When you eat, appreciate every last bite

Ladies and gents! We are back dissecting my favorite quote and it is only appropriate for this topic to be “When you eat, appreciate every last bite”.

In reflecting on some of the previous posts, each of these messages could change based on what I am going through and my mind set at the time of writing.  This one is no different.  My first instinct was to write about literal food (I could write about my love for Chipotle Burrito Bowls and get one so I could take a picture… I will refrain and enjoy that bowl at a later date…)  I am now 10 weeks out from competing to be the first ever Miss for America so my training, including diet, has to be on point.  Being I have talked about my bodybuilding experience in the past, I am going down a different path.

I’ve been seeing the saying “appreciate with you have, in a year everything could be different” that couldn’t be more true!  Whether it is a difficult time or the best time of your life, one thing is certain, the world keeps spinning.  I am so blessed to be where I am today, no doubt I have worked hard but I have also come to appreciate those hard lessons I have learned.

When I was a kid, school was very difficult for me.  I worked very hard, very long, to get decent grades.  In elementary school, my dad and I would start studying for weekly Friday spelling tests on Monday.  If I got the spelling right, my dad would say “correct put a check by it”.  Later in life I learned I have dyslexia, which causes me to confuse letters which was why spelling is so hard for me.  I never let that get me down, I kept working on how to get past it, even today.  Then came computers, thank you auto-correct!  In all seriousness though, I found high school challenging.  Granted I went to a great high school, I still strived to be my best.  When I wasn’t studying, I was playing tennis.  I remember my parents telling me that high school wasn’t the end all, which was hard to comprehend that young.  I graduated from Langley with a decent GPA and started my journey to University of South Carolina.  In college, I had started to feel like it was all coming together, business practices actually made sense to me!  Little did I know, all the hard work from elementary school, to middle school, to high school, to college was setting me up to succeed later in life. 

After my job at NASCAR (read that story here), I came back and started working for a telecom company.  I was in inside sales which is a fancy term for being on the phone cold-calling customers all day.  It was a grind to say the least!  Six months in, I realized I wanted to move into outside sales and in order to do that I needed to be the best rep at the company.  I figured that would allow me to go anywhere.  With that goal set, I was making over 100 phone calls a day to various people within companies. I was persistent.

Quick side story: my territory was companies whose headquarters were in the mid-west, which includes – Tootsie Roll! I thought they probably needed internet and would be a great customer, so I did my usual research and figured out who the CTO was. I called in, talked to a few people, finally I found what I thought was his direct number, it was not, he had a receptionist who screened his calls for people like me. After a few attempts, I realized there was no other way to talk to the decision maker except to go through her. So, instead of feeling defeated, I decided to call this woman everyday until I spoke to the CTO. Everyday I called and would ask her how her day was, when she said he wasn’t in, my response was “okay, I will talk to you tomorrow”. She became a little less annoyed each day, about 3 months later, she patched me through… you could have picked me up off the floor!!! About a month later I ended up selling them a couple T1 lines and they sent me a huge box of Tootsie Roll candy!  While that hasn’t been my biggest sale to date, it is one of the most meaningful. I digress…

All the hard work and persistence paid off as I was one of the top reps that year.  Less than a year later, I was approached by a larger telecom company and jumped at the opportunity to continue to move forward in my career.

That first telecom job helped me in ways I can now look back on and see, although there were days that I did not want to go to work.  Fast forward a few years, I am blessed to have found a career, company and position I thoroughly enjoy.  It is challenging but when we solve a problem, when I help my customers, it makes the challenging times that much better.

No matter where you are, enjoy it, enjoy the ride, learn from it, chances are, things will change, so “when you eat, appreciate every last bite”!

Check back soon for “Life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them, so go out and start creating”

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