639. Selling People on Themselves
David J.P. Fisher
David demonstrated his talent again and again in challenging sales and sales management jobs. But as much as he loved sales, he finally admitted to himself he was not very good at working for others. So, he quit–with no plan whatsoever on what to do next.
David J.P. Fisher is a speaker, coach, and author of seven books, including the best-selling “Hyper-Connected Selling and Networking in the 21st Century: Why Your Network Sucks and What to Do About It.” Building on 20 years of experience as a sales professional and entrepreneur, he combines nuanced strategy and real-world tactics to help professionals become more effective, efficient, and happy. He lives in Illinois next to a huge cemetery–which he says helps him appreciate the value of every day of his life.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
“As the oldest of five kids, my parents realized that I was independent. As long as I wasn’t burning down the house or getting into big trouble, I could kind of do what I wanted. That allowed me to be very independent at a very young age. I got my first job when I was eleven, delivering newspapers, on my own. I think that was a key influencer of how I have lived my life since then. I have always been very independent-minded. I also think a lot of that comes from growing up in a big family.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“One of my other very fortunate turning points was in my junior year at Northwestern University. I started a direct sales job working with a company called Cutco, selling kitchen cutlery. I would go and sit down in Mr. and Mrs. Jones’ kitchen and sell them some really awesome knives. I started working there on June 6th, 1997 and it was absolutely a turning point in my life. I did that job for the rest of my junior and senior year and became one of their top sales people. Then, when I graduated, I actually did not even look for another job. They offered me an opportunity to become a manager and run the Chicago office. So, that is what I did. I was 22 years old running a sales company with anywhere from 50 to 100 sales people. It was a real-world MBA.”
The Most Powerful Lesson Learned?
“One of the biggest challenges people run into around this idea of finding a ‘perfect’ job that satisfies them is that we expect the externals to support our internal. But there is no such thing as the perfect job. Don’t expect your job to be the thing that satisfies you. If it can, that is fantastic. But, if not, find other ways to actualize yourself as a human being. Then, go and do work that, hopefully, you enjoy most of the time.”
Steps to Success from David J.P. Fisher
1. Look for ways to reach out to others, be of service, and learn to listen to them.
2. Become involved and engaged in your community.
3. Do not expect your job to provide you with ultimate satisfaction. Find your own fulfilling path first, then go and do work you enjoy doing most of the time.
On His Bookshelf
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, by Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
The Art of Possibility, by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander
How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age, by Dale Carnegie
Networking in the 21st Century: Why Your Network Sucks And What To Do About It, by David J.P. Fisher
Connecting With David J.P. Fisher
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