In order to move, I needed a job in my new town. It was over 100 miles away and I drove up there just to get a newspaper and start looking through the classified. I also went to see Tracie, but I needed the paper. I got hired by the first company I called, Electrolux©. I became a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman.
I actually walked around Springfield, Illinois and knocked on doors to sell vacuum cleaners. Sometimes, I would offer a $10 carpet cleaning to get people to let me in the house. Other times, I would just start my sales pitch as soon as they answered.
I took this job, because I needed a job. I wasn't being too picky. I just needed something so I could be employed and make the move I wanted to make, but something happened I hadn't expected.
I was good at it.
It took me about a month to get the hang of it, but once I did, I was bringing home a paycheck over $1,000 almost every week. This was in 1990! Accounting for inflation, that's a little over eight hundred thousand today!
I was 19 years old and making more money than I knew what to do with. Unfortunately, being 19 also meant I could be obnoxious. Every time I spoke to my dad on the phone, I would ask, "So, how much money did you make today?" He took it in stride and never put me in my place like I deserved.
Soon, I was leading the training meetings and showing the other salesmen how to sell. I loved it, but there was one major problem. I never had time to enjoy the money I was making. Electrolux© had a very demanding schedule. They were of the philosophy that in order for their salesmen to stay on top of their game, they needed to be selling all the time.
And by all the time, I mean ALL THE TIME.
I reported to work at 6 a.m Monday through Saturday and would work until 10 p.m. That is a 16 hour day six days a week. On Sundays, they gave us a break. We only worked 12 hours. Basically, if I was awake, I was selling vacuum cleaners.
Not only was the schedule demanding, but it defeated the entire purpose of me taking the job to begin with: to see my girlfriend. Not being happy, but definitely being exhausted, I quit that job to look for something else. I never regretted leaving, but haven't made that much money since.
The title "U" is for Ultralux refers to the most expensive, premium model vacuum cleaner carried by Electrolux. Despite my success with the company, I was never able to sell one. I sold the #2 model hundreds of times, but could never close the big one.
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