This past week I was at the FFaNY shoe tradeshow seeing customers, fellow sales reps, and other people in the industry. Like most times I’m at a tradeshow, I enjoyed the catching up, seeing what everyone is up to, and reconnecting.
While meeting new people and listening to the goings ons this week, I noticed a lot of people in the industry are still in it, but in different roles. A past shoe salesperson now sells to the salespeople he used to work alongside, other sales representatives are now marketing consultants, some store owners change stores and some leave retail, former designers now focus on importing, and a line founder now looks to be hired in a position she used to hire for. It seems like time and time again I witnessed people on a new path and reinventing themselves.
As I observed these people, I was inspired by their successes. No matter what position they are in now, these people are all making a living and more. These are people who were stiffed by people who owe them money, had the rug pulled from under them, had failed ventures, and who were forced to change paths. Some of them were pretty high up in the ranks when things changed, and some are even higher than they were before. They all have different stories and various things lead them to where they are now. Not all of them have forgiven or forgotten the unexpected circumstances that lead them here. Some chose to evolve, and some rose to the occasion despite their personal preference.
Seeing all these people, who I look up to in one way or another, and realizing it didn’t come easy to them really had me reflecting on my own stuff. I’ve changed paths and am a bit more than uncomfortable in my position post-switch. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, but starting new and building up a name and resources is not without challenges. As much as I try and keep a positive outlook, it’s a battle to do so and there are a lot of down feelings that come along with the perseverance and choice to keep going. But that doesn’t mean that my successes and comfort aren’t coming. Being in person with others who have been in tough situations and come out of it reminds me there is more still to come. I can only imagine how the details went down for each of them, but I know I’m better off in some ways then they were, so I’m already that much ahead.
It all comes down to choices. We can choose to fall and stay down. We can choose to just take it when someone else trips us up. But no matter whose fault it is or why it happens, we get to choose. We can choose to reinvent ourselves. We can choose to see opportunities. We can choose to make opportunities. It may not be painless or even clear, but I don’t know if there are any great stories that don’t have something to overcome before the happy ending.
To all of our reinventions yet to come. . .
Image Layout: StephanieD