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Being in Sales Doesn’t [Just] Teach You Meritocracy – It Makes You Live it

Being in sales doesn't teach you meritocracy - it makes you live it.‏


Being in sales doesn’t teach you meritocracy – it makes you live it.

When your standard of living is tied with how well you perform, innovation becomes your standard mode of operation while focus becomes your ballast – not only in your job, but everywhere in your life. I’ve learned this not solely from my own experience, (where I’ve personally had a tumultuous journey of success in sales) – but from executives who, in the privacy of our conversations, shared portions of their life that showcased how sales taught them a way of living unknown to most other job categories except that of entrepreneur.

While it is true that you must find your niche within sales to be happy with your position, the fact remains that (regardless of position) good performance is your bridge to more money.

But is more money greedy?

Is it?

Investing money has various modes of financial intricacy (as there are many ways to do it). But one thing is for sure; money is hardly ever hoarded by those who know how to make it. Almost everyone I know who makes lots of money is also concerned with investing it,  and investing – if you’ve experienced the art of it – is the farthest thing from greed.

In fact investing is probably one of the most benign gestures of financial reciprocity we have in our society. The only thing for which there stands a higher moral ground above investing is philanthropy (which is simply the altruistic twin-brother of investment). Investments create jobs and innovation, both of which raise standards of living (a.k.a – reduce poverty) above and beyond redistribution. Investments keep companies alive.  Keeping a company alive keeps jobs alive. Because of this there is no difference between yearning for less unemployment and yearning for good companies to stay afloat.  Economically, these yearnings should be in tandem.

But in what ways do earnings reflect the mindset of one who ears them?  If a person is intelligent enough to earn (and maintain) their living through a position that is tied with the success of their company, wouldn’t you expect them to apply the same intelligence (and innovation) to the continuance of compounding their dollar?  What better way does one compound the value of their wealth than by supporting the growth of another company to who’s success is tied their own?  While it may be true that not everyone invests in stocks, many people either place their money into a 401k or just save the money in a bank – and banks don’t just sit on this money. They give out loans to people wishing to start a business. Even by simply accumulating money stored in a bank, entrepreneurs help provide the equity for the banks to make loans;  the entrepreneur is inadvertently helping a new business or a family purchase their first home.

The Entrepreneurial Aspect of Sales

In many ways, sales (in whatever field) is one of the closest positions you can obtain that will give you a portion of the mindset (albeit small) that an entrepreneur experiences in owning their business. Minus all the risk, sales is one of the most meritocratic and exciting endeavors for employment because the amount and type of labor you invest is associated directly to the success of the company as a whole.   Sales involves pulling out the smartest and most innovative portions of your mind to ensure your book of business navigates safely through financial and social hurtles.

Entrepreneurs experience this multiple times over because of risk. Risk is the reason why entrepreneurs deserve the commensurate reward that is tied with their financial gain.  Their high earnings should be based upon meritocracy;  a good company should make a lot of money – so should a good sales executive.  And when you consider how arduous or uncomfortable it would be to start your own company, (have you ever made comments such as “I’d never start my own company; it’s too risky”?), think about how valuable it is to have people who actually overcame such fears.  Just think about all the items located around you that were created, shipped, and packaged by a company started (even long ago) by an entrepreneur.  It is true that these could not be done without the labor of workers, but the “know how” of an innovator is what created the company – not just labor on it’s own.  The entrepreneur “navigates” the labor of the workers who, were they not laboring for a company, would instead be laboring for food or shelter that would benefit no one other than themselves.   It is the entrepreneur who’s company spreads wealth by offering employment for the workers and products that raise the standard of living for society.  

An entrepreneurs daily activity and personal life is also under scrutiny because the success of their business is weighed between every hour wasted or utilized.  This is precisely why it’s important to expect a reward commensurate with the risk these entrepreneurs take.  These are people who, either from courage or mental fortitude, ignored the negative sentiments (that many of us would experience) and pushed forward with starting their business. If you feel as though I’m exalting entrepreneurs – you’re right. Though there are many differences between being full owner of a company and salesman, the common denominator is both their finances are associated with performance.

“Give me my share for this year,” sayeth the government, “for next year I will need more”.

I also know what it’s like to have the government take around 40% of your sales commission away. It’s not that I question how much the government needs it or whether my dollars will be put to good use. Rather, the government has taken away an opportunity for a smart citizens to make the autonomous choice of where their money is invested – where their money reciprocates value in society.

So now take this to a level of even greater depth and consider all of the money makers who are not millionaires but must be innovative enough to have earned their keep (for their paycheck depends on such innovation and hard work). This works the same for successful entrepreneurs.  By taking 40% of their commission the government has now bypassed the process of allowing the most shrewd inspectors and regulators (aka the entrepreneurs) deal with the management and re-creation of their money and wealth.  By not allowing entrepreneurs to “get richer”, they are inadvertently stifling the progress of the poor (since the entrepreneurs entire wealth is based upon increasing the wealth of others).

As a conglomerate force of economic nature government takes money away from entrepreneurs and business people who create it (and who will not stop creating it). But unfortunately the continued creation of money from these entrepreneurs, now 40% in the hands of government, robs the poverty stricken people from obtaining a higher standard of living that would’ve been paid for by innovative and shrewd investments which only the entrepreneurs, now prevented from implementing such a course, could have made.

One thought on “Being in Sales Doesn’t [Just] Teach You Meritocracy – It Makes You Live it

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