Daniela Zelinkova – Charles University, Prague
My last few summers before working in the Southwestern Advantage internship I spent my holiday at a swimming pool working in the buffet and pub. It was really tough (I thought) and physically it really was. I worked for 12 hours a day 7 days a week for 3 months (I did have like 3 to 4 free days a summer). I did this every single year during my studies at high school. My dream was to go to USA and study at University in New York, but for my Mom, who is taking care of me on her own, it wasn’t cheap. Therefore I decided to go to Prague to study there.
In Prague I was just going to school and to loads of parties. One of these parties changed my life. It was at the beginning of November when I met a girl who was talking to my friend about going to USA and selling books out there. I just caught the “USA” and that was enough for me. I wanted to know more. She wasn’t really in the mood to talk about it so she just took my number and gave it to her sister Veronika Hapakova, who was actually not just her sister, but also her manager. Veronika or “Nika” is an amazing person who knows what to say, when to say it, and how to say it. After the presentation I have said: “I am never going to do this!” Nika called my Mom and explained what it is whole about. My Mom told me that I was crazy, that this was a really good chance to go to USA and to do something for my future as well. My Mom persuaded me to try it. After being selected I did get really good training on how to act during the summer, what to expect, and how to react. I was pretty confident and also stupid. I thought that what Nika told me was enough, and that I didn’t have to do anything on my own, except learning the sales talk and I didn’t even practice it a lot. I thought: “I am pretty good looking, smart, and communicative. I can be the best one, without any problem.”
So we left to USA. Woohoo, get excited! I was. I loved the feeling being where I always wanted to be. And that was about it, no other motivation to work hard. After sales school I was still little bit excited and didn’t realize how hard it can be without any more motivation after the first few weeks. I did have pretty good start. I did work 82 hours my first week and did 32 demonstrations of the books and still was excited. But as my excitement went down my work was getting worse. I wasn’t the best one but not the worst. But the fact I didn’t do as good as I thought made me even less motivated. I started to think too much: “What if I will not sell any more books? What if I will be in the minus with money?” I was crying every day and my attitude and motivation were lost. My roommates and my manager Nika tried to motivate me and that helped. After the worst week I did have my best week. But without really good goals I couldn’t keep that attitude high. So I started fall down again. Little bit slower but still was falling.
In my 10th week I decided to stay one week longer because I really wanted to go to the Sizzler trip. And that one week was almost my best one. I was too tired to push more, but it put better view on my whole summer. I ended on 1200 units with gross profit $6,000 dollars. Not the best but not the worst. That is not the way I want to live my life. I want to be the best and that’s why I decided to come back 2nd summer and to change it. I do have motivation, I do know what I want, and I know it is gonna happen. Because when you believe it and you work hard enough to do your personal best there is no way you are not going to be successful. Hard work always pays off, just go to work and make things happen. This is what it takes and I wasn’t enough coachable to do it right my 1st summer. I will not do the same mistakes my 2nd summer. I do have 4 team members, 4 sharp team members, and I am sure they are going to do really well because they can learn from my mistakes.
Even if I wasn’t the best one like I thought I would be, this was the best summer of my life. I have learned so much about myself and about others, about life. I have learned how to motivate myself, how to be coachable and how to improve myself every day. “If you are not improving yourself, you are actually not staying at the same stage, you are going down…”-this idea I have heard from Ruslan Skopal and it is so true…