I have been extremely fortunate to be able to retire when I was in my late 30’s. I starting working when I was 14 years old and was always a hard worker. No matter what I was doing, I was money motivated. And to make money you had to work hard and think outside the box.
Now mind you I was a C student from public schools and a University of the Midwest. I was a terrible also test taker that usually resulted in a decent sized portion of your grade in college classes. But to say I was not smart, which I always thought I was, is actually incorrect. Over time I could not figure out why a lot of my friends were Honor Roll / Scholarship students. Here I am with my 2.0 grade point and a horrific ACT score. The only reason I got into college was because my parents check cashed (thank goodness) back in the day. They would basically take anyone in the early 90’s if you could afford tuition. But my friends were smart and why would they hangout with this loser?
So why was it that at age 14 I was practically running a fast food restaurant. At age 17 I was selling suits on commission and beating out the adults that did it for a living. Throughout college I had the keys to open and close Rec centers, coach 150 kids at a time and work maintenance for a large apartment complex without any maintenance skills! After college I started to figure out, and it took sometime, that I was smarter then I thought. I ran a warehouse, did marketing and in the end sales all for a new and growing company. And that is when I realized I was good at thinking outside the box, taking risks and overall I was good at sales.
When I say sales, I am sure you are thinking the car salesman dude that could push out a lot of cars. Not that I always wanted that challenge for a week to do something like that!! But I was good at not only selling goods and services, I was good at selling myself and selling others on themselves. I can motivate, public speak and overall get people excited about just about anything. BUT….I also learned that honesty and being straightforward was the only way to sell and succeed. Because if people don’t trust you they don’t really want to buy from you either.
Now let’s get to the title of this blog. What I have learned over time and have taught those around me is that You Do Not Have to Re-Invent the Wheel to be successful. What you need to do is just Be A Better Wheel. No matter what you are doing….working fast food, delivery boxes, driving for Uber, selling software, V.P. of sales…whatever that might be in your life, you just have to be better then everyone else. Amazon did not create a bookstore, they just made it better. Then they decided they were not just a Walmart, they made it better. Tesla did not invent the car, they just made it better. Same goes for In & Out who did not invent the hamburger, they made it better then McDonald’s. They also train better, pay better and source their own fresh meat and vegetables.
With whatever job you have currently. Step back and take a look around you. Look at your co-workers. Study who is successful and who is not. Don’t worry about taking someone else’s ideas that are working. If there is a salesperson that is killing it in your company, find out what they are doing and adapt to make it work for you. It’s okay, you need to be successful too. Also, maybe you are really good at what you do, think about sharing with others that ask for assistance. The more open, responsible and adult you are about working with others will only make you a better and more promotable person in the future. Over the years that I was successful selling and then running a sales team, you have to share you knowledge and you have to be competitive. Yes competitive, but in a good and positive way. If you are the person shoving it in people’s faces when you get a big sale, then you are the jerk no one wants to be around. But if you share your success then others will look up to you with the possibility of others being successful around you. The more successful everyone is the more successful you will be overall.
Again, don’t invent the wheel, just make it better.