The Power of Discovering One’s Passion

March 30, 2008

Excerpts from a recent email a friend send to our small band of brothers spanning more than 24 years. We have struggled through our careers, relationships, families and yet despite all that, have forged a friendship that is a source of affirmation and encouragement. We made a covenant to come together at least once a year, particularly during the month of August. What an empowering email. How about you? Have you discovered your passion?

Those were really trying times for me both professionally and personally. I went through dark and uncertain times yet as they always do, I emerged out of it more enlightened and strengthened personally, recharged and more motivated professionally.

The down side started last October. Grabe ang pressure kasi wala kming forecast and management, as usual, pinipiga kami. I was real real close to resigning and was deeply contemplating on transferring to another company. Yet I moved on, day by day, night by night, though a litte depressed and discouraged. I was aching for a change somewhere partly maybe because I was burned out (Remember when we got together last August that we just closed another JPY 340M project for the Ayala’s electonics firm). Partly maybe because I wanted to make more money so there was an urge to search for greener pastures. I was ready at that time to consider a lower salary job but with commissions. Overall, I was unstable at that point. Low morale, distracted and out of focus most of the time. Even during the Japan trip in December, I was not my usual self.

I took a few days leave around the end of December to search myself an meditate internally. Come January, I came back to work refreshed and charged up. While still there was no good outlook for sales, I started to work with the enthusiasm of a neophyte. I visited again customers here and there. I went back to basics. In my mobile time, I found great strength in the music I play in my car. I reverted to some old high school 80’s music and day by day, it strengthened me and took me out of the doldrums. I also revisited the old Karate Kid movies (1 & 2), thanks to Limewire and saw the movies in a different perspective and in a new light.

Somewhere along the way, come February, I managed to clinch the most important deal of my professional sales career, get a new account. Not just a local one but a big Taiwanese conglomerate which has plants in Thailand, China (3 sites) and Taiwan. It was a career defining deal and it was the moment that finally snapped me out of my slump. Yes, the deal itself wasn’t that big – US$ 586K (roughly PHP 24M) and the margin was very small, yet, it brought a different person out of me. The real salesman surfaced, defied the odds (I beat two major players in this entry level equipment market), persevered and did not quit, but most of all, created a strong relationship with a new client.

The aftermath of this landmark deal earned me instant recognition amongst all of our sites and even up to our HQ. Now, every body wants to know how I did it. Yes, the big deals with the Ayala group were good, but the account was already there when I arrived and joined the company 8 years ago. This was different. This was pure marketing development and when asked about it, I told them that this was 4 years in the making.


But the real big and profound end result of the deal was that of self discovery and enlighthenment for me. Like when the Apostle Paul (then Saul of Tarsus) was suddenly struck by very strong ray of light in his journey and was blinded and afterwards emerged out as a totally different person, it was a similar experience. Suddenly, I knew who I am and what I will be for the rest of my career. I decided I am not resigning and search for greener pastures. I decided to stay put and finish my career here and build on my name and reputation here.

Well, the reason I’m all sharing this with you is that I know all of us go through these types of situations and stages in life. The concept of being a square peg in around hole is the fitting description. Many people just have this job because they have to but they did not necessarily want. For my case, I believe I was for the past 7 and a half years in this company (until that moment). It was just a job for me because I need it for personal reasons. But it was not what I liked. The passion was not there.

Now, things are different. This is the real Rommel. I am proud to say I am a salesman. I am passionate in what I do. I now welcome any challenge and feel that the sky is the limit to anything I want to do. I do not fear failure. I press forward, unrelenting in doing whatever i needed. I do not need to be motivated. I just go out and sell, develop and establish new accounts and business relationships. And most of all, I am now happy and contented in what I do. I’m not interested in making more money than what I need. I don’t care anymore if I get promoted out of this deal or not though my boss has already recommended me for promotion as early as 3 weeks ago. I’m more interested in maximizing my time and resources so that I can spend more important time with my family.

My brothers, I hope that all of you have identified yourselves also. I hope my experience can help you also in your personal journey in life. I’ll share with you more when we get to meet again. I’m scheduled to go to Tokyo by the last week of April to accompany one prospective client (big car electronics company) to one of our principal’s sites.

My regards to all,

Rommel

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