The funny thing about goals are that when "we" set them and try and reach them on our own, A) it usually takes us longer than we expect, and B) sometimes we don't even get there.
As I sincerely and humbly tell this story, just recalling the circumstances still amazes me for several reasons. So let me start at the beginning.
In previous stories that I have written, I spoke of the many Manager/Sales positions I have held throughout my years. My last job was in Yellow Page advertising, which I did for a little over five years until my accident.
It isn't the most glamorised of advertising, but for many years was extremely lucrative, especially for small business owners who set aside a good portion of their budgets for the Phone book. It was a lot of leg work, telephone time, it would take at least one or two face to face meetings, and for the huge accounts three or four. This was besides all the reworks you wound up doing on the ads you created.
My first week out of training I had four "New" sales, if I tell you the District Manager made such a fuss at the Monday morning meeting, I was completely embarrassed. Not only did he set a target on my back, but he inadvertently added more pressure on me, making me feel as if I now had to have at least four "New" sales a week. (The average was two.)
In yellow pages you have two work loads, one, is maintaining existing clients, and the other is new business, they are watched separately as far as your performance and reviews go. As with all sales positions, Yellow Pages was extremely competitive and goal oriented.
Every week we had to meet with our managers and if you were not on track to hit your numbers based on your personal work load, you were put on a "Plan", which, in the corporate world is just a nice way of saying, turn it around fast or your fired.
Out of the forty two sales people, about seven sales reps and I became close, cheering one another on, without the tension of being number one. Unfortunately, two of my co-workers jobs became jeopardized due to lack of numbers. So I devised a plan that I would give them some of my new sales, so they could meet their requirement, and I would still get my commission when it came in on their check.
In the interim, I would teach them some new approaches by taking them on some sales calls with me, allowing them to pick up some fresh ideas, so they could adapt them as they saw fit into their personal sales calls,and it worked.
It so happened that the awards dinner that year fell on my birthday, and I decided I wasn't going to go, I had made other plans; however, my District Manager made it mandatory that all staff attend. ( unbeknown to me at the time it was strictly set in place for my benefit alone.)
At the award dinner, which was brilliantly done actually, and a lot of fun, because they had set it up like the Academy awards they would announce the top four in each category and post each picture, and then open the envelope and say the winner is: very creative I thought.(these awards were for all districts combined, the districts were made up of our office, plus the Connecticut, and Upper state offices, about 200 sales people.) We had 100 different phone books within all the area's, our territory alone had thirty.
To my complete surprise I had taken home Top Sales in Three books. and Top Net Achievement, net sales of 55.6%, the highest out of all territories, to say I was shocked, would be an understatement. I was so busy helping everyone around me, while still making sure I kept my work ethics up and maintained my objectives that I paid no attention as to where I was ranked in the company, even though we received a bulletin monthly which they posted.
But the real shocker was that everyone else around me knew everything about my year. One of the newbies as we called them was a previous accountant, and he said do you have any idea how much money you made for our office? Truth be told I did not.
He wanted to ride with me , pick my brain, I had Managers from other books asking to borrow me when they were off their pace, it was crazy, but you know what; when I thought about it later I realized it wasn't crazy at all.
When Jesus came, he came to serve not to be served, and in God's kingdom servants rank the highest, so in helping and serving others God rewards us for our efforts, even without us asking.
I guess what it boils down to is...the more we give the more we get. So as we begin our day let us make a conscious effort to lend a helping hand or ask God daily what we can do for others, and in doing so God promises we will be elevated beyond even what we thought possible. God Bless and have a fruitful week...Patricia VanDenburg©