Great Value Pop Tarts Suck!
I know what you are probably thinking. Pop Tarts???? What do Pop Tarts have to do with sales? That’s a great question. For me, they have everything to do with sales. Especially when it comes to why I strive so hard to be the best professional at selling I can be.
You see, at a certain point in my childhood, my parents had divorced, my mom and her second husband were on the rocks again and we were on our way north to Indiana. I was 12 and my life wasn’t unlike other kids in the small Indiana town we had moved to. I played sports, was in band and loved going to the skating rink on the weekends. The only real difference, we were dirt poor. That’s where the pop tarts come in.
You see, we struggled. My mom struggled with depression and for a while, didn’t like to get out of bed. So, my sister and I both had jobs so that we could help buy groceries and pay bills. During the winters, we couldn’t really afford to turn the heat up in our house. Indiana winters are no joke and as you can imagine, we were cold! My sister and I would get up in the mornings, and while getting ready for school, would turn on the kitchen stove and stand around it to keep warm. Ramen noodles were a staple of our diet. Sometimes, we would make a dish called “poor man spaghetti”. This dish consisted of Ramen noodles and spaghetti sauce. My sister still makes it today. Eating at McDonald’s was so cheap and easy but eventually the grandeur of going there ran out and we sometimes begged for something else.
None of that compares however to the absolute horror of having to eat Great Value Pop Tarts! SERIOUSLY! There are many products that Great Value brand makes that are fantastic. Some even taste like the real thing. Not Great Value Pop Tarts. Those crap blocks don’t even come close! It’s a crying shame that they are even allowed to call themselves Pop Tarts! More like Pop Farts!!! But alas, it was all we could afford and it still feeds the fire that burns deep inside of me today.
The drive I have today wasn’t always there. In fact, it took one statement in college and a few years after, letting it soak in, to really develop my drive. You see, during college I was dating a girl and I honestly thought she was the one. One day, her mother was having a conversation with her about me and explained that if she stayed with me, she would, and I quote, ” Live in a trailer, have to financially provide for him and eat and drink off of paper plates and plastic cups for the rest of your lives”.
Wow….. Needless to say, her and I didn’t work out.
That wouldn’t define me! I would not let that be the title for my story! In my mind, she basically told me I was never going to be better than Great Value Pop Tarts!
For years, the thought of that fueled a fire in me I can’t explain. From the moment I took my first real professional job as the General Manager for Golds gym, success was my only option. There was no other choice. I would work harder, stay later, call more and overall, out hustle everyone.
After being recruited into sales, I was driven to be the best. Nothing or no one would stand in my way. I was determined to show everyone, including my ex girlfriend and her mom, that I had what it took to be successful. I even remember when my wife and I bought our first house and I proudly posted a picture on Facebook. The mom commented on the picture about how beautiful it was and how great I was doing. I won’t lie, even as I’m writing, I want to throw my hands up in victory!
I did it!
The truth is, as I sit here today, I’m disappointed in myself. You see, for so long my motivation was coming from a very negative place. I gave hate, revenge and anger residence in my brain and used those emotions to fuel my actions. I wanted nothing more than for those who doubted me to see me and be discouraged with themselves because they didn’t believe in me. I wanted to win and wanted them to lose.
Over the last year, maybe even the last few months, I have come to a revelation. The time and energy I spent thinking about all those who doubted me was pointless because I can almost gurantee, they haven’t spent any time thinking about me. I have realized that there are many out there, my wonderful wife included, that believe so much in me. My fuel today is realizing that I haven’t even began to scratch the surface of what I can accomplish. I am driven by a belief that my family and friends see the best in me. I know, through some digging internally, that I have what it takes to accomplish anything I want and I don’t need to prove it to anyone. I just have to want it. I have to honestly and truly, with all my heart, want it. From there, the drive to be the best I can be is easy. It’s just who you become that matters.
I know it can be easy to use the negativity others project on us as fuel. I know it can feel rewarding when we prove them wrong, but that fire will only burn so long. Eventually you have to want it for yourself. You have to decide that being successful is what YOU want for you. Not because someone said you couldn’t be, but because you KNOW you can be.
So today I fuel myself with this belief in myself and the love and encouragement from my wife, my friends and my family………Oh, and Pop Tarts. No matter what happens in my life, no matter how big the success, no matter how big the failure and no matter what anyone else says, I’m never, and I mean never, buying my two precious baby girls Great Value brand Pop Tarts! A man has to draw a line somewhere!