I want to thank everyone who has been reading my blog. Whether you are a leader, an aspiring leader, a coach, or a casual reader, I hope you find the insights helpful. This week I would like to depart from leadership subjects to share an autobiographical reflection.
If someone were to ask me to describe the greatest job I ever had, it would be easy to answer. It’s my current work as an Executive Coach. It is my passion and all of the work is extremely fulfilling. If you had asked me this question 5 years ago, before I pursued my new calling, the answer would have been different.
Like many youngsters, my first job was delivering newspapers. I’m not sure this job still exists. Many cities had competing newspapers in the morning and afternoon. I worked for the early morning paper. I awoke each day at 4:30am. My parents never had to awaken me. My passion for this job was all that was needed. Each morning, regardless of the midwestern weather, I was excited to find the daily bundle of newspapers, hop on my bicycle, and provide great customer service.
My first job was also my first real exposure to entrepreneurship. As a subcontractor to the newspaper, I was given total freedom in developing my business. I inherited a route that had been neglected. I worked diligently to regain as many of the residents on the street that was in my purview as I gained a reputation for reliable service. The Value Proposition to my Customers was quite simple – your morning newspaper delivered dry, on time and where you wanted it delivered.
As I awoke each morning and ventured into the street lit darkness, I felt as if the world was my oyster! I earned three cents per daily newspaper and 10 cents for each Sunday edition. Monday evenings I would visit each Customer’s home to collect my pay for the prior week’s newspapers. I knew each customer intimately. They were almost like a second family to me. I earned 11 dollars a week which was a lot of money in the early 1970’s for a 12-year-old child. It afforded me a lot of independence and the ability to start a hobby collecting comic books. I loved this job.
I want to thank my parents for guiding me into a career in finance because it allowed me to find my real passion in life, helping others achieve their leadership goals. I also want to thank the people who gave me phenomenal opportunities throughout my career, you’ll never know how much I appreciate you. There are several similarities between my first job and executive coaching. Perhaps the most important one is the passion and excitement in waking early each morning to help deliver the news.
I invite anyone who reads this and is inspired to share their favorite job to write your inspirational story in the “leave a reply” box below this post.