In Part One, you met my Grandma Bertha and heard about my first lesson in sales, which she so lovingly taught me. Fast forward a few decades, long after we lost her. I was attending a ceremony to establish a scholarship fund in her Daughter’s (my Aunt’s) name at Hofstra University, where my Aunt was the first woman admitted to the PhD program in Psychology (and yes, she earned the degree).
Grandma Bertha lived with my Aunt and cousins in the later years of her life, and I cannot imagine how much wisdom she shared with them that I have yet to discover. At the ceremony, my cousin Scott revealed another wonderful life lesson from Grandma Bertha in his remarks. As he was enumerating and extolling my Aunt’s trailblazing accomplishments, he discussed a possible source of her drive to succeed.
He told us about something he heard Grandma Bertha say many times, though I never had the benefit of hearing it until long after she was gone. Again in her characteristically cute interpretation of English grammar, Scott told us she said “In life, you have to have a challenge.”
Obviously my Aunt, who entered a previously male-dominated profession and went on to great success, and my cousin Scott, a well-respected Attorney in Southern California, used that lesson to help achieve career success. But I think about selling and how that lesson speaks to us.
We bemoan protracted client buying processes, inane objections, gatekeepers, cocooned decision makers. But, Grandma Bertha’s lessons teach us we should embrace them as challenges that help us learn and grown. Challenges make us smarter, better and stronger. Unless, of course, we just whine about them.