Where did you develop your character? Where did you get your life skills? How have you become successful at what you do? Where did you get your experience?
Julio Melara, author of, “Do You Have TIME For Success?” and President of the Baton Rouge Business Report, is a master salesman. I asked Julio what was his secret of sales success. His answer will help you all succeed.
Julio said, “I decided to make a list of all the jobs I ever had as a youth. It shocked me to see the number of them I held before I reached the age of 21. As I made at the list, I realized that most of them were menial jobs, but I also realized that each one provided some positive influence toward my success.”
“I decided to write the lesson of life I got from each job,” said Julio enthusiastically. “The results stunned me, and I wanted to share them with everyone so that they could make their own list. Here is a list of jobs you won’t find on my resume, but lessons that have lasted a lifetime, and crafted a salesman.”
Started cutting grass for profit at age 11. (Before 11, I was cutting grass for free when I was ordered to by my parents.)
Life Lesson Learned: It’s important to give things a clean, professional look.
Sold newspaper subscriptions door-to-door for daily newspaper.
Life Lesson Learned: The joy of rejection. I had to knock on at least 30 doors before I ever sold one subscription. But I won the contest for most sales.
Stock Clerk at a local food store.
Life Lesson Learned: Make sure that if I want to sell something, that I have the merchandise in stock. Also showed me what effect running out of something as trivial as Corn Flakes had on a customer. You’d think the world had come to an end.
Janitor in an office building.
Life Lesson Learned: The importance of cleanliness as it relates to image.
Porter at a used car lot.
Life Lesson Learned: Serving is the gateway to selling. AND that if I made the car sparkle, people were more attracted to it.
Dishwasher at local restaurant.
Life Lesson Learned: There are lots of jobs that no one wants to do. Bigger lesson: Most people leave a lot of food on their plates (they don’t finish what they start).
Fry & Prep cook at a steak house.
Life Lesson Learned: The importance of preparation and the impact of the right presentation.
Merchandiser of wine in food and liquor stores.
Life Lesson Learned: How to arrange and position things so that people will have a greater desire to buy.
Construction helping hand (lug wood and supplies from one place to another).
Life Lesson Learned: I don’t want to do this the rest of my life.
Shipping Clerk at a plumbing supply house.
Life Lesson Learned: Delivering your product on time is just as important as selling it.
Breakfast cook at a hotel.
Life Lesson Learned: How to do fifteen things at once. Also learned people like weird things on their eggs.
Cleaned cars at detailing shop.
Life Lesson Learned: The importance of details. There’s a big difference between washing a car and detailing a car. You can pay $15 to wash the outside of the car, or $150 to clean the car inside and out and cover all the details. Details are a pain, but details are valuable.
Shoe salesman at a retail store.
Life Lesson Learned: If you find what the customer likes, they’ll buy more. Sell customers what they want and like. AND how to compliment people and be sincere.
Busboy at a local diner.
Life Lesson Learned: People enjoy being served with a smile. People hate a dirty table. People love a clean table.
Courier for business newspaper.
Life Lesson Learned: Even though it was the lowest job in the company, the organization could not function without the deliveries I made. I learned that the messenger is just as important as the message.
“In every one of these jobs I can remember experiencing some type of failure and some type of frustration, but it never stopped me from trying to do my best,” Julio exhorted. “Most of these jobs I quit to get a better job. One I got fired from because I wasn’t doing a good job. Once fired is enough.”
“The biggest lesson I learned came from setbacks. They gave me determination. Stupid jobs made me smart,” reflected Julio. “The biggest secret to get to the top is: you have a better chance if you start at the bottom. And when you start at the bottom, in order to get to the top, it only takes everything you’ve got.”
What dumb jobs made you smart? And what sacrifice did it take to get your experience? BEWARE: Experience has no value unless you apply it in new ways. And are you willing to give it everything you’ve got?