It was 10:30 PM one cold November night in 1983 as I stepped off the crowded Greyhound bus in Toronto with all my possessions in the world, packed in three oversized boxes in the belly of the bus.
I had just traveled over 2,500 monotonous miles sitting and sometimes sleeping beside different strangers, as the bus made its way through the Rockies, then the prairies, stopping at numerous cities and small towns along the way, finally descending into the city of my birth, where I was returning with hopes of a fresh start.
Although there was a “commission only” job waiting for me, I had only $100 cash in my pocket and no credit cards. Enough for one or two nights in a hotel. I also had no car.
What was I thinking?!?!?!
I left my possessions outside at the bus stop and went for a walk towards city hall. The air was crisp, and the city felt quite unwelcoming. The skyscrapers seemed to boast of their preeminence and were insensitive to my plight. Where would I sleep tonight? How would I get there? What would I do in the morning? How would I get to my new job as a copier salesman?
I knew only one person in the city. He and I had met 2 ½ years earlier and became business partners six months later. He was also my older brother. The one I didn’t know I had. Same mother. Different father. But that’s another story.
We had parted on less than good terms a year earlier in British Columbia and had not spoken since. But with no other options, I called him and became a temporary guest in his home until I got my first paycheck and leased a small car.
I was determined to overcome the adversity I found myself in, but it seemed the harder I worked, the less I had to show for it.
Toronto can be bitterly cold in January, and I remember calling on companies in a large business park, walking from one business to another in the sub-freezing weather with a biting wind that howled mercilessly, taunting me to just give up.
My feet would freeze as I walked through snow and ice bootless, and my moustache would cover over with tiny icicles, only to melt and drip down my chin as I politely asked the receptionist to speak with the business manager or owner.
I made over 100 calls like that one day, freezing and thawing each time, and getting zero results. Not one appointment gained. It was all for naught. My suffering through the bitter cold, meant nothing to them. Perhaps it shouldn’t have. But I wanted it to.
Things did improve slightly in the next several months, but I only managed to eke out a living, and I had no idea why my hard work and diligence was not enough.
I wouldn’t discover the reason until January of 1986.
Perhaps you’re experiencing that. You’re honest, hard-working and diligent, but never really “making it”. Not like you know is possible. Not like you see others doing.
After eight months, I returned to British Columbia, vowing to never sell copiers again. Whatever was missing seemed beyond my reach. I had all but lost hope.
But in January of ’86, as I was driving through downtown Nashville, TN, on I-40, God drew my attention to a building off to my right and said, “That’s where you’re going to work.”
Having only recently arrived in Nashville, I was unfamiliar with any local businesses, but I quickly saw a Ricoh logo on the side of the building and realized it was a copier dealership.
My response was as immediate as it was visceral… “I don’t want to sell copiers!” I exclaimed, as the pit in my stomach quickly formed, expanding as though I had somehow taken a large gulp of vinegar into a gut full of baking soda.
My heart raced. The fear and intimidation of past failures knocked on my soul, demanding entrance. Have you ever felt that?
But who was I to argue with God?
With great hesitation and a certain amount of dread, I ignored the mocking memories and reluctantly applied for a sales position I didn’t want, and got it.
But what would be different this time?
Well, it came down to one of the three characteristics of God’s Word as described by the writer of Hebrews in chapter 4, verse 12.
In my previous blog / email we talked about the first characteristic which was that it was LIVING, which correlated to one of Solomon’s three cords that he called, UNDERSTANDING.
The one that made all the difference in my new job was what Solomon called, KNOWLEDGE. Considering that God said in Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”, gaining the right knowledge must be of inestimable value. It corresponds to the characteristic of God’s Word in Hebrews 4:12, which was that it is SHARPER than any two-edged sword.
The word translated as “sharper” implies something that can cut with a single stroke vs having to hack your way through it.
That’s what knowledge can do for you… Allow you to take a path not previously known to you, that brings you to your desired outcome, quickly and easily. No missteps.
How many times have you thought to yourself, if you had only known what you now do, you could have saved yourself a lot of time and grief?
So what was this special knowledge, how did I get it, and what difference did it make to me?
Well, because I was painfully aware of how poorly I had done in Toronto, I turned in desperation to God, picked up my Bible and determined that I would find principles and strategies that I could apply to business and specifically to sales.
Instead of aiming at the company mandated quota of a 25% closing ratio and six sales my first 90 days, I reasoned that no farmer plants four rows of corn and prays that only one comes up, so my goal was to close 100% of my deals.
Daily, I read the Scriptures, especially Proverbs, looking for God’s ways of working in the marketplace. He rewarded my pursuit of Him, by opening up His Word to me.
He gave me KNOWLEDGE that was previously invisible to me. Hidden as it were, in this book we call the Bible that I thought was just about spiritual matters and eternity, with little relevance if any, as to how to succeed in a business environment.
As I put what I was learning into practice, I finished up my first 90 days doing 22 copier demonstrations and closing 22 sales, which was 3 ½ times a quota I had never seen anyone hit in their first 90 days.
No pressure. No gimmicks. I had found the missing link. The knowledge I didn’t even know existed. And it carried me from scratching out a living, to number one in my field – immediately!
I finished up the year with just over a 90% closing rate and was promoted to sales manager and given a team of five sales reps. Ten months later, their results were up 430% over the year before, proving that the knowledge I had gained, was transferable!
The difference that KNOWLEDGE makes cannot be overstated. I spent the next few decades searching the unsearchable riches of God, looking for and finding, a treasure trove of life-giving, wisdom-bearing, results-producing knowledge that I have now curated into a 4 book series called God’s Best Kept Secrets.
I will be sharing some of the knowledge I gained, this Thursday night at 8 PM Eastern, as I introduce the God’s Best Kept Secrets series online at the Official World Premiere. (Register here for this FREE event.)
And I haven’t even gotten to the final cord that Hebrews describes as “powerful” and Solomon reveals can only be unsealed by the “fear of the Lord”. (Perhaps that’s why so many have missed it?)
This blog is once again getting too long, so I will share that with you tomorrow by email and in my blog. Watch for an email from me with the subject line… Solomon’s “powerful” three-fold cord.
Don’t Miss This…
Thursday night at 8 PM, I will be revealing all three cords in Solomon’s threefold cord, along with other mysteries of God that I gleaned over the last 40 years that you can apply successfully to sales and business, or for that matter, to ministry and relationships.
Spoiler Alert: I put them all in a 4-book series called, God’s Best Kept Secrets which you can order from me HERE now at a 40% discount from the price on Amazon, if you can’t wait until Thursday night.
But I want to INVITE YOU to come to this special world premiere online event anyway where I can share face to face with you, not only what God has shared with me, but what it could mean for you!
And in case you’re wondering, there will NOT be a pitch for some expensive program. You will learn however, how anyone getting those books at a 40% discount, qualifies them to invest $1 dollar more and get on a path to change the trajectory of their life forever.
Register Below and keep a look out for my email tomorrow as I share with you the hidden meaning of the final characteristic of the sword of the Spirit, as spoken of by Solomon.