Do You Really Need Coaching?
I could tell you yes. You would expect that.
That is why I asked a number of my coaching clients if they would be willing to be interviewed. All of them said yes without hesitation.
This is the very first interview. It is a very powerful story. Jordan’s journey over the last 14 months has not been an easy one. You will see how Jordan went from homeless roofer living in his car for two weeks to becoming the number sales and leasing consultant at St James Volkswagen. Now he is well on his way to earning a $100 000 a year income in sales and is ready to move to the next level.
If you would rather watch the video of the interview,just scroll to the bottom of this blog post.
Why don’t we start off with, telling us who you are?
Jordan: My name is Jordan smith, currently an employee at St James Volkswagen in the sales and leasing consultant. I’m currently training for triathlon, which is going to be really cool in the coming months. In recent months I’ve been working very hard in the sales and leasing department. Last month I was the top rep in my industry which is cool, training very hard for the triathlon, setting some personal bests last week. Got a sub 20 minutes 5k which is really good, so this is one of the goals that I’ve set for myself this year that I’ve been hitting. Just really excited about those things and pushing forward and making things happen.
How did you first meet Stefan?
I first met Stefan interestingly enough through Vanessa who is his assistant. Where is it was I was 20 at the time and I was out at a local bar with some friends, and I bumped into Vanessa and we just kinda of … I don’t know what happened, I asked her for a light I was smoking at the time, now I do triathlons.
So I asked for a light, she said, “Ugh, you should do whatever, quite smoking”, and we went on whatever talking and hit it of. We sat down and we talked, and talked, and talked, and she told me about this mentor of hers and how she sees this spark in me and she sees my potential and all the different things. I’m like, “Yeah, like this is what I’ve always, like I though I could do.” She introduced me to Stefan, shortly there after and that’s how Stefan and I got introduced.
Tell me about your life at that time before you met Stefan. What direction were you heading or what were you doing?
At the time I was an employee of Manitoba Hydro. I was younger, I was 20, so I was still in that drinking, having fun, doing all those young person things, not that I’m old now but more refined I guess now. I was with Manitoba Hydro, I was unionized, I was Monday to Friday, I was making good money, I was happy if you want to call it that. I was kind of just going through the steps. My next step was girlfriend, next step was car payment, next step was mortgage, next step was a dog, next step was kids, next step was a happy life, long retirement.
I was with Hydro for 10 months and I was extremely unsatisfied with the work that I was putting in, with what I was getting out of it I thought I was not putting the work in to get the money out that I should be doing. I’m not saying Hydro is a bad thing by any means, it’s just that that union mentality that it didn’t jive with me. You work for two hours, you get 15 minute break, another two hours, then lunch, two more hours, another fifteen, two hours you’re done for the day. It didn’t work for me. I just wasn’t … I don’t know, I felt like I was being boxed up then just put on this conveyor belt where everybody else in their little boxes goes down the conveyor belt.
That’s where I was when I met Stefan. He started opening these doors, this is an opportunity that you could use, an opportunity that you could, this is an opportunity that you could do, and I realized that there was a lot more than just this small town mentality to what I could be doing.
So what was the turning point for you at that point, what was the Aha moment if you will?
Honestly, the turning point for me that … Where I was like, “This isn’t for me anymore.” That’s a good question. I attribute that a lot to that night that I met Vanessa. I really do think that night when she just explained to me that there’s so much more potential for me and that I have the stuff that it takes and that Stefan will help me unopen those doors. I think Vanessa really helped me hit that turning point and then Stefan started opening the doors from there.
How did you end up getting started at St James Volkswagon?
At volkswagon? Interesting story. I started in sales … Left Hydro, Stefan said, “Do sales. Do sales, do sales, do sales. Learn how to do it, learn how to make $100,000 a year doing it and get good at it.” That’s what I did. I didn’t have enough money to get into sales at the time, so I wound up going into serving until I had a little bit of money, and then I went into roofing until I had a little bit more money, so I had a cushion, and then I went into sales. I went into door-to-door vacuum sales, like the grunge, like the dirtiest of sales experiences. It was great. I learned lot, the people, the environment that I was in, the people that I work with wasn’t where I wanted to be but I knew I had to put that time in.
I learned a lot about the basics, and the biggest thing that I learned is product presentation. Showing what I have. Do you know what I mean? That’s not where I learned how to close, I didn’t learn how to close there. I didn’t make a lot of money doing that. I think I made $350 in two months selling vacuums working 11-13 hours a day, seven days a week, spending my own gas money, paying rent, buying my own food, eating out most of the time. I was unhealthy, I smoked, I sold vacuums, I was not in a good place, but I was doing … I was in school. That was my education.
Most people pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to university to learn I spent six grand over … Not quite six grand, four grand over two months learning how to sell vacuums, maintaining my car, gas, food, rent, you name it, it was an expense because I wasn’t making any money. Everything was out of pocket. That was tough.
When I got out of that, I got into a used car dealership. I left, I was in Thunder Bay, I ran myself down to my last 20 bucks, I made a sale that I wasn’t happy with… I went right back to the hotel, I packed my shit up and I left. It was 6pm. I drove 13 hours home. I got home at 7:00 in the morning or 5:00 in the morning, whatever time it was. Drove all night to get home. I made a phone call while leaving Thunder Bay, I had an appointment the next morning, like an appointment for a job interview the next morning with somebody else that i met in sales.
I got on to a call team. We’re doing outbound cold calls to the Northern reserves… it was a sub-prime thing. So you call, call call call call. Hey, are u looking to buy a car? Yes? No? No?” Whatever. Going though the whole script, we had scripts laid out, go through the whole process, and I was learning how to get somebody from cold to giving me their social insurance number in one phone call. I was doing it. I getting these applications. Then some crazy stuff happened at the dealership and I wound up being in sales, a used car sales and leasing consultant.
I did three months there, the dealership was going through some crazy things. It came down to the owner of the store be like, “Who’s had the worst month?” At that time I had sold three units and the other guys sold four and five. They cut me. Then I left, I revamped my resume that night, and I hit the streets, pounding the pavement handing out resumes. I got within nine days a job, and I got five job offers in those nine days by the amount of places that I hit. I hit every single dealership on the west side of Winnipeg, and Gimli, and I was going to go the east side.
I scored interviews with like Laurance Isfeld is a big names, Frank Chiapetti, these are big names in the auto industry. I scored interviews with these guys because I was there, I was ambitious, I was hungry and I knew I had potential, and I went in there. I didn’t even let them interview me, I interviewed them. I was like, “You would be lucky to have me.” I got offered five jobs and I picked one that I wanted.
What made this change for you, or gave yourself that kind of positioning where you are now interviewing prospective employers instead of asking them to please give me a job?
At that point I knew that I had done my time, I had paid for my schooling, I learned the hard lessons of growing up in sales. I was at that point, I felt, I guess you call me like, not even quite a teenager, I was probably like adolescent, but I was confident. I was confident that I had the potential to be this bold faced adult in sales and know exactly what I needed to do, I had gone through them in my infancy stages of learning. Product presentation, and learning how to close, and learning how to bring somebody from cold to this warm position. I knew all of those things and I had those skillsets now, and now it was just time to apply it.
I knew that the place that I was at, I was better at then. Not that I was better than, but I had more potential that what was being offered to me at that place. It was a good thing that I got cut, I was happy to have been. The questions was, where did have that confidence? I knew that I had the basic skills that I needed and I was ready to start doing advanced.
So what changed?
I think I finally … Just told myself that I deserve this more than the past couple of months have told me. The people that were educating me we good at sales but they weren’t good as mentors. They weren’t good at … I’m talking about sales managers at the vacuum cleaner, the sales manager at the used cars. Like Stefan had told me, Stefan said, “Learn sales. Learn it until you’re making $100,000 a year consistently in sales, that’s when you’re gonna know that you can go to the next level.” That’s what I was pushing for. I knew that that next spot that I was going to be at was going to be the place that I learned how to reach that target, that $100,000 a year consistently.
Now I have this personal goal that if I nailed it to hit $100,000 a year, salary for six months straight. Essentially being the top guy for six months straight, consistently no matter what month it is. There’s up months, there’s down months in the car industry, I get that. I want to be able to consistently for a chunk of a year be hitting those targets and becoming another word that Stefan always uses, an emotional athlete. Those are the big things, there $100,000 a year in sales, you’re an emotional athlete, you’re going to go through ups and downs, you need to learn how to catch yourself when you’re going down. See it. See that you’re going down hill, catch yourself, and go back up.
These words, I hadn’t even experienced until to that point. When he was telling me, he was telling me this right before I was getting into the vacuum cleaner sales. He’s telling me these things that I didn’t even know, and I finally now, over a year later, realizing I do go through ups and downs. I’m realizing that little things like making my bed every morning, keeping my room clean, eating healthy, doing a triathlon is helping me keep my physical being up. Those all attribute to keeping on that upside or becoming an emotional athlete going in, going forward.
Can you recall any one session that you had with Stefan that created your breakthrough?
Absolutely. That time I was sitting … I was sitting in Kildonan Park park, I was scared, my hands are shaking to answer Stefan’s phone call because I knew that he’s going to tear me apart. I knew that this was going to happen. I was sitting in Kildonan Park, because I had gone there, I just didn’t want to be in my house at that time to take that phone call because I knew it was going to be like … It’s time for you to start making decisions in the right direction, pretty much.
That phone call I got on I told him, I said I have two weeks worth of money. He started breaking down all these like, “Jordan, what’s this? What is this?” He’s started breaking down my finances, I didn’t even … He just caught me in all of these things, like I wasn’t being fully honest with myself. He’s like, “You’re doing this wrong. You’re doing this wrong. You’re doing this wrong. This is what you need to do. This is where you need to go.”
Like I said, I was lying to myself about my finances, there was more money there than I was telling myself I had. I was telling myself that I don’t have this money and he just broke it down for me and said, “You can do this. These are the things that you need to do.” That’s when he said, “You need to start making $100,000 a year in sales”, that’s when he said, “You need to become and emotional athlete”, that’s when he said, “You need to start owning up to yourself and being serious with yourself.” Setting goals, following through with them. At that time, it was that phone call that I really started to make that shift.
Was there an obstacle that was in your way that you had to breakthrough? What was the breakthrough like?
At that time there still a block that I haven’t gotten through, but the block that I needed to get through was this financial situation. I needed to build my foundation again in order to do education. We kind of went over this a little bit. After that phone call, the next week I went into serving to build a financial foundation, then I went into roofing to build more of a financial foundation. Through that time I want … I was in a tough situations. Roofing.
When I was in Winnipeg I slept in my car for two weeks, because I needed to be in Winnipeg, I needed to be in Winnipeg … I could have been in Gimli, I could still be in Gimli, I could still be doing carpentry with whatever. That’s not what I wanted. I knew that I needed to be in Winnipeg. A lot of it was my finances. A lot of it was … I had lots of personal stuff going on at that time to … but I’m dealing a court case right now. I was accused of doing something that I didn’t do, and it trapped me inside of this wall of self-doubt. Somebody is telling me that I did something that I didn’t do, and everything, everybody was out to get me. I was really oppressed. I was like, you know, somebody in their 20s, if you want to try and break somebody in their 20s, just threaten them with court thing where you’re treated like a criminal all the time.
All the stuff I felt I just didn’t feel like I was looked at as somebody of importance, like nobody really cared, so I felt like the world was doing this to me. While it was doing this to me, Stefan was telling me to push back. He was encouraging me to keep on pushing back and fight that force that’s coming on you. That’s where that fear was. That’s why I got so scared, because I knew I had all these things coming up, I knew that I had these big dates where I didn’t know what was going to happen afterwards, and that’s when I really started to grow. It’s when Stefan was like, “You need to start doing these things in order to …” He told me you can still do them whether this is going on or not.
Where would you, say your mind set is now compared to when you first started working with Stefan?
When I first started working with Stefan, I wasn’t goal-oriented. Like I said I was in Manitoba Hydro … I fluked into this because I did well in high school. I didn’t have goals, I didn’t know where I wanted to go, I didn’t have any of that. Now, the full circle where I went from this union job to this finally another good job. That full circle of failing my friends and family because I left Hydro, going through this like spiraling financial crisis all the way through serving, and roofing, and getting finally into sales, and then going right back into a financial crisis and finally coming out of it now, in the position that I’m in.
Last month I was the top sales and leasing consultant. Last month I was the best out of the people that I work with. Just like coming in full circle there’s, I don’t know … Yes.
What would you tell somebody if they’re to ask you, “Should I hire Stefan as a coach?”
So Paul, to start, I am going to go with Stefan again. There was no doubt in my mind that I’m doing that again. I went from somebody that was unhappy and oppressed and dealing with all these stuff, to fighting back and pushing through and opening myself up and learning all these things. Now I’m becoming the best me that I can. I’m just training to be triathlete, I’m the top sales and leasing consultant.
Once my big stuff has been dealt with, and it’s just dates, it’s just finish lines, that’s what I’m looking for. Once I’ve crossed those finish lines, then I’m setting a new targets, and I’m going to the next level. Once I’m done the triathlon I’m doing mountains, once I’m done mountains I’m doing this.
Am I going to take Stefan on again? Absolutely. Spring 2016, I’m going back for it. I want to flip my first house in 2016, that’s going to happen because that’s on my dream board, that’s a goal of mine. I need to get through what I need to get through in the coming months and then I’ll settle.
For the person that’s not sure about Stefan, that doesn’t know if it’s a good idea … I didn’t know it was a good idea, everybody told me it was a bad idea, I felt safe and comfortable making that decision, I still feel safe and comfortable that I made that decision. I know that I invested in myself to provide that growth for me. I knew that I had the potential. All it took was that push of somebody else saying that you have that, and then them showing me and having the experience and … Earlier in the interview I said Stefan was telling me I’m going to go through these ups and downs before I even was starting to go through these ups and downs. I knew and could see that Stefan could teach me and help me grow, and I knew that I needed to grow, and I knew that I needed to make the investment in myself, and that’s what I did. And I’m going to do it again.
Any final last words you’d like to share with the people who are watching this or reading this on the blog?
The last couple of things that I’d be inclined to say is, “Stefan, I’m coming for you. Spring of 2016.” Everybody else, I encourage you to invest in yourself. You are worth it, I knew that I was worth it. It’s been a tough show and a rocky road, and it takes a long time. It’s been almost two years, a year and a half. Just keep on pushing through it. Time changes you. Fourteen months ago I was a homeless roofer, last month I was a top sales and leasing consultant at my dealership. I attribute a lot of that success to the goal-setting and the program that Stefan help lay out for me.
Other than that, if you guys want to come down to St. James Volkswagen, take a look at a new car, that’s not a bad deal. My name is Jordan Smith, phone number is 204-642-4518, that’s my cellphone. Text me, call me, super easy to get a hold of, firstname.lastname@example.org is my email address. You can shoot an email there and I’d be happy to help you out if you’re looking for something or whatever you need to do, if you have a couple of questions. Even if you’re just wanting to ask, I treat friends like friends, and we’ll make sure that we take care of you.
Was that a powerful story or what? If you got value from this interview, then like, comment and share this post. I am sure there is someone you know that can relate to Jordan’s story that can be helped by it. Get started transforming your life like Jordan did. Pick up a copy of my book, Self Made.