“You’re The Worst EVER!” (How Failure Can Change Your Life – Part Two)

As you will recall from last week, my brother-in-law offered me a job as a Commercial Real Estate Salesman and I decided to move to Calgary from Montreal and take it…

Nine months later…

I’m in my office with John Logan from the VRRI in Calgary. And by the way, I probably should mention here that I hadn’t yet closed one deal in the 9 months…But I’m giving him my pitch, my best stuff…trying to get him to lease space and open another bottle recycling depot.

After 45 minutes he looks at me and has this weird smirk on his face….and he says… “Herky, you’re the WORST real estate salesman I’ve ever met!” Well…I was a little taken aback…I mean, what would YOU do if someone said that to you? You know, I can’t remember what my thought process was at the time, so I don’t know how I came to say what I said, but here it is… “Ummmm…ok John…..the WORST huh….and may I ask why you think that?”

“Herky, you’re just too nice a guy….you don’t have that killer instinct. You should have made this sale 30 minutes ago.” John Logan and I ended up going for lunch that day, and he told me that I should be in the helping profession, and he invited me to take a tour of the VRRI where he worked. I was blown away as I saw mentally and physically handicapped folks doing all sorts of incredible things like running bottle depots, doing piecework for AGT that no one else had the patience to do, and serving 400 meals a day in a restaurant.

At the end of the day, I asked John how someone like me could end up doing something like this. He told me about a place called William Roper Hull Home, still in existence today, a place for severely emotionally disturbed youth. You didn’t need a diploma or degree in those days. What they looked for in the interview, was whether or not they felt you had the aptitude to work with young people. I went to the interview and got hired to be put on their 6 week probationary training program to see if there was a fit. I was so enthused about this work, that after the 3rd week, they hired me.

John Logan changed my life. Over the last 35 years or so, I have worked with at risk youth in one capacity or another, and I STILL do. Working with young people is one of my passions and it gives my life tremendous meaning, something I may not have discovered without John Logan’s help. What he taught me, which I have never forgotten, and I have benefitted from over and over again, is to be OPEN! I could have shut down with John in my office that day, I could have become defensive, I could have dismissed his comments as being ridiculous. Instead, somehow I had the wherewithall to use him as a mirror for me. To keep my ears, my eyes, and my heart OPEN!

Moral of the story? STAY OPEN to all that happens to you in, and DON’T WORRY about failing. You just never know when the next opportunity will come along to change your life…