This story was submitted anonymously to the Work it! Working to Live and Living to Work collection as part of the October SEEQ sessions.
I felt from a young age I had a great view of what the working world was. Both of my parents worked in sales and what I grew up seeing was a fun career that yielded desirable results. My parents both worked and neither of them ever made us feel like it was a struggle to go to work and to enjoy work. My parents having both been in sales, I had a gut that it would be my career. I never felt I had to, but the idea of being in sales really excited me! As I grew up sports became super important to me. I loved soccer. I loved the confidence I felt on the field. I was so happy that I had parents that supported me playing sports and focusing on that. They drove me around to practice and supported me at every game. In school, grades took a bit of the backseat as I was an A and B student. This worked for me due to soccer. My scholarship and a decent SAT score got me into my dream school for soccer so I was set. Although I was succeeding in sports, people, my friends, in both high school and college would comment on my effort in school. They would say things like “dumb” as it related to my school work. My focus was on networking, scheduling coffees with my teachers, and this yielded high results. BUT in the meantime, still, my friends and teammates, and even sometimes coaches would almost make fun of my grades in school. No praise was every given for networking or working my ass off on the field. After a lot of comments, which still happen till this day, 8 years later, I have found myself questioning my intelligence. Earlier on, because of this, I questioned my worth in regards to be successful. I questioned if I was smart enough. Early on I would wonder if sometimes interviewing would think I was not smart enough either. After a few key mentors took a chance on me and leaned into my sales development, I started to adopt an edge. Sure I didn’t have a 4.0 in college or go on to get my MBA, but I had a choice. I chose to work hard. I chose to out-hustle everyone. AND I CHOSE to be successful. I have found a passion for selling and even more than just that. I have found a passion for 1. Making sure people are aware of this career 2. Making sure that people understand the importance of school, but trusting and believing in other skills that do now always show up in grades. I truly feel that success is made up of more than just smarts or intelligence. Success is based in hustle, charisma, and TRUE passion for what you are doing. I was 8 years into my sales career and 1 day a co-worker came up to me and thanked me. She thanked me for showing her what a new form of success looked like. She thanked me for reaffirming her passion for sales. And she thanked me for just having fun doing it My goal is to continue to succeed in my sales career, get into leadership, and ultimately along the way, impact other people in sales who maybe felt they weren’t enough. My advice for whoever reads this, tap into your strengths. You define what success means. AND ultimately, have fun in your journey! Find your edge, find your passion!