The potential to rock socks

Or rock on….or something like that.

Oh no, that dreaded p word…potential.

Some people might think I have not lived up to my potential, but I can assure you, I know me better than anyone and can testify I have far exceeded it. So take that you haters…

Now that the line has been established

You could probably tell early on this wasn’t the One, but before I wrote ‘oh’ it did have the potential, right?

Some might argue my title was only catchy link bait to get you to stop by on the outside chance I really did have a worthwhile post; but I’m guessing most of you would have stopped by anyway. ‘Cause you guys are cool like that…

Do you ever feel like that when you wake up in the morning; this has the potential to be my best day ever? Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, anyone?

You can always do better

Certainly, but how much is enough; if you are always hard charging, when do you stop and smell the roses? Or at least drink some wine. Isn’t there some merit enjoying the journey along the way.

Isn’t there a market for a slacker blog?

What if you pull a rabbit out of the hat?

I’m paid on straight commission monthly; the only guarantee I have is my $500 monthly car allowance. Therefore, I have never, and I mean never had two identical pay checks. That’s approximately 290 paychecks since I have been on straight commission; all different.

We have enough internal checks and balances that my pay should be accurate each and every month. Every once in awhile I need to sift through the transactions to verify the accuracy when it seems to be something different than I thought it would be, but that’s a pain in the butt. Too much detail; I’m the sales guy, remember?

There were a couple of events coming up I wanted to attend and my wife CFO said, ‘if you can find some more money, then you can go.’ Well, guess what? I found my paycheck was short this month, and then I found one million dollars……….ok, maybe not that much, but a step up better than finding a $20 in your coat pocket. A good find indeed…

How’s that for potential?

Who’s your daddy?

Guess who will have to check his paycheck every month now? Lovely…

Ok, the jig is up

This could actually be in the running for my weakest post ever but I will do you a favor by keeping it short and sweet. That’s worth at least one or two points, right?

Just last week, I was having the summer blahs and felt like I was sucking sand. Some of you gave me a pep talk and others a kick in the shorts, but it did lift me up. Thanks; much appreciated.

Just make sure you come back next week; I’m sure it’s going to get really good around here then. Just wait and see…


44 thoughts on “The potential to rock socks

  1. I can’t believe i read the title as “potential to sock rocks” :D:D Most days I wake up thinking it is going to be my best day, Bill. And I love how it gets better and better. Goes to show the standards I set, eh? I am loving each day as it comes with a general plan in place,and space for the twinkles!

  2. Hey Bill, I can’t imagine living on commission. That must be incredibly scary and motivating. Well done for making it work for all of those years.

    I can imagine having a car allowance however. That’s a very cool perk. You know what would be even cooler? A tech allowance. That’s what I would love. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • We might be getting a tech allowance. Then I will own my own gear and can actually download an iTunes account to my computer. I can’t do that on my company laptop.

      The good thing about being in this business for any length of time, you have a ‘reasonable’ idea of what your check will be each month. Sometimes it’s enough to pay all the bills, and sometimes it’s not………..:). And oh yeah, we’re only going to pay you once a month so you better make it last!

      The best thing about it is the instant reward; you make a big sale and as soon as it gets booked and the agency gets paid, I get paid.

      I put about 1500-1700 miles a month on my car; I think a $750 allowance would work much better.

      Good to see you; thanks for the visit Carolyn.

    • It’s only when the guaranteed income people who wouldn’t even be there if it weren’t for the commissioned people bringing in the business start telling us how ‘easy’ it should be and ‘how’ to do it, that we say if it’s that easy, come on in; the water’s fine.

      I won’t lie, you have the chance to be rewarded very handsomely and have freedom of time to come and go as you please; but most do not like not having some type of guarantee on their income. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, huh?

    • Especially when they think you will be having much more fun than them.

      I’m still trying to figure out how I’m going to get that new set of clubs w/out creating a scene………..:).

  3. Slacker…

    Having said that, like you, I’ve never wanted anyone to cap how much money I could make. I’ve always preferred performance based compensation.

    If I can’t earn a piece of whatever it is I’m working on, it just isn’t worth my time.

    Cheers Bill!

    • And the best thing about where I work; there really is no cap. In fact, we have incentives the better you do the higher the % you get to keep. We reward the rainmakers; which is the way it should be.

      Who is going to pay me for my time?

  4. We all hit those low spots, been in one myself recently. The thing I find that works best is to just keep going, doesn’t hurt to stop and smell the roses from time to time, but definitely keep going.

    It is impressive to make a commission only job work for as long as you have, very few can and do.

    • If it wasn’t a sustainable income (insurance and renewals) I would find it much more difficult having to go out every single day knowing you have to make a kill to put food on the table. That’s why you see sooooo many salespeople come and go……….

      So far, the just keep going mantra has gotten me through the low spots. Almost like training for a marathon; sometimes that first step out the door is the hardest. But once you do it, it will carry you for another day.

  5. Hey Bill! Are you switching to Wednesdays now? It IS Wednesday, isn’t it? Being on vacation and having company in the middle of the week really mixes you up!
    I like the idea of getting up every day saying it’s going to be your best day ever. I think I’ll play with that one! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    As for the lack of guaranteed income (my words for your commission-only pay) 30 years and counting. It’s a way of life now LOL

    • I’ve been trying something a little different and posting Monday/Wednesday for the last few weeks. Comments are roughly the same, but the traffic is consistently higher Mon-Fri than the usual drop off on Wed.

      The problems sometimes with a guaranteed paycheck; regardless of how hard you work it will always be the same. If I start bitching and moaning about what I’m bringing home, then I can hit the streets and do something about it. If I want a raise, I have to go out and earn it.

      It’s been a very good gig for me; every once in awhile it will take your breath away, but really not scary at all.

      Today could be that best day ever still, right?

  6. Potential? …but there’s risk, says the lawyer to the insurance guy. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But don’t worry, I’m a Ferris kind of lawyer. ๐Ÿ™‚ That photo reminds me of one of my favorite t-shirts. It has drawing of a guy reaching for a star from the tippy top of a mountain peak, leaning out further than the laws of physics allow. Not a “weak post” at all.

    • Hey, thanks for dropping by and thanks for the kind words.

      Ah, risk; or threats to your profitability…..we can certainly address that and minimize or address that exposure.

      I’m a Ferris kind of insurance guy; but aren’t all people in sales?

      So good to see you, hope all is well in your ‘hood.

  7. Working on commission… I remember doing that one summer in college; worked for a library and the more books I rented out, the more I would get paid. But yes, it didn’t pay me as well as insurance. Just enough to cover some of my bills and I got to read a lot of books…

    As for making money, I still have to figure out how to make more of it so that I make it through the next two years of college decently…

    What is happening next week?

    • I was just alluding to the Potential of next week being really good around here; I don’t have anything specific up my sleeve…..:).

      Way back in the day we had some convoluted system where they took your last year’s commission, divided by 24 and paid you the coming year based on that. Therefore, you would have a ‘guaranteed’ paycheck but there would be a year lag time to be rewarded for having a good year. I was the first to step up and say just pay me monthly based on what is ‘booked’ each month. Now, that is they system we use.

      I have never not rec’d a paycheck in case you were wondering….

      Good luck w/ school; maybe you can sell insurance on the side to make some money….:).

      Good to see you.

  8. You know… if you ever made your blog about something, you’d be dangerous! (Mine’s not about anything but then, almost no one but you ever stops by.)

    Listen, any blog, article, video, whatever, that mentions Ferris B. is going to pick me up. One day I’ll have to tell you my Ben Stein story.

    • What’s funny and surprising to me is when someone in real life will mention they read my blog or make a comment on one of my posts. Even though I fly under the radar on the ‘national’ blogging scene, it’s kind of cool to think people are actually reading this.

      I want the gig Jenny Lawson @TheBloggess has. She really writes about nothing but has a global following in a big way and a book to boot. She’s real too, not like some of these climbers who always have their sights set above them and don’t have time for the ‘little’ man except when they want you to buy their book…….

      Ferris was rockin’………….yes, tell me the Ben Stein story someday.

      Good to see you sir.

  9. Hey Bill

    The sun’s shining and today’s Tim Bonner’s Day Off! My son and I are going out for the day.

    As Carolyn said, being paid on straight commission must be a real motivator and you must be fairly good at the sales patter if you’ve been doing it for so long ;-). Good on ya!

    Great that you found some extra cash so you can go and blow it doing the things you like to do. Golf by any chance?

    • Sounds like a good day indeed sir. My father started a second family when he was close to retirement and had two kids. Because of his job, he was never around during the day when I was a kid, so this allowed him to get some of that back.

      Also, being in outside sales I had the flexibility to attend all my kids events and that was worth a lot to me.

      Si’ on golf; playing though, not equipment…..yet……I’ve got the bug again. I went to the driving range yesterday morning at the crack of dawn before work….a good day indeed.

      Good to see you Tim, thanks for stopping by.

  10. Commission. What’s that? Geez, I don’t know that my lazy ass could work that way. I hope that $20 wasn’t your bonus.

    Ferris, huh? I have those days on occasion but you are right. Getting up in the am with that attitude everyday is not such a bad way to start out.

    Rock your socks, Bill. Have a great weekend.

    • We used to have some pretty sweet bonuses; the last couple of years, $20 would have been welcome. HOWEVER, we are on the way back up; both quarters this year have been growth quarters and July was a good month as well. The turn has been made….

      On the surface, living by commission only can be daunting and scary at times; but I seem to have settled in. ‘They’ keep trying to move the cheese though and talk about getting paid on a fee for service (which we do with our larger clients) or not getting paid at all because you can go direct to the company (Geico).

      There’s a place for us in here somewhere; some forms of insurance will never be treated as an off the shelf commodity, and that’s the world I play in.

      Most might not like it, but you will ALWAYS buy it.

      Hope your week has gone well; thanks for stopping by.

  11. You caught us Bill, you knew your old faithfuls are going to stop by anyway no matter what your title is. But then that just leave more room for us to hound you Bill.

    I wake up every day knowing it’s going to be my best day ever. Heck, it’s my only day for the time being so I make it the best anyway.

    I bet you’re glad you found that “missing” mula so does that mean you get to go? Wasn’t your wife deliriously happy about that? Either way, I’m sure you’ll be a happy camper.

    All of your posts are great Bill. I’m usually shocked at some of the ones I put out that get more attention then the others. Either way, I’m just happy to be here.


    • Great point, it’s the only day so you might as well make it your best, right?

      She was happy I ‘found’ it; mad I wasn’t paying attention enough to notice it wasn’t there. Happy won out however…….:).

      I do appreciate your kind words; I do have fun with the writing for whatever that is worth and if it’s just a hobby for now, at least it isn’t costing me a bunch of money… is a different story, but I do try to be thrifty……

      The ones that I wonder about are the ones I think are just fantastic; can’t miss and they only get a lukewarm response. Go figure, huh?

  12. I wish I could find the money like you do. Now it’s all up to me to find the clients and the money. It’s hard, but I really enjoy it. I’m actually not sure of my potential, but I’ll find out fairly soon – probably during the end of 2012 ๐Ÿ™‚

    – happy birthday. I hope your Mexican dinner was awesome.

    • One thing I do know, it certainly did not happen overnight. It took a good 3-5 years of chasing and grinding it out. And that just got me in the door, you always have to keep the momentum moving forward or you risk losing ground (kind of like ‘social,’ huh?).

      You will do it, just keep you eye on your vision.

      I ate way, way too much; but it was a good dinner indeed.

  13. Living on commission only is really a motivator for good sales people, but that’s certainly not easy. You’ve got to be a darn good salesman.

    By the way, I’ve tried to leave a comment a couple of times recently, but my comments wouldn’t go through. Hope this one will work ๐Ÿ™‚ Since I am at my desk top!

    • Sorry about the comment snafu’s; I don’t know if more trouble is encountered here because it’s a free site or not. But thanks for the effort.

      Commission is good when the checks are rolling in; commission is scary if you hit a ‘dry’ spell. I have had ups and downs but fortunately the faucet never got totally turned off. It has worked out well for me.

      I guess you saw that I’m in the Sisterhood now, huh? How cool is that, I’m going to have some fun with it….:).

      Good to see you, thanks for stopping by.

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