake on my part. Haven’t you ever found something in your bag, an extra french fry or a packet of gum your young child placed in your cart after checkout?

As I stood looking at the new cartridge in my hand the words ” you do the right thing, because it is the right thing to do” flashed. 

……..The store manager looked at me with astonishment in his eyes. He thanked me several times for being so honest. 

The feeling I felt as I left the store will last much longer then the ink in the cartridge.

Have you ever been in a similar situation?  Tell me how you felt or how you handled it.


A Few Bad Apples

I am a huge fan of coach John Wooden. I am currently reading my second book written by him Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and Off the Court . His messages are very inspiring to me.

In one section he discusses the topic of bad apples. Basically it follows the idea that in any profession or group there is a tiny percentage of bad apples. The percentage never really changes but they are always there. The percentage of good apples is always large. We just never hear about them.

Of course politicians come to mind in a hurry. But this also got me thinking about the single mom and single dad discussions.

I believe the overwhelming majority in these groups are good. But the ones that get most of the attention are the bad apples. This is especially true in the online discussions.

Over the years, the small percentage of bad apples in the single dad category smothered the voices of the great ones. The door is beginning to crack open a bit to let these stories out, but we still have a long way to go.

We would all be a lot better off if we followed some additional advice by John Wooden. ‘”Be quick to praise, and slow to criticize.”

What do you think? Have a few bad apples made it tougher on the good ones? Can you think of other groups this applies?


Is My Page Turning?

Recently, I was forwarded a terrific article by a friend  Peter Ehrlich. The article is called The Disease Called Perfection, originally posted by Dan on his blog Single Dad Laughing.

If you read the article you should agree it is a great thought provoking piece. As I continued to review the website I found great posts on a variety of topics. I recommend you visit this terrific site often. It will be worth it.

However, I have begun to feel a disconnect towards articles I find on single dad websites about potty training, kids homework, ex issues, dating hotties, etc.

I remarried two years ago which was a major change. But I still connect with being a single dad. I will always feel the need to stand firm with single dads getting the respect they deserve.

This fall my youngest daughter went off to college. I now seem a bit lost.

After 10 years of being a full time single dad of three, they are all gone. Sure, they will come home for breaks and holidays, but that is just to visit now.

So though it may seem I am depressed, I am not. At times I do drift off and picture them in their younger years. But it is not as much of an empty nest issue as a ” Who am I really?”

I read a quote recently that stated, ” Life is easy and fun when you start being who you really are instead of what others think you should be.”

Who do I want to be? That is the question I need to explore.

Have you ever had this dialog with yourself? Do you ever question your true purpose?

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