When I was in college I craved attention. I dyed my hair blond, I’d go for runs topless in Boston wearing sky blue short soccer shorts to show off my specimen-esque physique. I had earrings for every occasion. I don’t know how I didn’t see it, but I was a cocky arrogant guy. Present day me would have slapped college me. When Bill pointed that out, it changed me to my core. Because I wanted my own door to door sales office, I needed fix this and quick. Turns out, it takes an agonizingly long time. And during that time there were so many internal conflicts and struggles that they are too numerous to count. But I made my mind up to fix this character flaw and nothing was going to stop me.
I had to address a lot of behaviors with the biggest being having a positive attitude. Anyone who knows me today thinks I never get mad (it’s true, I don’t) and that everything is great (because it is). But 22 year LeRoy would secretly get mad at situations that didn’t work out for me because they weren’t my fault. Example: I would go out for 8 hours to sell stuff and only sell one, while the person who was in the territory next me would sell 10. I would be extremely upset that I had a bad territory. Anyone would have sold one if they had my collection of houses. That right there is text book negative attitude syndrome. Woe is me, I was dealt a bad hand. To get out of that type of thinking I started breaking down my day. I listed 3 positive things from the day and 3 things I wanted to work on the next day. This forced me find the good in each day regardless of sales. Slowly, over time, I started going out to sell with the focus on creating 3 positive experiences. And something magical happened…. I started selling! When selling wasn’t the goal, I sold more stuff. Go figure. When I started seeing results, I started investing more energy in this positive attitude thing.
The next part of my attitude I needed to fix was keeping my attitude positive after someone said NO in the meanest possible way at a door. For this one my sister (she has no idea) came to the rescue. She used to have an away message on AOL IM that said “Always say hi because you just might meet the greatest person in the world”. I used to look at my turf as one big thing instead of a collection of individual people. Each house was mutually exclusive from the next. A “NO” at one house did not mean everyone in the neighborhood was going to say “NO”, which is where my mentality was at. I had to change it where if every house was indeed going to say NO, I should knock on every door and let them tell me NO instead of guessing or assuming. So when one house said “Go away. You’re a terrible person. I hope my spit gets in your eyes and mouth as a slam the door,” I would take a deep breath, wipe the spit from my face and go to the next house with a smile. If I had 100 houses, all 100 houses were going to get a smiling LeRoy. And something strange happened… I sold more!
There are probably hundreds of small instances that I went through that helped reinforce and develop my attitude. But after months of working at it, I finally shed the cockiness, but kept the confidence. Also, I became good at selling stuff. Really good.