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Career Path - Tom James

It’s Saturday, so I’m thinking about my career path again. When I left the start-up world in Northern Virginia and moved back home, Roanoke, Virginia was not a technology hotbed of opportunity. I wasn’t going to return to teaching so I started to explore what I could do in sales.

Bing bang boom – I meet this amazing guy named Doug Kidd and he managed (still does) the local Tom James Company (custom clothes) organization. Growing up, I couldn’t afford really nice clothes and I had literally no idea why anyone would want a $250 dress shirt but Doug showed me the way. Tom James was also my first experience with true cold calling. Didn’t like it then, still don’t like it now 😉. However, Doug showed me how to build relationships and earn trust one client at a time.

Funny enough, while the money was good (and I admired Doug), I left Tom James within a year. One of the prospects I cold called was this rising entrepreneur, Pat Matthews. He needed a sales manager and I needed to be back in technology. That was also my path into Rackspace.

Enjoy the weekend.

Lesson for the day? Take a step outside your comfort zone and all sorts of doors will open.

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