Have you ever traveled to a far away place? I love to travel and I have been on such amazing trips… wonderful people and locations, but my favorite part of traveling is the flight. On one flight I settled into my seat as usual, but this time looking at the back of the seat ahead of me I read…‘Fasten your Seat Belts’.
Have you ever noticed that sign as a business metaphor? We see and hear that message throughout the flight, but for some reason this time it caught my attention…it got me thinking about careers and how we do have to ‘Fasten our seat belts’ for the ride of our lives.
I truly love flying and the thrill of adventure. With every adventure there are grand opportunities and not-so-good experiences. Have you ever been on a flight that was delayed or how about the disappointment of a canceled flight? Then there is the frustration of having to be at the airport hours before the actual flight time and only to be shuffled through the security line. You are all dressed up for the flight only to have to remove your shoes, your belt, jacket, and for me the jewelry… Of course you must take out your laptop and after you clear security, you have an opportunity to put it all back on and back in your bag. Have you ever had your luggage lost? I spent 5 days in the same dress in Australia because of lost luggage. I’m sure you can imagine that was not fun!
Then there was the time the flight attendant spilled a full glass of wine on me just after takeoff. Thankfully, it was white wine and the seat beside me was empty so I could get up and out of the puddle of wine I was sitting in and move to the dry seat.
What do all of these negative experiences I have just shared have to do with Fasten Your Seat Belts and your career? So very much!
Do you love your career so much that you are willing to put up with setbacks?
Are you willing to deal with the inconveniences so you can enjoy the rewards?
If your career is based on appointments, are you OK with postponements or cancellations?
I can remember the day I was taking a new Consultant on an appointment with me for training and I missed our exit. In order to correct that error, we had to drive 40 minutes out of the way. At the time I was so annoyed at myself, but that appointment turned out to be a huge success; great sales and a training opportunity. The rest of the story is even better… in later years that consultant went on to become a National Sales Director.
Another time I had an appointment but my car was in for repairs so I had to borrow a car from a friend. However, to get to my friend’s house I had to ask someone else to drive me there to pick up the car. This meant packing all my supplies into two cars before I was actually on my way to my appointment. When I arrived at the address for the appointment the only place to park was on the street on a hill and I had to walk up to the apartment building.
I quickly realized the appointment was on the 4th floor and there was no elevator.
It took two trips to get me and my supplies up to the door, but I did it. When I rang the bell there was no answer….I went to the super’s office to see if they could call the person. (Yes! This was BC, before cell phones!) When I asked the super’s wife to help contact the person in that apartment she assured me they were not home and also told me the appointment was for the next night because she was invited to be there.
Fasten your seat belt!!!! Yes! I was going to choose to do that entire routine all over again the next night.
The 2 cars. Parking on the hill. Climbing the stairs to the 4th floor ….did I mention it was June and there was no air conditioning? But I loved what I did… I loved going on appointments and presenting my products.
I loved the gatherings and helping people have an enjoyable time trying the products. I have learned that if we stay the course and accept the ups and the downs then we give ourselves a chance to become Masters of our Fate. When we choose to continually experience our opportunities, schedule and hold our appointments, we become pro’s.
Now I am a world traveler. I look forward to each trip because every single trip is an adventure and a luxury to me. Traveling brings me the very same feeling I had during my direct sales career. I have come to know that there is always something good in all we do… even with the delays and disappointments, there are lessons. With the victories and celebrations there is joy and the challenges are what lead to true success. So yes, we have to Fasten Our Seat Belts if we are committed to the journey.
I have sat in airports around the world. I have traveled first class and on occasions I’ve sat in the last seat of the plane. I prefer first class, but sometimes you just have to get there and deal with what gets you there. In a direct sales business, the objective is to get there; to book the appointment and then show up. It’s helpful to have an idea of how things should go, but if they don’t we need to be resourceful enough to:
Do what you can
Where you are
With what you have.
Back to that appointment on the 4th floor on that hot June night…. it was a time that I was working to complete my team qualifications to become a Director in Qualification. The person who hosted that appointment became my next team member. Yes! It was certainly worth the “double take” appointment to reach the outcome I was hoping for. Today I am glad I was willing to face the ups and downs with dignity, commitment to my journey, and responsibility to staying the course.
Over and over again, I have chosen to fasten my seat belt and it’s been a trip of a lifetime….. a career that taught me how to soar…how to create a life I love living…and I still do.
Are you ready to Fasten Your Seatbelt?