Lessons from the One-Armed Sales Trainer

Roughly six years ago, I was attempting to learn how to snowboard in Vermont. The natural enemy of the 6’6”, 40-something man is gravity, a fact proven when I fell on the bunny slope, and cushioned my fall by extending both arms, injuring my left thumb in the process. Initially, it hurt, but not enough for me to do anything about it. OK, I whined a little.

That was then. This is now.

Fast forward to today. Over time, the injury to my left hand required surgery, so I decided before the golf and motorcycle season got underway, I’d bite the bullet and go under the knife.

By the time you read this, I will have nearly completed my six-week sentence consisting of a cast covering the palm of my hand and extending two-thirds of the way to my elbow.

If you’ve never had your arm in a sling, it’s difficult to get your head around exactly what it’s going to mean to your life. Everything from putting toothpaste on the toothbrush to cutting a steak is a challenge.

Some of it is comical (I can get the anti-perspirant under that arm but what about the other one?), much of it is frustrating (ex. donning socks, tying shoes and working zippers of all makes and models), and all of it is painful (they didn’t tell me that part).

Being a one-handed man has humbled me and taught me many lessons. And just when I thought I knew everything!

Here are a few that apply to business:

• Be patient: This is the first time in my life that an injury has prevented me from doing something. I have always been in decent shape, so my body has never said no to me. One of the first lessons I had to learn was to be patient. Six weeks in a cast followed by two to three months of physical therapy. Everyone tells me it will be worth it, but it’s hard to see that right now.

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."
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  • Andrea

    Loving the way your humor comes through in your blogs! It’s OK, the kids are right -you really wouldn’t want them changing the Depends anyhow…. Some jobs are better subbed out! My son is a Marketing Manager at OTIS Elevator and he looks forward to your blogs and webinars. He even passes them along to his buddies there. In fact, I’m inspired to start my own blog on bookkeeping and accounting – might be a nice blend of my writing skills and practical knowledge. Besides, I was happiest as my own boss, and since I’m nearing the dreaded retirement thing, looking for a way to have fun and make money! Best of luck with the right side, Bill!

  • Yaakov Reshef

    I enjoyed reading your blog, A humbling experience is a blessing to everybody
    that is usually self- assured.
    i like your conclusions…

  • Bill Farquharson

    The cast came off last Thursday and I have my first Physical Therapy today at 1:30. It remains very, very painful but MUCH better than when it was first set free.