Belief, commitment, and the wheelchair from Israel

Do you remember your real first sale? You know, that pivotal first sale that ignited your passion for service through sales? 

I remember mine like it was yesterday. It was the beginning of summer vacation and I had just arrived in Florida to visit my grandparents. Ever since I could remember, I would spend every summer break with my grandparents, and when I became old enough (4 years old), I would work right along side my grandfather in his business. 

My grandfather (who sought out to become an Entrepreneur at 50 years old) built what at the time became the largest orthotics, prosthetics and durable medical equipment company in the southeast United States. 

 

My grandfather had me cleaning wheelchairs, hospital beds, and filing. Everything everyone didn’t want to do, I did…Including cleaning the bathrooms. As I approached 12 years old, I started working with customers on the showroom floor.

The summer I was 12, my grandfather told me that he wasn’t going to pay me an hourly wage (like he had done every summer before). He explained by saying… 

“I’ve got this wheelchair that I imported from Israel and it’s just sitting there… No one has been interested in it. So, anything you sell this wheelchair for, above my cost is what you are going to make this summer. If you’re not able to sell it, you’re not going to make anything.”

Remember, I was 12 years old. I didn’t complain. I didn’t negotiate, I just knew I needed to sell that wheelchair. 

I thought for a few seconds and then asked him to tell me more about the wheelchair, including why someone would want it.  

That afternoon he took a picture of me in the wheelchair and he created an advertorial to put into the Tampa Bay Times. When it came out, my grandfather got a copy.

Here is the photo of me in the wheelchair

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I started showing everyone (and I mean everyone) who walked into that showroom, that wheelchair.

By the end of the summer, I sold that wheelchair.  In fact, I sold it at full price and made over $1600.00. 

At the time, I felt proud of making my grandfather proud of me.  A reward from a job well done.

I didn’t know it then, but there were two lessons I learned that summer from selling that wheelchair. 

The first being… 

Whatever it is you choose to do and whatever you want to achieve IS possible if you’re willing to put your mind to it, and actually believe you will achieve it. 

All too often, our limiting beliefs are exactly what derail us from reaching our goals. In life, in business, in whatever. 

If I would have thought for one moment, “No one wants this wheelchair…It’s big, its ugly and it barely fit through a door.  I’m not going to be able to sell it!”, I would NOT have sold it. That’s the first piece. 

But it’s not just mindset. 

Mindset paired with the commitment and discipline to see it through is how I sold that wheelchair that summer. 

Looking back now, I know those were TWO huge life lessons that helped to forge my path to success in business later in life. 

My grandfather knew it. He knew I had the skill set, (heck he trained me from the age of four), I just didn’t realize it at the time. He knew I had the capability before I even knew it myself. He gave me that opportunity to start seeing the potential he saw in me. 

For that, I will be forever grateful. I think about all 

the lessons I learned as a kid working every summer in my grandfather’s business. More importantly, how those life lessons prepared me for what life had in store in the future and how they directly shaped the person I am today. 

Do you remember one of those pivotal moments in your life when everything changed for you? Maybe it was your first sale, maybe it was something different. 

Whatever it was, get a clear picture of it…

What was your mindset? Did you believe with 100% certainty you could make it happen? 

Did you also have the pig-headed discipline to see it through? 

Whenever you find yourself stuck, and unable to reach the finish line, go back to that one pivotal moment, and remember what your mindset and commitment was to make it happen. Now apply that same mindset and commitment to whatever it is you want to accomplish. 

My guess is, you’ll cross that finish line before you know it.

To your success, 

David

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