I am on vacation this week, as I imagine many of you are, too, so I decided to send out a previous story that received numerous positive reviews the first time around. For some, this story is new to you; for those who have seen it before, I hope you enjoy it again. Happy Holidays!
I while back a college student asked for a copy of my resume. She was looking for ideas to create her own as she prepared to search for a job. I’ve been an entrepreneur for over twenty years and have rarely had the need for a resume. I began to daydream about what I would put on it, but then my mind started to wander, and I started thinking about all the jobs I would probably leave off. Now that would be a fun resume to create!
After all, no one really cares that I was once a dishwasher in a seafood restaurant despite my aversion to seafood, or that I worked as a telemarketer for a company that sold tools even though I didn’t know how to fix anything. I once sold kitchen knives with handles made from the same material as bowling balls, even though I could barely cook for myself. Then there was the summer I was hired to help assemble a stage for a concert by the famous Boston Pops. My co-workers were tall, muscular men, and I wondered how a short, scrawny kid like me got a job carrying heavy scaffolding. Then I found out: someone had to climb 37 feet above the stage to hang the lights.
I remember going door-to-door trying to sell solar heating panels. I emphasize the word “trying,” because I don’t recall selling any. Four or five times I dressed up as a clown and performed at children’s birthday parties (I think they called me Jingles). I pumped gasoline into garbage trucks. I mopped the floor at several fast food restaurants. I was a busboy, a waiter, and a bartender, and I never put any of these jobs on my resume. Why would I? At the time, I wasn’t thinking that any of these jobs mattered to my future plans. In fact, I’ve blocked most of them from my memory. In retrospect, were they a waste of time? No. Did I learn anything from the experiences? Absolutely.
I learned to try new things. I was constantly searching for my passions, and with each job, I discovered something I liked (and plenty of things I didn’t). I had so many experiences that I became comfortable with change and learned to interact with many different people. I learned the art of selling… the hard way. So many people told me “No” and wouldn’t buy from me that I was forced to get better and learn to deal with rejection. I became so comfortable hearing the word “No” that I actually grew fond of it. I ultimately realized that it took lots of “No”s to eventually get to a person who’d say “Yes!” I learned about hard work, and to appreciate others who work hard every day. I learned how important every single job is, even the ones that aren’t glamorous and that most people leave off their resumes.
What does any of this have to do with living your dreams? It might help you realize that the road to success is often paved with seemingly unimportant experiences that ultimately help you become you. Living your dreams requires living boldly. Get out and trying new things. It’s not just about new jobs, but businesses you start, hobbies you pursue, and relationships you form, too. When you experience life, you get to explore your passions and zero in on your dreams. As you get older, you realize that it’s not only about what’s on your resume, but equally important are those rich experiences you leave off. Now hiring… clowns welcome.
Until next week…