Resilience

Bashed-up Mini Maglite bounces back!
Bashed-up Mini Maglite bounces back!

 

In my night-time job, a flashlight is essential. Duh, obviously. The (somewhat boring and unremarkable) photo above, shows my Mini-Maglite after its adventure last week. Let me describe what happened.

I drive cars for money. The problem is that there is a protocol preventing us doing certain things – things like disclosing where I work, or doing anything that might connect the car I’m in with were I begin and end my evening. If this sounds weird and cryptic, it is. I’m limited by contract to what I can write.

Which preamble explains why I just couldn’t stop and pick up my flashlight. I’d left it sitting atop the car from where it rolled off onto the road as I made the first turn. I heard the…

*clunkclunkclunkclunk*

…as it rolled off the trunk and departed, probably never to be seen again. I was momentarily annoyed at my foolishness. Firstly, I would be without a flashlight for my entire night shift. That’s not a disaster in its own right, but I didn’t particularly want to go out the next day and buy another one.

Because I’m shifting my thinking to being in the moment, I had the following thought. You know, if it’s there in the morning, it’s good. If not, that’s also fine.

From that moment on, it didn’t bother me for the rest of my shift. And wouldn’t you know it, when I arrived back in the morning, (retracing my route) there was the flashlight, sitting right in the middle of the eastbound. Again, we’re not allowed to stop out front, so I had to wait until I left for home, in my own car. The flashlight had, in the eleven hours it had been sitting in the roadway, been bashed up pretty well. You can see the damage. Amazingly, it had been neither smushed, punted off the side of the road, nor destroyed. And it still worked.

How’s that for resilience? I’ll leave you to draw the conclusion I made about my own life.

Keeping the Faith

 

Architectural style the Miami way.
Architectural style the Miami way.

Sales and marketing magazines, in-house journals, online schools, books, DVD courses, Twitter feeds, blogs and all the rest of them focus on success – how to find it, how others have found it, how YOU can find it, and what to do with it when I find it.

I’m not really interested in writing about what is already an overcrowded market. More useful is a place where the mechanics of learning to be sales-savvy are revealed, day by day. It’s the architecture of sales you’ll find here, my story of how ignorance and inaction can resolve into understanding and production.

At the moment, right at the point of starting, the most effort will give the least apparent reward. It’s the way all these things work. Rockets, for example, expend almost all their energy in the first couple of minutes of the ten or so it takes to reach orbit. You know that inch-by-inch climb past the launch tower, engines at full throttle, roaring flame pushing the machine ever-so-slowly higher – the wonder is that it’s moving at all.

But after a while we can see that the whole thing really is getting a move-on. Suddenly the entire complex edifice resolves itself into the clear-cut victory of man and his technology over gravity and doubt. No wonder we’re left in awe.

So I think much of human enterprise goes. When we begin something, nothing looks to happen. We go a little further, and still nothing much seems to happen. That’s the nature of things. The important lesson here, the lesson of rocketry, is to keep adding the right kind of fuel, and use the right kind of thinking. Unlike sending a vehicle into space, we’re dealing with people and emotions, so the certainty of mathematics and physics are missing. However, we have time and adaptability at our disposal, far more valuable assets.

A Few Hours a Week

Monday, wash day.
Monday, wash day.

 

Although I’m an aspiring salesman, my time spent selling is limited. Firstly, I work nights, and secondly, my body needs sleep. Without this sleep nonsense I’d be eight hours a day finding people and presenting.

The night job is quite an obstacle. I have a thirteen hour door-to-door work day, so that by the time I’m back at home around 8:00 in the morning, I’m pooped. Something to eat, a shower, and I’m into bed. Ideally, there would follow eight hours of uninterrupted snooze, but that’s just a dream. Sorry for the weak pun. Six or so is about what I usually get.

Given those limitations, Sundays and Mondays are my days to be in the world, so to speak. Saturdays are my afternoon and night to be at home, veg, spend time with my cat, and generally wind down.

During the week I’m here in short bursts, writing, creating stuff that will both explain who I am, and allow me to make friends with new people. Selling to people who know me, I think, will be so much easier. We’re all pretty jaded when it comes to marketing ploys and sales tricks, so I’m taking the honorable (if somewhat old-fashioned) route of getting to know my potential customer, and how my products will fit them.

However, my aim is to be full-time selling. Presenting is most important, but listening, following-up and ensuring I’m not becoming a sales beast are right up there in importance. There we are, my life and aims in a blog post.

 

Spring

Baseball! Orioles v Pirates.
Baseball! Orioles v Pirates.

 

Not only is it (nearly) spring, this weekend just past was the second time ever that I forgot to advance the clocks by one hour. Drat.

It didn’t matter, unlike that other time when the entire scout troop left for a day’s outing without me. Ahem. Oh well.

Out of the blue on Saturday morning, I took a call from a friend from a few years ago. Mario was in my life for a while, and disappeared. Stuff like that happens to everyone, I guess. Circumstances change, priorities shift, time suddenly is more valuable spent on something else. Disconnectivity, I call it, the act of disengaging.

But Mario rang, and we met for coffee on my way home from work, on Saturday morning. He’s looking good, slimmer than before, now a non-smoker. BTW, who smokes thesedays? I understand the addictive nature of nicotine, but smoking tobacco to get that fix? Really? But anyway.

Apart from some serious family problems, Mario was in good spirits, and, happily had four tickets to the Orioles spring training game on Sunday. Now I live in Sarasota, which falls into the Tampa Bay Rays’ catchment, so I’m a Rays fan. But their American League rivals from Baltimore have a beautiful new training ground here, the mightly Ed Smith Stadium.

So it eventuated that Mario couldn’t make it to the game. My friend Tim and his boy Matthew, and our buddy Alan made up my foursome, a group of happy baseball dilettantes like no other. The day was warm (warmer than for a few weeks) the sun was strong, and the tickets were free. What more could we want? Well, the seats were brilliant, a table with table service in left field, and the grass was freshly mown, portending another season of baseball, that great American pastime.

Pittsburgh 7-4 or thereabouts over Baltimore.