Life Update/Eternity: Now and Forever, the Future of the Present

Eternal life is already yours: eternity exists right now, in this moment. There is no other infinite than what is present. God, divinity, the supernatural, they all exist in this infinitely present, ever evolving moment.

There is no other time. There is no other tomorrow. There is no “later” or “sooner” or this or that. We plan, we structure, we order, we manage, but these things simply arrange our temporal physical world. They create circumstances, but they don’t don’t create our state of being, our happiness, our joy, our inspiration, our genius.

Moving on.

I have decided to work with my friend. He was my roommate in college, and one of my best friends, and he’s built himself a good business the past three and a half years. I’ve watched him on the sidelines as I’ve delved into my own career, pursing the most challenging opportunities to learn and adapt and yield wisdom and knowledge that I could leverage in my own time. “If you wish to make the rules, you must first learn to master the rules.” This is the maxim I abide by when attending to tasks that dispossess my will; the necessary evil of learning from others, from doing as those before you have done, and reflecting on the structures you inhabit, the overt training and cover conditioning you’re tacitly consent to when fulfilling a “role” within an institution.

So, my buddy’s business is doing about $250k a year in sales, most of which has been purely passive, the result of good products and marketing, while contracting manufacturer reps to introduce products to retailers. They’re in 800 stores I believe. At the moment they have six products, three of which weren’t in stock half the year.

They have no CRM system, which will be my responsibility to develop and implement, but proactive sales efforts could easily double or triple or even quadruple last years sales. They’re coming out with 5 new products, most of which are proprietary and entirely new to the market. I suspect they’ll develop and deliver 6 new products every 6 months.

He proposed a salary of $65k, and a commission on 4% of company revenues exceeding $500k, with 10% equity after year one, 5% after year two, and 5% after year three, being fully 20% vested by that time. There are particulars I need to work out. The living situation, how I will split time between Nashville and San Francisco, where I will live in San Francisco, determining a budget to live on, minimizing expenses as low as possible, curtailing superfluous buying behaviors, hammering down on harmful habits.

I will be taking a $100k pay cut. That’s…. insane. And I’m sure I will feel that. But I think, in three years, if revenues exceed $5 million (which is my goal…. $1 million after a year, $3 million after year 2, $6 million after year three) I will receive adequate compensation adjustments, not to mention commission.

The other exciting prospect is that I will be building and creating their internal sales force myself, distilling everything I know and have learned from experience, over the course of my career, or read, or any reflected perfections I’ve cogitated into a CRM and sales department. This idea alone is exhilarating. I want to perfect everything wrong with the systems’ I’ve been exposed to in the past. This will be a personal challenge: To build the most effective sales force in the world.

Yes, I will be working for a children’s toy and book company. Our motto: the best children’s toy and book company in the world. Sales is sales. Engineering sales, education consulting sales, toy sales. I can sell anything.

The job I’m passing up is at The Advisory Board Company, one of the best company’s I could want to work for. I would be working as a director of sales, leading a marketing and inside sales team while I sell Education Advisory/ Consulting services to University and college chancellor’s, presidents, executives, provosts and the like. This type of sales and the exposure to these leaders would accelerate my career in many ways. Not to mention the The Advisory Board Company is one of the best consulting company’s one could work for. My salary would be $100k plus commission and bonus

Regarding my earlier comment about sales being sales, let me elaborate.

There are two MAJOR aspects to sales: presentation and process.

These words can be used interchangeably with a host of other synonyms that infer the same thing. But what we’re talking about here is how to be effective, and how to be efficient.

The presentation part is what most people think of when they think of sales. It’s the charisma. It’s the salesman on the phone, lauding the features and benefits. It’s the impression they make on you. The attitude they possess. It’s everything you perceive when the salesman is presenting you an opportunity to buy, to make a transaction that acquires you some perceived value. This is the “front end” of sales, the side the public sees. The image. You can always be more effective in your presentation, because it deals with human interaction. Effectiveness is the name of the game. When you’re speaking with a prospect, what’s your close rate? That determine’s how we determine how effective you are. Presentation engages perception, and appeals to values. Presentation improves by identifying and implementing best practices. It deals with what’s at hand, and how to adapt to the moment in front of you to yield the desired outcome.

The process part is the organization behind the madness. It’s the systems that are implemented to organize activity to be most productive, it is the CRM, the scheduling, the follow up, the metrics, the goals. This is the “back end” of sales. Its the aspect of sales that involves self-management. In regards to process, efficiency is the name of the game. Process deals with time, and time is finite. How can we do more work with less time? You have a list of 1,000 leads, and you’re goal is the speed at which you acquire new business. How do we contact, follow up, and track the progress of each of these leads in the most efficient way? This is the study of process. It is the methods in which you tackle your goals. It deals with delivering you to the moment at hand in a way that maximizes your time, and eliminates wasteful energy.

There is a balance, however. One cannot spend too much time on one or the other.

Moreover, what I have learned is that when you have an efficient process, you can focus on being more effective.

My first sales job was selling books door to door. I attended a two week, 14 hour day sales training blitz that walked me through the process this company developed over 150 years of selling. They provided a roadmap for how to organize my day to day, how to attack my territory, how to walk through a neighborhood. They also gave us a “sales script”, and made us memorize it word for word. We memorized a response for every potential interaction, every objection, every close. You name it. I thought this was exhausting and silly. I thought I sounded like a robot. They insisted this was necessary. That once I had gained experience and confidence, I could modify it on the fly, but that not using a script would be detrimental, and prevent me from gaining the confidence necessary to gain their trust.

The ego in me thought I was great with people, and that I could invent a great pitch on the fly, just woo them with my charm and good looks. How disappointed I was. When you don’t have a script, when you don’t have a definitive process to reference, you cannot identify what works and what doesn’t. There are too many variables. What went wrong? You don’t know. You need to have a baseline and go from there. In this way you collect information about your interactions and determine, through inferential statistics, what should be changed to gain a more desirable response and close.

Having experience in a given area instills a supreme self-confidence in your ability to perform effectively and achieve desired results in that area. Unless you are surrounded my a group of experts or specialists in that area, most people won’t know any better. You can fake a lot, and that supreme confidence will convince others in your abilities. But in life, a supreme self-confidence in self is absolutely necessary to convince others of your self-worth, regardless if there’s “adequate” experience to indicate so.

For instance, I have great faith in my ability to overcome and achieve just about any challenge presented to me. Why? Because I’ve overcome enough challenges and succeeded enough times in my life to know that, on a long enough time line, with enough persistent effort, I will adapt and overcome and achieve. The past is a poor guide to the future. It is unreliable. It is satisfactory for basic inference, but the future is always unknown, and the greatest determinant of the future is my attitude and efforts and vision: namely, the vision of excellence I possess for undertaking the task and performing the duty to the best of my ability. It is a higher faith that whatever is in me is greater than any obstacle in the world. It is self-efficacy, self-esteem. It is self-worth. And the cultivation of self-worth is developed by a commitment to believe in myself no matter what the circumstance, no matter what the hardship, no matter what the feeling.

I recall a very damaged sense of self early on in my journey. I think of the quote, “When the man changes the way he looks at the world, the world he looks at changes.” I remember the early days, when I was about 19 or 20, and I was bound by my habits of thought, limiting habits of belief, which manifested in destructive patterns of thought and various vices, most notably as addiction.

Charlie Tremendous Jones said, “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”

I recall having the fortune to be broken and desperate enough to submit myself to help, to asking “God” or the universe or whatever was beyond my comprehension, to deliver me and change my life. I happened to have some books in my possession that altered the course of my thoughts, and therefore my life, forever. The writings I reference most often for this revelation are “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen and “Self-Reliance” by R.W. Emerson, and a bible verse from Luke chapter 11 verse 9: “Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and ti shall be opened unto you.”

This first break in darkness provided a light in my life that illuminated a deep reflection which created the very beginnings of a self awareness I would seek forever after to leverage in my quest for self-mastery.

There is nothing more powerful than a fully awakened being, fully present, fully conscious, fully in tune with the universe, with the evolving environment, the frothing flux of sensory surroundings the brimming body is submersed within, fully aware, completely empty of every reaction, of every fear and hope and desire, detached from the worldly preoccupations, but totally entrenched in the earths energy, inhabited by the power of a universal unity of all things.

This present being provides the mechanism for synthesizing wisdom and understanding from the chaotic impermanence characterizing the “world” that we perceive “outside” from our “self”, the most common illusion we perpetually narrate when communicate our current state, and the historical sequences of cause and effect we falsely create in our reflections to justify it.

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