I sold cars for a long time. I was very successful, a top performer every month. My customers appreciated my honest, straightforward and knowledgeable approach. I actually had a customer tell me that I changed the car-buying experience for them, that I was the “anti-salesman.” I have never done a job that came more naturally to me than selling cars. It was almost gratifying. Some people treated me like a schmuck, which is tough for the alpha male that I am, but I’m not a schmuck and I handled them like I did everyone else. With courtesy and professionalism. One of my fellow salesmen nicknamed me “the magic man” because I kept turning the impossible customers into the possible. It’s not a Vulcan mind trick, it’s a matter of reading people and controlling your body language.
Unfortunately, the negatives outweighed the positives. The income was very up and down, paying monthly bills could be challenging if you were living check to check. You have to be a strong saver. My wife hated the ups and downs, which eventually drove me to seek more “stable” employment. Loosely translated, she would rather have me make less money but know what the envelope contained as opposed to letting me earn more, which I was certainly capable of. I’ll never understand that mentality.
Another negative to car sales, and I won’t list them all, is controlling the green monster we all know as envy. Much of car sales is luck, sometimes you meet a guaranteed sale, sometimes you meet one that if you work hard enough it may happen, and sometimes you get a giant waste of your time. Having been one of the top dogs in the dealership I rarely had a bad month. I had the occasional dry spell and I would like to tell you that I weathered it well and remained positive. But I would be lying. There were times when I couldn’t catch a break. It almost always worked itself out but it feels like an eternity until it does.
I genuinely want people around me to succeed. I also feel bad for people, at least those that try but need help. I was always willing to share a sale or hand one off to someone who needed it more than I did. I was never greedy. I offered to help new or struggling employees to make them better. I genuinely was in tune with those around me. And some of them absolutely hated me, for no other reason than that I was good at what I did. To those that aren’t successful, a slump is frustrating and when someone around you is killing it, it’s easy to be jealous. Even wish for them to fail.
At my last job, before I became really ill, I took another position selling cars. I was not successful. The reasons aren’t important, there were people and forces that would make it impossible for me to succeed, but it had nothing to do with my personality or technique. I struggled badly, began to doubt myself and began to feel hostility towards those who were doing well. I didn’t want those around me to fail, but their success angered me. I was facing a side of me I didn’t want to and had to ask myself Am I a hypocrite? As the saying goes, I needed to “check myself before I wrecked myself” and change my mindset. But I was alarmed.
Hence today’s “what if?”. What if we turned our thoughts around.?
If I had to decipher the energy I feel around me I would say it is overwhelmingly negative. Social media, the news, late-night talk shows, talk radio and Network news are flooded with hate, bias, and vitriol. We are hopelessly divided, all sides wishing for the others to fail. Each telling the other how wrong they are.
We wish failure on those who disagree with us. We treat them as enemies and engage them in a war. We are so very well versed in what we differ on. Yet we know little of what we share in common. Wouldn’t it be better to focus on what we agree on or have in common? Isn’t it better to stand in unity than to sit in protest? Isn’t the sharing of ideas the basis of growth, or has remaining silent and holding back because it is not “along party lines” the new protest?
We can want what we want without wishing bad things on others. Our success lies in the number of people we can unite, not alienate. Promotions should be awarded to the most qualified, games should be won by the team with the most heart, respect should be given to those worthy of it, and we should wish the best for each other. Things will inevitably go the way it should. If you can’t wish someone a nice day then wish them the day they deserve. And let Karma sort that shit out.
“Be kind to those that you meet, for each is fighting a hard battle.” I live by these words, I regret the times that I have waded into that pool of negativity. I will never again. I wish everyone well and I want everyone to succeed. The road to happiness is not paved with the broken dreams of my fellow man. As I try to live this way, I have an inner peace that is practically struggling to burst from my chest.
I wish you well, because you deserve it. This is who I am now, and this is what I do.