My father was able to teach profound lessons in life in a way that few people are able to teach. With a glance he could deliver you a message that would pierce your heart and change your life.
When I was about 23 I was living on my own and working as a straight commissioned sales person. As a trainee I learned fast and sold the products easily right out of the gates. I covered my draw and was living well on what I was earning. A few months later I found myself floundering and unable to sell dog biscuits to a hungry dog. I wasn’t earning enough commission to pay my rent and was in jeopardy of losing my job.
Fear set in so I headed home to visit with Dad. Dad was the world’s greatest salesman and he would have the perfect advice for me. I sat down to tell him my tale of woes and waited for one of his world class warm hugs and comforting words for his little girl. That’s when he delivered one of his unforgettable lessons. “Lori, if it’s too hot in the kitchen, get out!”
Whoa! I didn’t expect the boot! He then gave me a cold stare which told me to quit my bellyaching and go figure this out on my own. Tough love, the medicine I needed. I drove right to the bookstore and purchased a book on closing sales. I never read past chapter 4 because I quickly soared to the top salesperson in the company and never looked back.
My father challenged me. The one thing he despised was a quitter. He knew if he told me to quit with an icy stare of disapproval I would jump through flaming hoops not to disappoint him. He was right. He taught me that when the kitchen was too hot, close the oven door. In the end, the lesson was delicious!