Five Lessons My Oldish Self Would Teach My Young Self
When Carole Simpson spoke to my graduating class at the University of Michigan in 1992, she said we were graduating into the worst job market since the depression. Pretty grim. As a result of that pessimism, which I was only too happy to adopt as my own, I accepted a job at the retailer where I was working part-time through school and entered its management trainee program.
3) Have high goals (see #2).
If I had had loftier ambitions, I may not have had to answer this question hundreds of times: “You went to Michigan and you work at THE MALL?”
4) Find a mentor that you truly look up to.
While a cliché, this is SO true. Whether a professor, parent of a friend or neighbor, I wish I had had someone to aspire to be like. Someone to give me advice and help me network, and from whom I could have been the beneficiary of some good-old nepotism or cronyism...some kind of –ism.
5) Keep your season tickets even, if you don’t think you’ll use them.
Even though this seems funny, and only applies to schools with good sports teams, the bigger point is that we have to think about how our decisions can impact us much further down the road. If I had kept my season tickets, and Michigan hadn’t had three years of RichRod, I could have seen more games and made a little money on the games I could not make it back to town for. Point is, think ahead, think ahead, and think ahead.
Oh, 18-year-old Kelly, how much you’ll miss your metabolism and your ability to bounce back from a night of swigging dollar pitchers (and the dollar pitchers themselves). I can promise you, I will impart some—if not all—of this wisdom to my children…at the appropriate time and with their future selves in mind.
Blogger, author, consultant, coach and all around evangelist for the graphic arts industry, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include sales and marketing coaching, enabling clients to find engagement strategies that work for them and mentoring the next generation of sales superstars.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league. She is also the mother of two sets of twins under the age of ten, so she fears nothing.