Name: Chris Bowers – Director of Player Personnel, Northwestern University Football
College: Wittenberg University
1.) What are a couple of most valuable things learned from your Southwestern Advantage experience?
The most important thing I learned from selling books, that ultimately enabled me to be successful in this field was the confidence to know that I could work extremely hard in the face of extreme adversity. The bookfield can be 30 seconds of adversity, it can be 13 hours of adversity, but the confidence it builds is more important. I knew in the hardest times of my career that I could make it, that I would make it.
2.) What was the most difficult part of your Southwestern Advantage experience?
I couldn’t rely on my talent or my experience. I failed over and over. I can honestly say I was blessed with tremendous people skills that Southwestern helped develop immensely. The hard part, the painful lesson, was that it just doesn’t matter. Attitude and effort produce long term success, not talent and experience. When you can put all of it together you have a chance to be special.
3.) What are a couple pieces of advice you would offer a first year salesperson?
Stay on schedule. Have a good attitude. Work.
4.) Before you were invited to sell, what was your plan after graduation (i.e. pre med, law school, career, etc.)?
I was going to teach and coach high school football. When I finished selling I tried vocational sales for a brief period, but it wasn’t for me. It was back to the original plan. While pursuing a masters and teaching license I had an opportunity open up at the college level that I had to take.
5.) Tell about your career path taken after Southwestern Advantage.
While attending grad school to get a teaching license I walked into a Division II football office and basically said, “I’m going to school here, I want to coach football, and I’ll do whatever you need.” It was knocking on a door that opened. I went to work. 90 hourweeks. No pay. In March of2003 a position opened at Northwestern. It was the “lucky” break I needed, I had acouple connections, got the position, and took it. I was admitted to graduate school at Northwestern. That allowed me to move from the recruiting office to the field where I could coach. It was the introductory level coaching inthe Big Ten. It was bookfield hours, bookfield attitude, and in my late 20s I was still proving myself to people who thought a kid that never played college football had no future in this business. Well people think you can’t make money selling books door to door too. They are wrong. You believe. You fight. You keep a great attitude. You stay focused. I have no doubt selling books impacted thousands of conversations in my life because I learned the conviction to make things happen.