Today I received a letter from a former colleague…. and I would like to share it with all of you.
Everyone struggles with life at times, and falls to lows beyond ones measure…. It is COURAGE that lifts us to levels we did not know existed. When faced with little choice the COURAGE to continue always comes from within> However it is your friends who care that will INSPIRE one to find the COURAGE.
Dear Chris. Have you ever written a letter and never mailed it for whatever reason? I have written this letter many times and today I know why I never sent it…more about that in a bit though. Nine to five jobs have never appealed to me for my entire working career. The thought of putting in a forty hour week and getting a pay check just had no appeal. I came from a very poor upbringing watching my Italian immigrant father work his fingers to the bone for pennies on the dollar for an employer who never really respected him for what he offered. At a very young age I knew that being my own boss and being in sales was the only way I would ever succeed in life. After many years of success, I retired from a 37 year career and moved north to Orillia to offer my children a more relaxed life. I thought I knew everything there was to know about sales and then some. I saw a posting in a local newspaper for a commission based job at a ski resort known as Carriage Hills Resort. The fact that is was commission based actually excited me. After a couple of weeks of boring training and another couple of weeks painfully waiting for my first tour…finally I was called to the floor and introduced to my first visitor. Well after being left a bide at the alter far too many times and one huge shattered ego, I was told I would have someone sit in on my tour with me to see why being a true bride was not me forte. I was introduced to a gentleman named Chris. Chris sat in on my tour, very quietly from start to finish. He never once interrupted my presentation and attempted to close my client. Upon my return after escorting my tour out, Chris was waiting at my table for me. Very calmly he asked me what my past career history was and I proudly explained sales and proudly told him if they would let me sell my way I would be very successful. With a very abrupt posture and voice, this man went up one side of me and down another proceeding to tell me everything I did wrong on my tour and how I knew nothing about sales. I informed him I had been selling million dollar items for years and I did know how to sell. He then added that that was the biggest part of my problem. For days I was pissed at the arrogance of this man but he intrigued me and what in Gods name was he trying to tell me anyway? I used to sit as close to his table as I could when not on tour listening to his presentations taking it all in. On my last one in ten notice, he came to my table and asked what I was going to do. At that point I felt totally deflated and defeated. He gave me the names of some books to read. Because I was on borrowed time and had barely any tours now, I scooted my ass to the book store and purchased everything on the list and then some. I called in sick for two days …shhh..and read till my eyes crossed. During training I was told to never wear red on the sales floor. Well that day I felt defiant and empowered. I did my tour and asked if I could have Chris, the touring TO close my table. And so he did. Again he waiting for my return and asked what I felt what different about my tour. I told him I heard what he was trying to tell me before…I didn’t sell. He leaned over and kissed me on the cheek and said…now you’re into money! And fo the next three out of four months I won salesperson of the month and then was asked to join the management team. For my entire working career, I unconsciously trained for this job, I just needed a leader to teach me what was important and it wasn’t the money after all.
Unfortunate health circumstances forced me to leave my job. I sat back not knowing what to do with myself. Being a single parent for so many years, I only knew parenting and making money. I lost my identity. With my children grown and no way of returning to the work force, I became seriously depressed and caged myself away from the outside world. While I was off on sick leave, one phone call did me in. My company had folded. Any hope of going back to work in the future was gone. Becoming more depressed my illness worsened. I had taken in a young girl when she was fourteen and parented her like my own. A year ago she passed away. No one teaches you how to go on with life and feel there is any hope. No one can hold your hand through times like these and feel your pain. At times I would peruse facebook just to see what my friends on the outside world were doing. When John Dennis lost his son Ben, It was all I could do to reach out and be there for him…but sadly only for a brief time. I couldn’t face the pain he was in combined with my own. Then one night I saw a posting about your cancer. I must share with you, tears instantly rolled down my cheek. I felt so sorry for you and your family that you all had to go through so much pain. I thought of my mentor having so much to offer and so little time. Again my own pity party…well what more can I say. It’s surprising what brings one from the depths of hell. I write you this letter now and this time send it to you because it is you my friend who has once again given me strength. I don’t know how many people have shared this with you before, quite a few I hope…but your FB page and your postings on TRG have inspired and pushed me to join the living again. I’m not sure you know how your strength has I’m sure empowered many of us to dig deep within ourselves and pull out the good. I never though that the man who sat at my table and tore me down for good reasons would ever be the same person for my success. As the bride who was left at the alter too many times and slow out of the gate, with your brutal honesty, your tenacity, your leadership and mentorship lots of which I am sure you are not aware of I humbly thank you my friend. I wish that I could have been there for you perhaps when you needed a friend. Chris, I am not much of a religious person, but I do thank God that you have always been there for me, even if you didn’t know. I know from your postings it is your belief in the power of your mind that keeps you with us. I don’t know what you are doing now but whatever it is…I know you are consciously and unconsciously helping others. Thank you for staying strong and funny. YOU my friend are a true leader. My Love to you
Thank you my friend for allowing me to be your Mentor..……