I started a career where I only call on commercial accounts for utilities (gas and electric). The deregulation in utilities that occurred here offers a lot of opportunities in the next few years. With my background and experience, I was able to be promoted after only 2 weeks of work here, to become a Leadership Mentor to train new marketing specialists become better at what they do every day on the street. But the point of this, is to share what I've been able to encounter in my personal life BECAUSE of it.
I've learned more about what is "out there" because I've walked it, talked to business owners, and seen/experienced more that I would EVER get online or in the AAA magazine. I met a 72 year old German woman the other day that runs a family business by making bratwurst and hot dogs by hand. Oh yeah, she also is the landlord for 2 apartments and rents storage areas in her old warehouse. Talk about an interesting person to come across on my path in life. She was barely 5 feet tall, and I'm 6' 4" but her spark, zeal, and sharpness of mind made me feel like I was in kindergarten again.
Speaking of which, another business that I call on are daycare facilities. When was the last time you sat in an extremely small plastic chair at a really low table to fill out your work papers while 4 and 5 year old kids keep pulling on your arm and yammering in your ear about what they are going to be dressed as for Halloween?
This new career allows me to walk into ANY business in my territory. Sure, I get to walk into the common places like hair salons, barbershops, restaurants, and convenience stores... but I encounter the most interesting people when I run down the rabbit trail, and go into taverns, pizza parlors, tattoo shops, gentlemen clubs, lounges, autobody shops, and dive diners. Sure, I can't always help them reduce their utility expenses, but I get to meet people, learn about new things of where I live, and will return to them with personal business.
|Harley Davidson "Liberator" (photo taken in the Frysk Museum, Leeuwarden (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
For example, by sauntering down an alley yesterday, I walked into a "custom and performance" motorcycle shop. They restore and custom build bikes. Even though I couldn't help them on their utilities, I was allowed to walk around their shop and got to see that they are in the process of restoring 3 Indian Chief motorcycles from the 40s, several Harley-Davidson bikes from the 70s, and were working on a custom chopper. I took off my suit jacket, rolled up my sleeves, and started turning wrenches. Because I worked with Arlen Ness and Dave Perewitz, and was in a shop that worked on their bikes, I just had to experience life again.
My ultimate point of all of this is that you really need to step outside your normal box, take the job that will not only pay the bills, but also give you a ton of personal experience. Talk to people, get to know them. It might not affect your bottom line, but you get to experience things in life that make you smile.