AKA: Why Being An ‘Unemployed Employee’ Is The Greatest Job In The World.
This morning I woke up at 3:53 AM. Now, I’m an early riser, but that was aggressive. But I rolled over, picked up my phone, and wrote the following: “The economics of how we live haven’t changed in the last 10 years, but how we make a living has changed the economy over the last decade.” Then I fell back asleep, woke up at 5 with my alarm, and went to the gym.
I’m unemployed. Technically. I don’t have a W2 and I don’t have a boss. But I work very hard every, single day. When you work for yourself there is no one paying attention to what time you show up in the morning or what time you leave in the evening. There’s no one to tell you how to do your job. No one is breathing down my neck pushing me to do more – sell more, earn more. As a salesperson, that’s all up to me. When I first started out in sales, being accountable only to myself was a huge challenge. It also wasn’t a conventionally respectable job – “Sales”. Just 10 years ago, I was a failure if I didn’t get into law school, med school, or business school. Getting a job in sales meant that Plan A (even if you didn’t have a Plan A) must not have worked out. The world would shed a collective tear for you.
Now, just 10 years later, a career in sales has catapulted to Plan A status. Even though the “real” jobs of a decade, two decades, and a century ago are still around, the world has awoken to the idea that since everyone has to pay their bills, their mortgage (the general economics of how we live I mentioned in my 3:53 AM note to myself), you no longer have to follow your parents direction for how to make a living. You can – gasp – work for yourself, in sales, to pay those same bills. And what’s happened in these past 10 years is amazing – everyone now has the opportunity to be an unemployed employee, just like me.
I didn’t choose sales, it was something I picked up because acting and hand modeling was not paying the rent, and I was inching dangerously close to becoming the guy who lives in his parent’s basement. As I started to rent more apartments, I started to get further away from my problems. Suddenly I understood that being in sales was a solution. It wasn’t about being some cheesy, pushy car salesman in a bad suit. Sales gave me the power to fix my life.
I started out in sales ten years ago, right after the collapse of the world economy. It was a tough time to be starting a career, but the landscape new graduates are facing today is equally challenging. College graduates are entering an incredibly competitive job market. The unemployment rate for college graduates is higher than it was in 2007. Gone are the days of receiving an awesome job offer before you walk off the stage with a diploma. College grads aren’t the only ones who are struggling. Millions of high school graduates are entering the workforce, and they’re likely to earn less than half of what the college grads are earning. It’s not the prettiest picture – 3,000 people are defaulting on student loans every day! And how are you supposed to save for a down payment on a home if you already have a mountain of debt, or you’re in the group who is less likely to earn as much as those with college degrees?!
I know what it feels like to not know where next month’s rent check is coming from. It’s The Worst. But don’t panic, because there’s good news.
You don’t have to wait for someone to give you a job to take control of your life and finances. You don’t even have to wait until you’ve graduated to start chipping away at that debt. You can start, literally right now. Anyone can work in sales. You don’t have an ivy league degree? Sooooo what? You didn’t go to college? We don’t care! If you have sales skills you have everything you need to change your earning power right now.
Here Are 3 Ways Working In Sales Can Solve All Of Your Problems:
- Sales Opportunities are Endless: There are countless ways to earn money from sales. While real estate worked for me (getting a real estate license only takes a few hours of clicking!), you might prefer working in retail or setting up your own eBay shop. The possibilities are endless. Things are being sold every, single day, and you might as well be the one selling them.
- Sales Gives You Control: My credit card was once declined at the grocery store. I walked out of the store and cried. For real. I made a commitment to myself that I would never feel that way again. I started working smarter, harder and pushing myself over every obstacle I encountered. In sales, you control how much you work and how hard you work – I didn’t have to wait for someone to see my worth and give me a promotion or schedule me for more hours. I had complete control over my career, and ultimately how much money I made.
- Sales skills are life skills: I became addicted to sales and the opportunities it brought to me. But I also know I can accomplish – seriously, just about anything because sales skills are life skills! I went from being the shyest, most awkward kid around to someone who learned to make genuine connections with people, who has seen the magic that can happen with a simple follow up phone call, and can successfully negotiate through nearly impossible situations. I don’t currently have any plans to retire my real estate license, but I’m confident that thanks to the skills I’ve acquired I could do just about anything (with the possible exception of surgeon, I’m definitely not qualified for that).
Life continues to get more expensive, and we never stop needing homes, food, and cars – and wanting some of life’s nicer perks like ice cream, good shoes and vacations. But how to get those things is changing – the way salespeople work can change our economy. If you’re one of the 3,000 people who defaulted on their student loan – make this the moment where you choose to change your life.
Don’t wait for someone to give you an opportunity, make one for yourself now, and start building the life you want to live.