I started selling hotels almost 25 years ago. My very first hotel sale was the Quality Inn located in Athens, GA. It was 1990, and I was broke and looking for a career to support my family. I had a good friend that sold hotels, and I showed up on his doorstep to learn how to sell hotels. It is important to know that I did not call him and ask if I could join his company, rather I just showed up. I believe he looked me over and saw that I was desperate and out of mercy, he said ok.
On that first sale, I earned $7,700; at the time, that was many weeks worth of income based on what I was used to earning. After that closing, I said to myself, that was kind of fun, let me try it again. The second hotel was the Inn At The Peachtree located in downtown Atlanta. On that closing, I earned $26,000. I decided on that day that I was going to be proficient in selling hotels. I had never had a job or business where making that kind of money was an option.
In an earlier blog post, I referenced flipping a switch in your life. That second closing was the switch for me. I started with a company that was just at the point of breaking out in a big way, and the people at the company were all well educated and very successful. I was just this dud who was broke and needed the money, but I did have a reason that was greater than my competitors. It is called a wonderful wife and two beautiful daughters.
Everyone said I would never make it and did not have the skills to learn the business. Sometimes in your life you need to be told how limited “they” think you are. Sometimes positive affirmation is very important, but to some, like me, I needed to hear those folks tell me I couldn’t do it. Well, I flipped another switch in my life and went out quietly and won the U.S. rookie of the year award that very first year. The nay sayers didn’t tell me anymore that I couldn’t make it, instead they softly patted me on the back and said kind words, but still did not believe in me. The second year, I won the U.S. award for selling the most hotels of any broker in the country. I had found a career that worked for me and one that I really enjoyed.
Why am I telling you this? It certainly is not to say look at me, rather it is to tell you that with the proper motivation, education, class, skill and, in my case, fluent speech does not matter. What matters is looking into my two daughters’ eyes and my wife’s eyes and knowing that they, and they alone, believed in me.
Today, there are probably less than five brokers in the U.S. that have sold close to a thousand hotels; by the grace of God and the motivation of my family, I am one of them. To God, the only ability that matters is “availability.” Family history, education, clothes, class, speech and skill are simply not needed to succeed. The most successful people I know all started without the finer points of life, but all chose to measure their success only by their own qualifier, what they had the potential to become.
It is Thanksgiving, and I am so very grateful for my friend giving me the opportunity to learn how to sell hotels and for the heart-level motivation I needed at that time. I am thankful. KT