When I was in my early twenties, one of my first jobs was in sales. But I didn’t just sell, I was taught to be a “one sitting close”, more skillful than a used car salesman, a vulture closing machine. There is no remorse for people’s situations. There is no worry about your wallets. Sell them, and sell them at the highest price to get the highest commission possible. oh yeah, the glamorous life of a home improvement salesman. At that time I had two roommates and the three of us worked for the same company. We sold sunrooms, very expensive windows and siding. And we live the single lifestyle to the fullest. We were working maybe 25 hours a week, going out more than 4 nights a week, rarely waking up before 11am, and making a lot of money for young 20-somethings fresh out of college. When we talked to our friends, they always asked about it. They wanted to know what we did, why we made so much money, and why we never seemed to work. And of course, how we got the job. They would always envy our lifestyle as they were fucking from 9 to 5 every day in their cubicles for a salary that could barely cover the cost of their rent and college loans. So what do you think happened to these poor souls? Well, many really tried to work at work. Stick the thorn in our seemingly perfect work rose.
I honestly hated my job and my life at the time. It was wretched. For starters, it was a 100% commission job. When you started with the company you got what was known as a “raffle”. He received a small weekly paycheck to enable him to survive. Impressive right? Too bad you had to return it. So if you didn’t walk out the door with guns blazing, then you were in a creek without a paddle. Fortunately for me, I was very good at the job, but a lot of our friends who tried it didn’t do so well. Appointments with clients, or “prospects” as we call them in sales parlance, were often more like trips to satan’s doorstep than a friendly, neighborly visit to discuss how we could help people improve their homes. Hell, a friend of mine actually had to go on a track at a bona fide crack shack. The worst part about the tracks is that there was so much pressure on us to release every single track that when he walked into the crack shack, he actually released the crack heads! And if he was lucky enough to close a sale (a 20% closing rate meant he was a star), he would hand over the paperwork and sit at the altar for the next three days praying the deal “works out.” . There was a three-day right of rescission law where customers could cancel the contract and more times than we wanted to admit, that’s exactly what they did. After the three-day right of rescission, our contractors had to go out and make sure they could do the project. Guess what, we couldn’t always pull off building a sunroom on a pool deck with rotten support beams. So combine the 100% commission with tough customers and the constant threat of deals falling through and you’ve got yourself a good old-fashioned, stress-filled pressure cooker. Is there any question as to why we feel the need to go out drinking 5 nights a week? We were just trying to get over the fact that we had to go do our work the next day.
We all know this crazy condition of male jealousy. Our perception tells us that our garden is beginning to brown like a cotton field from the Texas plains, while our neighbors are growing a deep green that would make the superintendent of Augusta National blush. So why do we feel this way? Why can’t we just be happy with what we have? How can we change this inevitable evil of human nature? The answer lies in our endless competing human needs. Two of which compete with each other to often make us question whether or not what we are currently doing is good enough.
1) Stability and Comfort
2) Instability and Variety
So wait… We want stability and comfort. That makes sense. A roof over our head. A steady stream of income on a job we know how to do. A caring girlfriend who is always there for us. But we also want variety. So do we want to live in different places? Work new and exciting jobs? And experience many different women? Doesn’t make much sense, does it? Or if? This brings us to one of my favorite words; Balance. And with the two needs of stability and instability we are always looking for a balance. Too much stability and we end up in a place of boredom. Too much instability and we get nervous from anxiety, fear and stress.
What are some strategies to combat stability vs. unstable paradigm?
in our health
1) This is by far the easiest to fix. If your training is stagnant, change it. Maybe you’re only lifting weights four days a week. Join a weightlifting team, start taking classes, or find a lifting partner. Take a look at meetup.com. There are groups for everything. And if there isn’t, you can start your own.
2) If you’re new to exercise, the biggest factor keeping us from following through on our newfound promise of fitness is that we find it too painful. The gains (weight loss) are not happening fast enough to justify the pain of working out. For those of us who can’t seem to find our swagger, we just have to keep trying different ways to sweat until we find something we like to do. Trust me when I say this. If you can find a sport or a class, etc., that totally absorbs you in the activity, you will soon forget the pain.
in our works
1) Know that growth is going to be crucial in this area of our lives. We often make the mistake of getting too comfortable in our work and then turn around and realize how dissatisfied and lazy we’ve become. I’m not telling you to quit and start a business here, but start looking for new challenges in your current job or, if those aren’t available, start looking at other job options.
2) If you have chosen the path of entrepreneur, actor, musician, etc. know that you are on a long term road here and nothing happens overnight. This is a path of great variety and many ups and downs. Find a side job to give your life some much-needed comfort. Your wallet and your stress levels will thank you.
in our relationships
1) This can be difficult. For this balance to work, a few key things are required. First, that both people in the relationship grow individually at an equal rate. A businessman dating a teacher will likely present more challenges than a businessman dating an actress. There is more variety in being an entrepreneur than in being a teacher and more comfort and stability in being a teacher than an entrepreneur. Second, both people need to offer support and stability while also offering variety in the experience of the relationship. Relationships often get boring over time because we fall into very predictable relationship patterns. If your occasional Netflix night turns into a Netflix weekend, then you know things need to be spiced up.
2) The need to spread the seed. This is a very real thing for men. After all, it is a built-in mechanism to ensure the continuation of our species. I will not go into details here. For more information check out my blogs at Utopialifeonline.com