I got an email yesterday from a 23 year old single guy who has been working for another processor as a W2 employee doing inside calling. He is making $9.00 per hour, he has 6 to 8 weeks expenses saved up and he asked if I felt like he should take the leap to become a full time, commission only, merchant services sales person on our team. Here is my advice:
Honestly, I always hate to promise people that they are going to do well in any business because it really all comes down to their effort and skill, but I do have to say you are in a pretty good spot to give this business a shot. You are 23 and you are about to risk a $9.00 per hour job, so I don’t feel like this is too large a risk. If you really do have the cash reserves to make it for 6 or 8 weeks with no income, my advice is to go for it!
That being said, keep in mind this will be a very, very tough switch for you. Not because of the skill you need but because of a lack of structure. My advice is to ask to be put with an experienced sales coach and then ask the sales coach if you can text him every morning when you get to your first stop and then again when you are done for the day to tell him how many you walked into and the results you got.
If you can actually make yourself work this business 40+ hours per week, I have no doubt, based on your numbers above, that you can cover your expenses while you grow your residual income base but you have to be able to manage yourself just as tightly or even more tightly than any boss you have ever worked for. If you have a television service, you might consider disconnecting it for a few weeks if you are a news junky or love prime time shows (I personally still don’t have TV service, just netflix, hulu and iTunes because I find I control them better than live TV) You have to learn how to manage yourself and anyone will tell you this is no easy task! If you do give your two week notice, read two books while you are waiting to leave.
First an audio program you can get from Audible.com is from Brian Tracy, called “Mastering the Art of Closing” and second, read “Hard Drive” it is an old biography of Bill Gates that I read at around age 21. The reason I suggest this second book is that you need to read about a single guy who started a business and went out on his own. You need to internalize the work ethic and self discipline it takes.
When I was 23 and single, I got to work at 8am and worked till 11pm 5 days per week and did my schedule on Sunday afternoons. I was in my first sales management job and I recognized that this was the time in my life when I could work long hours to build a foundation. You might think this is not in accordance with our “Always Living” core value but it is. “Always Living” means a relentless focus on the important things in your life. At 23, unless you have a serious relationship going, your work is one of the only truly long term important things you can do right now, and it is your work that will allow you to gain the resources and experience to create the kind of life that you want for yourself later on. I was involved with my church on Sunday’s and spent time with my family Saturday afternoon but other than that, I was at work, making things happen and building my future and I am glad I choose to focus on the important things.
So, my advice? Go for it, but make sure that you don’t go at it half way, no prospecting 9 to 11 and 1 to 3 for you the first few weeks, you need to be out there from 8 to 6 every day, five days per week until you have this business down cold and then start to slowly cut back your prospecting hours so you can follow up with clients, etc. If you can learn to manage yourself and have the humility to seek accountability from more experienced professionals in your life, then I think you will look back in 12 months and be very glad you made this decision!
Have a great week and keep me posted on your progress! James Shepherd