This morning, I got onto the 5 train to go Downtown, and this guy gets on the train and starts speaking like he's at a podium. My first thought was that he was selling Jesus, but he wasn't. He was selling a book he had written.
His name was Randy Kearse. He had gone to prison for 15 years when he was younger, and he spent the time locked up preparing for when he would get out and change his life. He told us that he had his own publishing company and every eloquently invited us to look at his book.
Of course, no one looked up except me, but I bought a copy of his book. I wanted to read the story of a guy who was gutsy enough to walk onto a crowded train and just open up a sales pitch.
It got me thinking. This guy was in prison for 15 years, and now he's a writer who has apparently sold 75,000 copies of his books doing exactly what I saw this morning. I've never been to prison. I've got a college degree. I'm a little short on excuses today.
Then I thought about this past weekend. I went to Steampunk Worlds Fair, and Amy and I ran ConCardia, the Info Desk and the Merch Table. ConCardia, in 5 years has grown from an unplayable game I printed on my home printer to a fixture at the largest steampunk event in North America. I had some really awesome people having cards to give out in the game, and a lot of people really enjoyed it.
You see, this is important because my job has been wearing me down. I have not been terribly successful in what I am supposed to be doing, largely because I have not been able to do things that way I feel that they should be done. I have internalized this, started to doubt myself, started to think that maybe I don’t have what it takes.
Oh really? I have what it takes to get a quite a few bands, some awesome reality TV folks, and one very clever magician to be excited about my little card game.
My first job sales job was 1996. I chaired my first convention in 2001, and opened my first business in 2002. In 2003, I was a co-founder of the Come Again Players who still perform to this day. In 2005, I led the transition of a struggling game store into a volunteer run collective that successfully operated in various forms for 12 more years. In 2006 I co-founded Pi-Con which ran for most of a decade. I created the Connecticon Info Desk department. I have led sales training courses and written a (unfinished) book on networking.
I have been in sales, marketing and entrepreneurship for 21 years. My sales skills are old enough to drink. I know what the fuck I’m talking about.
So, if I analyze the data and develop a sales plan, I know a little bit of what I speak. If I present the plan, and you shoot that plan down in favor of a plan that my two decades of experience say will not work, listen to me when I say it’s the wrong choice or don’t blame me for the results.
I have the experience. I have the skills. I have the drive. I merely await the opportunity to put it all together and once again show the world what I am capable of.