At the age of 25 I was a single mom working as a customer service rep in Houston, Texas. My son was 10 years old, my daughter 8 years old and I felt like a terrible mother never having enough money for the things they needed and wanted. My salary didn’t quite cover the rent, car payment, utilities and groceries, so I felt like a failure constantly having to ask my family for help.
I was always worried about money but knew I was making the most anyone had ever made in the position I was in. So I asked my boss Steve for advice on how to get ahead and make more money.
Steve had become my mentor that I admired and trusted. He recommended I go into sales. He also suggested that I read the Houston Business Journal and the business section of the Houston Chronicle to stay informed on what was happening in business locally and what was going on in the world.
In addition to reading both the papers he recommended, I also subscribed to the Wall Street Journal. Can you imagine how hard it was for me to stay awake and read business news at the age of 25? Especially after working all day, taking my kids to sports and scouts activities, helping them with homework, making dinner, then reading with them before they went to bed? More nights than I can remember I fell asleep reading and woke up to newspapers strewn all over the bed and scattered on the floor.
Scanning headlines helped me find the businesses and industries that were growing, improving and learning about those not doing so well. I also started reading the classified ads for sales jobs. I had tried for several years to go into sales with the company I worked for, but they required a college degree to go into sales, and I didn’t have one.
I’d made my choice to have a family when I was very young. Supporting and spending time with them took all my time…and money. So going to college was not going to happen.
I ended up finding a sales job, but it didn’t lead to the increase in income I was hoping for. When I told my mentor Steve that I was considering going back into customer service, he encouraged me to look for another sales job. He was more confident in my sales skills than I was, but I trusted him and took a leap. That one didn’t end up paying enough either, so I took one more leap.
That’s when I found another mentor. An author Denis Waitley, who published an audio tape series called the Psychology of Winning. Now in my 30’s, I was finally making a little more than I had been making at 25, but it still was not enough to cover all my expenses. I felt guilty about asking my mom, sisters and brother to help me so often.
Not having enough money all the time was stressful and I have a bad habit of eating ice cream, cookies and candy at night when I’m stressed. It wasn’t a surprise that I gained several pounds, and being so heavy made me feel uncomfortable and less confident. My new sales job was selling over the phone to people all over the country, so I was sitting in a chair for hours getting very little physical activity in my day, making it even easier to gain weight.
When I started listening to my new audio tape series the Psychology of Winning, I decided three things. The first was to lose the weight I’d gained by walking, which would also give me uninterrupted time to listen to Denis Waitley’s tapes while I walked. The second thing I decided was to stop worrying about money. Then the third thing — I made the decision to double my income within the next year.
It finally happened. I was finally starting to make the money that would help me support my children without extra help from my family.
Deciding to double my income within the next year, believing I could and taking some very specific actions is what made it happen. I finally felt like my life was on track.
I was in a sales job that I liked and had even been promoted to sales manager. It turned out that I enjoyed teaching other people how to be successful in sales more than anything I had ever done before.
The company I was working for in Houston merged with a competitor in Kansas City.
That’s when I met my new boss John, the third mentor that changed my life. He was an entrepreneur and had built a business by targeting a very specific customer and creating a desire for a solution to a problem his customers hadn’t realized was keeping their businesses from growing.
But the most important thing he taught me was how to have fun with customers and co-workers.
It was the first time in my career I stopped craving money and started really loving what I did for a living. It’s funny how when that happened, my income doubled again.
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All the best,