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I come from an extremely, shall we say, humble background. Without going into the gory details, just know that, like many of you, I had no reason to believe I would ever amount to anything - there was nobody in my early life who set any kind of positive example.

One day, a day I will never forget, my grandmother plucked me out of my dismal surroundings and gave me a brief glimpse of a different world - a world where people cared about each other, built each other up, and expected great things from themselves and others. Unfortunately, she had to take me back home, but I had seen the bright lights. That hope, that knowledge that there was some brighter future out there, that sense that there were others out there who grew to be great achievers, grew inside me. Because that one woman took the time to give me a new, hopeful perspective, I knew I could break out and become one of those people if only I worked hard on myself to grow into my God-given potential.

I became that nerdy high-school kid who carried a briefcase. Nobody on that school bus believed, when the bus stopped to pick me up or drop me off in “that” neighborhood, that I could possibly ever amount to anything. I figured out that it was entirely up to me, with God’s will and help, to prove them wrong.

As I worked my way up through retail sales, then into sales management, then into sales and marketing positions along the corporate ladder, I finally began to feel more “accomplished”, although I always had that nagging thought that somehow I wasn’t really good enough. Somehow, someone was ultimately going to discover my secret - that I really don’t know what I’m doing, that all my results were really just luck, that I’m making this up as I go.

Athena childhood

In 2011, I embarked on the biggest challenge of my career - VP of Sales and Marketing for Turner & Son Homes. The challenge was that there was no structure in place. It was up to me to create that sales and marketing structure in a business that was in the midst of a radical transition. There was a point when I truly doubted my ability to succeed, when I truly wondered if I had finally met the challenge that I wouldn’t be able to overcome. That’s when I realized my true weakness, the weakness that would be my undoing, but only if I allowed it: My ego. Yep, all my former “successes” were really leading me to this point. Would I succeed, or would I find out that my inner voices had been right, and I was really just a pretender…

I finally awoke to my real purpose in life: help others, particularly in the field of sales, find their inner greatness, and silence, once and for all, those inner voices of fear and doubt that have persisted since childhood. We all have that inner greatness, despite what anyone has told us. I love to help sales people find, and hear, that inner voice that speaks the truth.

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