When Things Go Wrong

When Things Go Wrong (360x360)

“When things go wrong, don’t go with them.”  Elvis Presley

I don’t know if you have days like this, but I recently had a day that just fell apart.  I pride myself on being organized.  I had a very full day planned.  Here was my schedule for the day:

7:30-9:00 AM Lead the Kingdom Business Group (Chamber of Commerce Meeting)

9:00-10:30 AM Interview an applicant for a position with my company

10:30-12:00 Noon Interview a 2nd applicant

Drive 1 hour to my first sales appointment

1:00-2:00 Lunch

2:00-3:30 1st sales appointment

3:30-5:00 2nd sales appointment

5:00-6:30 3rd sales appointment

Pretty jam-packed day, right?  And here is the kicker, I always confirm all appointments the day before…especially when I have to drive one hour each way to see someone.

The meeting in the morning was a complete success.  Everyone was energized by the information they received from our guest speaker, Terry Sullivan, who happens to be a LinkedIn Guru.  If you have not connected with this guy on LinkedIn, do it.  He will help you optimize your LinkedIn page.  Very cool guy.

I got an email during the Kingdom Business Group from my 5 PM appointment apologizing that he could not make it and would have to reschedule.  No problem.

I then got a text from the 10:30 applicant letting me know she was cancelling her interview.  No explanation.  No problem.

The first interview when very well.  Since the 2nd interview had cancelled, I had more time to spend with this applicant and her husband.  It was really a very good meeting and we were able to connect at a very deep level, not just surface interview talk, but really sharing life heart to heart.  I walked away from that meeting feeling great and whether she comes to work with me or not, I know I have made some new friends.

I then drove to the town where I had my first appointment scheduled and grabbed some lunch.  I still had two confirmed appointments, so I expected this to be a productive day sales-wise as well.  I got to the first appointment, and the lady was not there.  I was a few minutes early.  Her two grown sons were home and said that she told them she would be right back.  No problem.  I waited, and waited…30 minutes passed. I called her.  She was at work!  She said she got called to work unexpectedly and had to go in.  She would be home in about an hour and a half if I could come back.  I bit my tongue and told her I would call when I was leaving my next appointment.

I went to have an iced tea and chill out for a few minutes and make some follow up phone calls that were on my list of things to do, then I went to my second appointment.  Her daughter answered the door.  Her Mom was not home.  She was at WORK.  GRRRRRRRRR.  Are you kidding me???  She said her Mom had tried to get in touch with me, but that was a lie.  I had no missed calls and no voicemail messages.  What the heck is going on?

I drove back across town to wait for the first lady to get home.  I made a few calls, and then called the lady to let her know I was on the way.  NO ANSWER, and her voicemail has not been set up to take a message.  GRRRRRRRRR.  I thought, OK, I will drive back over to her house and meet her there.  Give her the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe something was wrong with her phone.  2 cars are in the driveway now.  I tried to call again.  No answer.  I rang the doorbell, no answer.  I knocked on the door. Still no answer.  I did all I could do to keep the appointment, and yet, she did not see it necessary to let me know she was just not interested.  Incredible how rude some people can be.

I drove back to my home and on the way back stopped by a business I had been trying to connect with.  I got an appointment with the guy to write a contract with him this week. The good news here is that I have met with him previously and he has already committed to doing the deal.  We just had to find time in his schedule to fill out the paperwork. Would you believe it?  This guy ended up just blowing me off too.

What is the moral of the story?  We can have the best laid plans and still have them go awry.  There are a lot of people in this world that are simply rude.  We have to determine if we are going to let them steal our peace or not.  I had my moments of growling in frustration, but then I let it go.  It is (unfortunately) part of the business.  When you are dealing with the public, you are going to have your share of knuckleheads to deal with.  Don’t let them bum you out.  Try to re-focus as quickly as possible to move on to your next objective.

The good news is that the things that I DID get accomplished yesterday were very rewarding and will have long-term positive ramifications.  The other things that don’t go right are just small stuff in the end.  They really don’t matter in the scheme of life.  I chose not to get depressed or angry over it, but decided to do the best that I could, then not worry about the outcome.  That is not an easy attitude to have when you are a commission guy, but it is necessary to have if you want to keep your sanity.

So, next time you are having “one of those days,” try to put it in perspective.  There are a lot of things going to happen to you that are simply out of your control.  The one thing you CAN control is how you respond to it.  You know the old saying, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade?”  That is great advice.  In my world it is, “When life hands you lemons, SELL lemonade.”  LOL.  Next time you are getting stressed out about your day, have a cold glass of lemonade for me, will ya?

Shalom!

Dan Skognes

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