Selling From Your Wallet
One of the most useful standards for a successful salesman (salesperson if you feel like being PC) to have is to NOT sale from their own wallet. It limits your own profitability. If you make the mistake of assuming that everyone can only afford what you can, you have put a serious cap on your own potential. Which brought this question to the forefront of my mind – “Have I put a glass ceiling on my own faith?”
When you spend that first year at age 7 building up to your baptism, you are full of faith. In church classes and at home your friends and family are building you up. They are driving the point home that you are responsible for your own actions now, and have the ability to make the right choices. Every family dinner and outing someone is sharing an example of what you are about to take on yourself.
After your baptism you are pumped up on faith. You know that if you are faced with a challenge, through your faith the Holy Ghost will be there to guide you. Someone is telling dirty jokes on the playground? The Holy Ghost says lets go and you follow. Someone is selling cheat sheets for a test? You have a travel companion to walk with in another direction.
These are small examples, but it’s the little exercises of faith that mold us as we grow. The kid telling dirty jokes might get a laugh, but after time he might build a reputation as someone who is foul mouthed and kids either don’t want to hang around him or aren’t aloud too. The kids who bought the cheat sheet? Sure they might have gotten an A that time. But over time the laziness of not being willing or able to do the homework and actually learn the lesson catches up to them. And you pay for that in different ways eventually.
But as life goes on, challenges and temptations lose their definitive lines of black and white. For me, my biggest leap of faith was going through the temple. Not the actual going through part, but the months leading up to it. It wasn’t a choice of doing something bad or wrong. It was a choice to exercise everything I had learned and put my faith in God. The company I worked for was downsizing, and I had been laid off, and had a family of five to support. And to head off to the temple for eternity with my family in tow meant paying tithing. So with a smaller income, in made no sense to start paying 10% with the little we had at the time. It was devastating to write that check each payday. It takes more faith than you are used to in times like that. It works, though. What was supposed to be the hardest time in my life, wound up being the best. Not the easiest, but the best.
You fill your faith like you do your bank account. You work hard, make some sacrifices, and are rewarded on payday. But with faith, you don’t get rewarded until the time is right. The best experience during that year or so from being laid-off was how well our family worked together. We were budgeting, finding cheaper ways to entertain the kids, making everything work. I was taking any part time job to make ends meet. Friends and family were helping out at exactly the right moments. It was over whelming and reaffirming at the same time. I would never go through it again, or wish it upon somebody. But that year of living faithfully really strengthened my faith and removed all doubt from me.
After finding a job and getting settled back in to a more stable situation, not much has really changed. I don’t think the kids will remember the time we were stressed out looking for a job. What they will benefit from, and hopefully remember, is the fact that our family had faith in each other and saw how strong each one of us was in a difficult time. We had every excuse not to finish the last leg of the race to the temple by ignoring our tithe. But from our parents and close friends we had every example to finish the journey. Mathematically that year makes no sense. Money never added up to cover bills. But each month they were paid and even money left over.
To this day, I can’t walk away from someone saying that tithing is ridiculous or a scam without sharing my testimony of it. That year solidified a strong and deep belief in tithing.
One of my family members is getting ready to become an Elder soon. And he was having a hard time watching his old friends and activities get left behind. Some of the advice given to him was to get it out of your system, or do it now before you can’t. The best advice? Take the little faith you have and jump! Don’t sell from your wallet!
In a few months my wife and I will be sitting quietly watching him be ordained. We couldn’t be more proud of him.
Other Mormon posts found HERE.