When my Dad was young he worked for the Gilette company in the 1970s. He was hired in their pen division and he was a salesman. He would travel from store to store with the goal of creating new accounts and selling pens. My father quickly showed his prowess in the field and rose through the ranks to quickly becoming a top regional salesman.
Eventually there was the annual meeting where the company would announce new promotions and what was happening in the company. My dad attended the event thinking nothing new would be pertaining to him, but then it did. It was announced that he was the new Sales Training Representative for Gilette:
For the entire country.
This was a big fucking deal. My dad new he was good, but he could not believe he had gotten the job.
He was only 26.
He was the youngest sales training representative that the Gilette company had ever had, and my a long margin. Soon after around a dozen seasoned employees quit the company. They had been working at Gilette for over 10+ years and they had so desperately worked and wanted my father’s new position but alas it was to no avail; he got the job. And worse for them, he was so young he could have conceivably held it for the rest of his life.
But my dad didn’t, he decided to quit shortly after. For a couple reasons. First, all those people that quit had friends in the company and while my dad did absolutely nothing other than do a fantastic job and earn that promotion, people despised him as he was the reason their friends had left the company.
The second reason is more important. My Dad had encountered a man who owned his own store in Texas. My dad sold a good amount of merchandise to him, and the man really liked my dad. He mentioned to him one time that my dad was there that he did not see my dad remaining with the company. He told him that he was the type of man that ran his own business. He didn’t need to be told what to do, he would do what he wanted to do and he would take care of it.
My dad decided to follow suit. He abdicated his position and he took his knowledge of the pen business, and his nice gift pen pictured above that the company had given him prior, onward to his new life.
My dad then proceeded to live the American dream selling pens out of the back of a van: self-employed.
The first few years were tough, he didn’t make that much money, and at the beginning he moved back in with his parents. But quickly no one was laughing. My dad was killing it. He made more money than he knew what to do with and further since he was his own boss he did what he wanted with it. So what did he spend it on?
Well at one time my dad owned a corvette, a Lincoln, a small plane which he also became an instrument rated pilot with, a boat, and more. He lived the life. He found a way to make a living doing something that he was good at which he enjoyed but he found time in the days to make room for things that he wanted to pursue.
Then later on in life he met my mother, the two of them had me, and then the next chapter began.
It was about a year and a half ago before I moved back down to Los Angeles that my dad gave me his pen. And it means so much to me, because I am working to follow in his footsteps. Now I took a different route than my father. I went on to college, then I got my Masters Degree in D.C., I started a successful business with my parents, and then I worked in my own jobs in politics and sales.
But I wanted something more. And I wanted to be my own boss. And coincidentally, I too am 26.
So I said, like my dad, fuck it.
Time to quit and work on my own dream. And that is where I am at now. Blogging every morning, working at a local business every day, and then streaming every night. I keep myself busy and view this time in my life as the time to risk it and while I know that these few years are going to be bitter, full of work, and potentially uneventful; I have a high degree of belief that those years that come after are going to be much different.
Cheers to my father, for not just giving me such good support and for believing in me, but for inspiring me by showing me that it is truly possible to live the American Dream.
He did it, so I know I can too.