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A New Sales Career?

October 22nd, 2009 by Amanda Musto, Marketing Manager at Treeline, Inc

How many times have you been faced with a task that seems impossible to finish or given a goal that appears unachievable or been in a situation that you just plain don’t like and start to think that the grass may be greener on the other side?  If you let your mind wander you could think of a million reasons why being somewhere else, being with someone else or doing something different would solve all your problems.  “I’d be happier.  I’d be richer.  I’d be less stressed,” etc.  Quickly you convince yourself that you need to make a change and you need to make it fast. 

I recently read a story entitled “Acres of Diamonds” by Russell Conwell*. In short, the story describes Russell’s journey down the Tigress River and a Turkish tour guide who entertained the group with non-stop stories. One night, the tour guide told the story of a wealthy farmer named Al Hafed .  Al Hafed was visited by a Buddhist priest who explained to Al Hafed how diamonds were made, “and the old priest told Al Hafed that if he had a handful of diamonds he could purchase a whole country, and with a mine of diamonds he could place his children upon thrones through the influence of their great wealth.”  Naturally, Al Hafed  began to get excited about what his life could be when he found diamonds. So he sold his possessions, left his family behind and set off. Al Hafed travelled far and wide in search of these diamonds that would make everything perfect. But as he continued to wander, he became poor and despaired to the point of taking his life. Al Hafed never found his diamonds by searching the world. In his own garden, Al Hafed’s successor incidentally uncovered many diamonds:  “had Al Hafed remained at home and dug in his own cellar or in his own garden, instead of wretchedness, starvation, poverty and death — a strange land, he would have had ‘acres of diamonds’ — for every acre, yes, every shovelful of that old farm afterwards revealed the gems which since have decorated the crowns of monarchs.”

After reading this story, I could not help but draw similarities to Al Hafed’s desire for diamonds and a sales professional’s desire for maximum compensation.  Sales is a tough job – point blank! Not everyone can handle getting their teeth kicked in on a daily basis and wake up the next morning, willing to get beat up all over again.  We are all gluttons for punishment to a certain degree.  Sales people are held to the utmost accountability and if we don’t produce we don’t get paid.  If we don’t get paid we don’t eat.  Pressure? Yes, tons of it!  Quotas are going up and compensation plans are going down.  I hear it everyday.  So is it easy to think – the grass will be greener if I get a different sales job? Of course.  But the reality is that many times what you have in front of you is the opportunity that will continue to make you happy, keep money in your pocket and food on your table.  Will it be as abundant as when the economy was soaring? Of course not.  So before you decide to bail ship in search of a better life elsewhere take a deep breath, step back and reflect on the present.  You most likely will conclude that you are standing in your own Acre of Diamonds.

*Acres of Diamonds, A Self-Improvement Classic by Russell Conwell.

Posted in Job Search & Career, Treeline, Comments Off