Business Insight 7 – The insecurity of being your own boss (blog & vlog)

I went on a three-day training course. Days 1 and 2 were about products and pricing, and day 3 was about selling and canvassing. The fundamentals were that: if I knocked on doors (cold canvassed) for one hour I would get one appointment to discuss and quote for installing double glazing with the householders; and if I got 10 appointments I would get 2 or 3 sales, but only if I stuck rigidly to the selling formulae and closed the sales on the night, i.e. not just provide a quote.

Others on the course had taken the job as unemployed people and were a little sceptical; however I had given up a good job, it was going to have to work. I decided to believe every word about the sales procedure and closing techniques, and true enough (for me) it worked. I used to clear £22 per week after tax, but in my first week as a double glazing salesman I earned £87 and in my second week £197. Seven weeks after starting I made in two weeks what I used to almost clear in one year – over £1,000. I took to it like a duck to water and my life was changed forever.

My Mother-in-Law had noticed that Jaeger were still advertising for my successor. We had just moved into our new two bed flat, and had recently furnished and equipped it. She couldn’t understand the insecurity of being a self-employed (commission only) salesman and thought that now we were comfortably ensconced in our new home, I should get my ‘secure’ job back. Interestingly enough, Jaeger closed all of their UK factories a few years later (when I was well on the way to building a multi-million pound business). In any case I was never going back; I loved being my own boss.

INSIGHT 7:- If somebody else has the confidence to hire you and pay you a wage, it seems strange that you wouldn’t have the confidence in yourself to do exactly the same, and in fact there is no greater security than employing yourself (obviously) subject to your success – however an employer isn’t going to hire you to fail either. 


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