So You Didn’t Get The Position…

In the business world every person goes through the situation where they apply for a position or a promotion that they really want, are qualified for, and when the time comes to hear their fate they are told that they did not get the position.  I’ve seen this situation dozens of times in the 8 years of retail leadership that I’ve experienced.  My first time not getting a position I applied for was at Best Buy when I was 19 years old.

At the time I was a full time customer service associate with a hunger to move up in the company.  The administrative assistant position became available and I knew my skill set would be perfect for the job.  I was organized, thorough, intelligent, and knew how the admin position was suppose to work.  I applied and interviewed for the position and after a week of confidence my manager, Steven, told me I did not get the position.  I was heart broken, but I knew that getting down on myself and pouting about it wouldn’t do me any good.  I decided then that I would show the leadership staff that they had made the wrong choice and I was going to work harder and try harder every single day that I worked.

When you do not get the job you applied for you a faced with a choice. A fork in the road appears and you must choose which direction to go. On one side of the fork you have feeling depressed about not getting the position and an overall feeling of wanting to quit because the people that made the decision obviously don’t value you as an associate, so maybe it would be better to take your talents elsewhere. On the other side of the fork there is feeling humble about not getting the position and an overall feeling of self reflection that helps you pin point the weaknesses that the leadership saw in you, so you can hone in on these weaknesses and try to better them. On this side of the fork you would try even harder to prove yourself and do everything you can to strive to get better every single day.

A few months after I got passed over for the Admin position it became available again. I applied again after having a few more months of experience proving myself to my leaders. I had gotten better at organizing my paperwork and holding my peers accountable to a higher standard. After the interview process was over and the time came to hear whether or not I got the position I was beaming with confidence. The result; however, was the same. I did not get the Admin position. They gave it to someone else. I was back at the fork. My manager, now Mike, told me that they had bigger plans in store for me and that my talents wouldn’t be utilized to the maximum of their potential if I was in the Admin role. This upset me quite a bit and it became a little harder to decide the right path at the fork. I prayed about it and decided that there were still opportunities for me to get better and I wouldn’t let this situation derail my potential. I chose to try harder.

Not surprising to me the Admin position was open a couple of months after they decided on a person that did not fit the skill set very well. She wasn’t successful and they moved her to another position in the store almost as quickly as they put her into the position. “Third times the charm?” I thought.

I applied for the Admin position for a third time. This position had a lot to do with hiring in the store, organizing the paperwork in the cash office, and working directly with employee files to ensure our strong human resource relationship with corporate was bulletproof. You never want someone to try and take advantage of a company due to some immoral bureaucracy. I felt it was my job for the taking. I got passed over for a third and final time. They gave it to someone else. Like walking through mud, I approached the fork for one last time. This time they didn’t tell me I wasn’t qualified, but instead told me my sights were too low. I was overqualified for this position and another opportunity would be open in the near future that I would be a better fit for. They appreciated my reaction to the first two times being passed over and saw the hunger in me to get better. This made making the right choice a little easier. I self reflected and kept staying hungry. I set up contests with the cashiers to drive more sales results. I had customer service sparkling clean on days I wasn’t even working due to high standards from my peers. About a month after getting passed over, the Computer Supervisor position was available.

The Computer Supervisor was responsible for overseeing 15-20 associates, driving sales and results of high volume computer sales, and ensuring merchandising standards were being met. I applied for this position that paid almost 25% more than the Admin position. When the decision day came I sat down with the General Manager, Greg, and listened for my fate. “I want to make you Computer Supervisor,” he said. I accepted immediately and the rest is history. I was over a 23 million dollar per year department for the store at the age of 21 years old. It’s important to remember in times of adversity that everything happens for a reason.

A few months after getting promoted to Computer Supervisor a strong partnership I had with the Geek Squad supervisor led to us winning a sales contest. The Geek Squad supervisor left the company a few months later and his second in command applied for the Supervisor position. When the second in command was passed over for this position he quit without notice from the company. This individual was over 30 years old and up and quit because he didn’t get the position. He wind up getting a job somewhere else, but it definitely backtracked what looked like a promising career.

We all experience this situation at one time or another. The important thing to remember is that when faced with the choice of quitting or being humble, always choose the humble route. It may not seem right when it happens, but everything happens for a reason. It takes humility, patience, and determination to get through this type of situation, but getting through it pays off in the long run and can even help make you a better person.

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When Hope Is Lost…When Faith Is Gone…

Don’t give up.  Just keep going.  Keep progressing forward.  Martin Luther King Jr. said, “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”  Sometimes life can seem too overpowering and too demanding.  When life gets to the point where you feel like it would be easier to give up and end it all…that is when something amazing can happen.  The darkest hour is just before the dawn.  If you can find a way to get through the worst of it and make it to the dawn of the new day amazing things can happen.

If you are depressed or going through more stress than you think you can handle remember you have to listen to motivational music, lectures, friends, etc.  Find something inspirational.  Here are a few of my favorite “go-to’s” when I’m feeling down or getting overly stressed about things:

1. Josh Groban’s “You are Loved (Don’t Give Up)”

Here are the lyrics of the song:

“Everybody wants to be understood
Well I can hear you
Everybody wants to be loved
Don’t give up
Because you are loved

Don’t give up
It’s just the hurt that you hide
When you’re lost inside
I…I will be there to find you

Don’t give up
Because you want to burn bright
If darkness blinds you
I…I will shine to guide you

Everybody wants to be understood
Well I can hear you
Everybody wants to be loved
Don’t give up
Because you are loved

You are loved
Don’t give up
It’s just the weight of the world
Don’t give up
Every one needs to be heard
You are loved”

And a link to the music video on youtube:

2.  Barlow Girls “Hope Will Lead You On”

Here are the lyrics of the song:

“Rise up again
Shake off the shadows
Unlock the doors
And let hope live once more
Cause up from the ashes
A fire is woken
Cause those who were broken,
Are becoming the chosen

So lift up your eyes
Cause we’re not forgotten
And hope will lead us on

Our hearts come alive
With every moment
Become the flame
That shows us the way
So sing out your freedom
Sing it out loud
Cause though we are broken
We’re becoming the chosen

So lift up your eyes
Cause we’re not forgotten
And hope will lead us on
Oh we pray for the dawn
And we reach for the morning
And hope will lead us on

Oh the day will come
As we press on
When the battle’s won

So lift up your eyes
Cause we’re not forgotten
And hope will lead us on

So lift up your eyes
Cause we’re not forgotten
And hope will lead us on
Oh we pray for the dawn
And we reach for the morning
And hope will lead us on
And hope will lead us on
And hope will lead us on”

And a link to a music video on youtube:

3.  The Canadian Tenors “Hallelujah”

Here are the lyrics of the song:

“I’ve heard that there was a secret chord
That David played and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do ya?
It goes like this the 4th, the 5th, minor fall the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moon light overthrew ya
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Baby, I’ve been here before
I know this room and I’ve walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew ya
Seen your flag on the marble arch
And love is not a victory march
Its cold and it’s a broken, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Did my best, it wasn’t much
Couldn’t feel so I tried to touch
I told the truth I didn’t come to fool ya
Even though it all went wrong
Stand before the Lord of song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah”

And a link to the song on youtube:

4.  Darren Hardy’s “The Compound Effect” on Audio Book

6 CD’s for longer and daily inspiration.  Nothing opened my eyes more to personal responsibility.

5.  Andy Andrews “The Traveler’s Gift” on Audio Book

7 Decisions that determine personal success.  Fantastic read.

Find ways to lift your head up and step forward.  No matter what comes our way it’s important to remember that we live better now then Kings of old.  We have an abundance of food and clean water, there are ways to get shelter, and clothing is cheap and plentiful.  Basic human needs are met in America and we have amazing opportunity here.  It’s important to be thankful for what we have and be thankful for the adversity and hardships we face to make us stronger and better people.

Don’t give up.  Never give up.  Keep pushing forward with everything you have.

-Brad

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Mirror, Mirror…

How often do you find yourself deflecting blame that comes your way?  If you forgot to send an important email or didn’t do the dishes like your spouse asked you to and they question you about it, what is your response?  “I was too busy.”  “I ran out of time.”  “I forgot!” or my personal favorite, “I would have been able to accomplish that if you hadn’t…”, etc.  It seems that more and more people lack that ever important quality of humility.  We act like an impenetrable shield, blocking incoming blame our way and deflecting it to others.  Sometimes we deflect blame on things that can’t defend themselves.  “If the dog wouldn’t have…”  “If I didn’t have to fix that broken…”, etc.  So how does one gain humility in a society of ever-growing egos?

The mirror is a good starting place.  Have you ever stopped for a few minutes and just looked in the mirror?  Looked into your own eyes and just thought about what type of person you are?  In my first blog entry I discussed how people are responsible for their own choices and thus, control their own lives.  Have you looked into your own soul and told yourself that you are in control?  I hadn’t until my brother gave me “The Traveler’s Gift” By Andy Andrews.  Andy does a fantastic job explaining this concept. We are where we are in life because of decisions that we’ve made.  And that’s good news because if we controlled how we got here then we control where we go from here.  We all have to accept personal responsibility for our own lives.  No one else controls my life, but me.  We are all connected, so how can this be?

Let’s say the university you attend randomly selects your roommate for your freshman year at college.  Y’all are both fresh from high school, so in essence y’all are starting out all on your own for the first time.  After a couple months you notice that your roommate hasn’t been going to class as much as he was at the beginning of the semester.  You also notice that he’s increasingly less hygienic and you suspect that he has begun to do drugs with a group of friends he has that doesn’t match your lifestyle.  Despite some warning flags when the semester is over you continue to be roommates in your second semester.  The drug problem has really manifested at this point and your roommate even has started doing drugs in the dorm room.  There is a random inspection by the Resident Assistant (R.A.) one day and they call the cops after the suspected drug use.  You are charged with your roommate and get kicked out of the dorm!  Your natural reaction is to be furious with the “stupid” roommate that went down a bad path and that dragged you down with him; however, that’s not how I see this situation.

As soon as your roommate began skipping class, did you inquire about his lack of motivation?  No?  Then you chose not to inquire.  When you saw your roommate hanging out with less desirables did you request to the university or your R.A. to switch dorms or at least roommates?  When you noticed the drugs in the dorm, did you let the R.A. or authorities know immediately?  If you didn’t act on any of these things then why are you blaming the roommate?  Ultimately it’s your choices that dictate your path.

I know there are exceptions to every rule, but I learned at a young age a generally accepted principle that I fear many have not learned as I have.  If you make bad choices, bad things will happen to you.  Now we can get into a lengthy debate about what constitutes “bad,” but I’m old school when it comes to defining “bad.”  Bad is giving into temptations that are damaging to your potential future, bad is deciding to drive drunk after having too many drinks, bad is influencing others to fall into addiction with you, bad is being envious of others while not striving to obtain things that you desire, bad is striving to obtain things over experiencing love, bad is being greedy and not giving to charity, bad is giving into lust and not respecting women, bad is spending more than you make, bad is rationalizing poor choices instead of learning from them, bad is eating too much and not exercising, bad is not taking responsibility and blaming others for your failures.  Most of these decisions happen when we aren’t paying attention.  Most of these decisions occur when we let our mind run on autopilot.  Making decisions without thinking about them at all and letting our human instincts dictate our lives.  We are hungry, so we eat.  Those bright shiny golden arches look good.  Like a fly to a bug zapper we roll on into that drive thru.

I also believe that if you make good choices, good things will happen to you.  Good is deciding to stop eating ice cream before going to bed, good is deciding to take nightly walks with your spouse, good is packing a healthy lunch before going to work or school instead of eating fast food, good is being grateful for what you have, good is reading inspirational or motivational material a little bit each day, good is being mindful of those you surround yourself with, good is saving for your future or your kids’ futures, and good is accepting responsibility for your choices and actions.

So if you find yourself depressed or upset about a certain aspect of your life visit your mirror.  Reflect on the choices that you made that led you to this unsatisfactory state.  What choices impacted your path the most?  Which choices can you learn from?  What choices can you make going forward to bring you to where you want to be?

-Brad

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Intro to ‘Be Successful Daily’

Focus.  Take a deep breath.  Try to let your mind go blank for 30 seconds.  What’s that?  “Your troops are ready to take you into battle?” -Chimes your smart phone.  “You have a new email!” – Says the computer.  “Buy Now and SAVE!” – whistles the radio ad.  Even when there is silence when we are driving from one place to another we have sign after advertisement after sign after…It’s too much.  Sometimes in this day and age it’s very difficult to stop, sit down, and actually reflect on your own life.  Sometimes it’s difficult to even take inventory on recent decisions that you’ve made whether they are small ones or huge ones.  Our senses are constantly overloaded.  Advertising agencies have picked apart our biology and have transformed us into the consumer culture we now live in.  Do you feel like you just sped through the last year of your life?  5 years?  More?  There are techniques and methods to get control of your life.

Here’s how I got control of mine:

In 2011 I was ready for a change.  I had been working in retail for 4 years and during those four years I picked up a college degree and a mountain of debt.  I needed to make sure that retail leadership was right for me.  I was 21 years old, supervising a computer department that sold over $23 Million dollars in annual revenue.  Retail was the only job I had ever known.  My brother, Eddie, gave me one of the best gifts that I’ve ever received.  “The Traveler’s Gift” By Andy Andrews.  A story about a man that was down in his life and goes through an incredible transformation where he learns seven decisions that determine personal success.  After reading this book I was inspired, humbled, and motivated.  I then began going to job fairs and meeting with people from different industries.  That’s where I met Mike Kotval, Director of Creative Financial Solutions in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  I then spent the next few months studying part time to pass my Louisiana health and life insurance exams and my series 6 exam, so that I could sell annuities.  Soon after I began studying my brother Eddie struck again.  This time he gave me the book “The Compound Effect” By Darren Hardy.  This book is about the small choices that you make everyday that can compound over time resulting in drastic changes over a period of time.  These books made such a tremendous impact on my life.  I recommend any person that is feeling down or doesn’t feel like they’ve met up to their potential to read these two books.  I also recommend any young adult ages 18-22 to read these books.  They teach through inspiring vision.  They teach about personal accountability.  They changed my life forever.

Now I don’t work for these two men and I’m not getting paid to advertise for them.  (I’m actually hoping I’m not breaking any copyright laws by mentioning them).  I will be posting on here weekly to try and inspire and motivate, much like Andy Andrews, Darren Hardy, and my brother have done for me.

Just remember the major themes of this blog:

You can’t control the hand you were dealt.

You can control your choices.  Meaning you are where you are in life due to the decisions you’ve made, not the circumstances that you couldn’t control.

You control your destiny.

-Brad

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