I spent yesterday manipulating an overly aggressive chainsaw against a sisyphean task. Doing this left me with a lot of spare mental capacity. Thoughts drifted from the jobsite to Alaska, my damaged left foot, the woman I’m crazy about, and finally to engineering sales. Yes, engineering sales.
I’ve always poo pooed sales, particularly engineering sales- but it’s fast becoming what I am most excited to do. My boss agrees with me that this is what we need most at work, and is probably the fastest way to shift my employment away from operating agro chainsaws.
If we vote with our dollar, sales is how you campaign. After 9/11, the nation looked to the White House for leadership and George W. Bush could have said anything. In a gross statement of American consumerism- he told us to go to the mall and shop. “Bolster the economy.” The socio-economic/political consequences aside, the moment highlighted the point that one of the most consequential actions we take is how we spend our money. If I really want to change the world, I’m not going to do it by inventing some new design- I’m going to do it by educating people about the value of design and technology available to us right now.
Sustainble building design is interesting- I really believe that “the trick” to sustainable buildings is to find satisfaction and elegance in practical, elegant, designs that maximize use of basic materials and simple technology. Part of the challenge is that these most important elements aren’t particularly new and it’s hard to evoke intense emotion . The things we need most already exist.
If I learn the design of something, I can only effect that thing. If I learn to sell- I can affect everything I touch, and I can change the way people act on their beliefs. Sometimes “the goal is to keep the goal the goal”*- and sometimes the goal is to figure out what the real goal is. I don’t know if this is the birth of my career as a salesman, or maybe just a new awareness in my business interactions, but moving forward the topic of sales is going to be big on the horizon.
*quote by Dan John.
After an unexpected full week in Montana, I drove back to Portland today. The time in Missoula was just what I was looking for, and it’s exciting to say: I’ve found housing and a new community that seems to welcome me with open arms. This time, the trip to Portland isn’t returning to home, but rather to bring my sense of home to Missoula. Yep, that’s right, I’m moving- now that I’ve published it on the blog, I’m committed.
Typical Missoula sunset. Awesome.
When I decided to come back from South America, I knew I wanted to be in a smaller community. I want to know my neighbors, live close to the outdoors, and try something different. I don’t have a job lined up there, and I only have a few months of savings left, but somehow this simply feels like the right thing to do.
Where else can two adults have a perfectly stellar time riding a carousel without anyone raising an eyebrow? (Thanks for Hannah for a fun outing!)
More than just my belongings, I look forward to bringing many important lessons with me from Portland to Missoula.
- Be discerning about the people you spend your time with- your friends an excellent mirror for your character and direction in life.
- In business, accountability is all that really matters. Accountability=integrity=success.
- Live your life on your terms and no one else’s- you are an adult, and you get to make the call on what that looks like.
- Success is looking back with no regrets, and knowing the next thing you do will be the best thing yet.
I arrived tonight feeling very under the weather, so this post is shorter than I’d like. Suffice to say it felt hard and scary to think of moving my stuff out of here, of leaving regular contact with so many wonderful friends behind. This next step feels like the greatest adventure yet, and that doesn’t come without some discomfort. I’ll look forward to seeing many people in my next few visits (I’m making two trips PDX<–>MSO), please be in touch if you are here in PDX. A few photos from the week:
Even better than my beloved New Seasons...
Even Miss Rasa (daughter of my friends Jeremy and Crissie) gets involved with the recycling effort.