Sophia Olson – Growth, Challenges, and Opportunities

11694942_974080715977831_3418372583914796850_nA wise man, AJ Skalsky once told me there is no such thing as work life balance. At the time, I didn’t believe him. I need to have fun. But it’s not about balancing “work” and “fun” equally, it’s about time management and prioritizing. I choose to work 82+ hours a week during the summer, and with that schedule I find time for family, friends, and even runs to clear my mind.

Life is about balance. Balancing priorities, making the most and best of each moment. If theres one thing I’ve learned this summer, its taking control over your life. Each day I encounter a new challenge; every hour brings something different; each house I approach allows me to see a new outlook on life.

I’ve been with Southwestern Advantage for three years, and every summer is a whole new ride of events. Each summer I choose to sell educational books door to door 80 hours a week in a different place in the country; it’s the most challenging thing I have ever done with my life. Some days I don’t want to hop out of bed at 5:59, some days I would rather be anywhere else than staring at that next door. Some days I ask myself why I do this over and over.

11295798_943162585736311_8835760408118635405_nWhy would a recent college graduate choose to stay with a company to sell books door to door on straight commission. There are so many other opportunities, “real jobs” and security. Why would I push myself to work so long and hard, through a variety of little victories and failures? Why would I choose to work for a company like that?

Do I do it for the money? No.

My first week this summer I worked 83 hours to make a profit of $45 hours – that’s without factoring over $200 in expenses that week. If I was out here for the money, I would have gave up then. Instead, I had to muster the strength and confidence to push myself even when I had failed over 179 times that week.

Do I do this job because I want to be in sales? No.

I am still I’m the process of figuring out my “dream job”. Generally I enjoy people, but when you are classified as “a salesperson” sometimes people don’t see you as anything more. And sometimes that feeling of worthlessness is stronger than any feeling and trumps the love that others have for me, misleading me to thoughts that everyone is rude and intolerable. Being good with sales is a process of figuring out people and figuring out yourself. It’s long and hard and doesn’t take just one summer to master. It’s years of learning, years of rejection, and years of perseverance.

So why do I sell books door to door? I do this job for growth, I do this job for challenges, and I do this job for opportunities.

Nothing in my life has ever exposed me to more failure, rejection, and self discipline than this. Nothing in my life has caused me to question my ability as many times as this. But nothing has ever opened my eyes to the importance of controlling our circumstances and emotions, no matter the result, than this.

I do this job for people. I have never been surrounded by a group of people from the ages of 18-30 that inspire me and motivate me more than with Southwestern. Never have I felt such strong gratitude from other people in any other organization that I’ve been with. I am consistently being coached through my failure, my mistakes, my weaknesses, and learning from these experiences in how to coach others.

I don’t sell books to sell books. I am building a business with Southwestern Advantage to develop myself as a leader, as a coach, and as a better version of myself. I am here to help others see their potential the way I have been exposed to mine. I have the ability to choose to change my own life, while helping others choose to change theirs. That’s why I sell books.


See Sophia with her customers on her Facebook business page:

Southwestern AdvantageSophia Olson – Growth, Challenges, and Opportunities

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