(This is part 2. You should start the story here if you haven’t already.)
My first 8 years out of college were spent like most in my generation: finding out how I fit into the universe, followed by haircuts and real jobs at drive through windows.
From there, it was on to AT&T, where I got a job “connecting people to their world” selling communications solutions at a retail store. I overlapped this job with my stint as a drive-through wizard, making for frequent days where I started at 5:00 AM hawking coffee in one store and ended at 8:30 PM selling phones in the other, standing the entire time.
From day one at AT&T, I was a top performer, not only in my store, but in the entire sales region. In Q4 2011 (my second full quarter selling) I was distinguished with a Silver Award placing me in the top 20% of the region’s leader board; two quarters later I received the Gold Award—that’s for the top 4% in a metric that combines sales numbers and customer satisfaction.
Our store (in which I finished 3rd that month) was ranked in the top 15 stores in the nation (a pool of more than 2,000 stores) for May of 2012.
Additionally, I was one of the first 3 reps in my store to achieve “Small Business Certification” for closing high-revenue business deals. I once activated 60 iPads in one day, cursing the Apple engineer who designed the difficult-to-access SIM tray.
The short version of my time at Ma Bell: I am really good at selling things.
What can’t be quantified with my sales numbers is something about which all of my superiors (not just those at AT&T) would agree: I come to work on time, ready to work, and with a positive attitude. Among my pet peeves is an entitlement attitude that would permit employees to rationalize stealing company time and resources for personal use, or worse, having a bad attitude at work like some sort of cancerous tumor spreading negativity.
My deepest vocational passion is that people be delighted to deal with me. It’s how I convinced thousands of people to gladly purchase a case for their mobile phone from me that they could order on that mobile phone from Amazon.com for 30% less. My customer service and expertise sets me apart.
I’m worth a 30% mark-up.
My career at AT&T was scratching the most fundamental of itches (feeding my family) but left one significant itch thoroughly untouched: my desire to create.
On April 1st of 2012 (no foolin!) that itch received it’s first finger-full of salve. You can read about it in the next chapter.