I WAS ABLE TO SAY NO.

Two weeks ago, I received an email on LinkedIn, from a gentleman I didn’t know and have never met. He introduced himself in a polite way and asked to speak to me on the phone. So, I did what I always do; I called him. That is what I do. My friends have told me it is weird, but I cannot help it. I pick for whoever calls, I answer all my messages, texts and emails. I even pick up when I don’t recognize the number, I rarely let a call go to voicemail. I believe in talking to people, and if someone takes their time to communicate with me, the least I could do is to answer. That’s my philosophy.

Anyway, I spoke with the gentleman and he mentioned he saw my profile and he thought I was right for a position at the company he was representing. Now, I must admit the offer was amazing and extremely attractive. The salary would have been almost double what I make now. He mentioned benefits, expenses, vacations and other perks that were incredible. There was one slight problem; this job required a strong selling attitude, and part of my salary- about a third- would be based on commission.

As the gentleman was talking and explaining to me what the job would entail, I zoned out because I knew I was going to turn down the offer. I listened however to every word he said, and I even asked questions out of curiosity yet my mind was already set.

Could I use the money? Hell, yeah!! I am not a rich man-I am rich in my heart-so, that salary could have helped me tremendously, that is a certainty. Could I use the extra time of vacation, the perks, the benefits? Of course, I could. But I couldn’t say yes.

As of 2019, I have spent 12 years working in the banking sector and I know every selling technique, every trick, how to counter objections with my own, how to get a client to run out of reasons to say no, how to get people to agree with me and so many other techniques. I have a great arsenal in my mind after a whole decade of being a salesman. Yet, I despise sales.

I was never meant to work in a bank or the financial sector. A lifetime ago, as I remember it, I got expelled from the microbiology department of the Université de Montréal for poor grades-that is another subject for another goddamn day-and I was suddenly out of school, without a job and no income. To avoid a personal catastrophe, I applied at a bank, which was the first job application I saw, and thankfully, I got hired. I started working and never looked back. Twelve years later, I am still in the banking sector but in a much better position with a better pay, better schedule and frankly, I couldn’t be happier.

The fact remains that I am not a salesperson. Perhaps, some day, I will tell you how much I despise sales, and anything related to selling. I turned down the offer because I have found what I want to do; I want to write for a living. I want my texts, my stories, my hosting abilities to be my primary source of income. I am not delusional, and I know this will take a lot of time and a lot of work to happen. So far, I have been a master of ceremonies at 4 weddings and I have hosted a conference a few years back. I write because it is my passion and as of yesterday, I have helped two people with their stories, and I have done a few translations (French-English and vice versa). Yesterday, I helped a friend write a text, which was an amazing experience. I sat down with him and we talked about what he wanted, the tone of the message, its purpose, its length, the wording and so many other details. Arguably, one of the coolest experiences of my life.

Writing and hosting are the things I want to do from this day until the day I die. That is the path I would like to pursue, which is the reason why turning down the offer was crucial. I felt I had to do whatever I could to get out of this banking business and pursue my passion. Once again, I am not delusional. Bills need to be paid, I have financial obligations and as a grown ass man, I need to take care of myself. I’d say that I only have myself to worry about since I don’t have any kids nor am, I married. No one depends on me but me.

In the spirit of transparency, it hurt turning down that amount of money that came with the job. However, it only hurt for a second. My mind was already made up. I believe I have reached a point in my life where I can afford to say no to certain offers, despite not being rich. I don’t regret my decision even if I am not a published writer or a paid speaker at conferences. Yes, I do make a certain income-as little as it is, it doesn’t matter to me-which allows me to get my name out there and ask for references and hopefully get more work.

Well, all this sounds like an advertisement for Freeman. I am sorry to have bored you with my story. I just never thought I would be here today, writing stories, sharing my stories and helping people with their stories. This is all new to me and I am enjoying the ride.

I guess if you really love something, and you decide to apply yourself to it, a lot can happen. I will not say all that motivational mumbo jumbo such as “you can do anything you set your mind to” but I do know that if you work hard and passionately, things happen, good things. I haven’t made it yet, but at least, I am doing something that I love and have never missed a day since I started writing everyday. I don’t publish everyday, but I write texts everyday. Publishing isn’t easy sometimes, but I will get better at it, that is a promise.

Two years ago, I decided to do something completely crazy. I decided, against every fiber of my soul, to share my thoughts through WhatsApp to my contacts. Today, I have a blog and I am in love with what I do. This love for my craft has given me the strength to turn down a great offer to pursue this writing/hosting path that I absolutely love. I have never felt so in sync with myself and so at peace with my choices. I have reached a point in my life where writing and telling stories have become my priority.

We all have that thing we love. We all have that thing we are good at, that thing that makes us happy. Why not pursuit it? Why not go after it? It takes time, it takes effort and dedication. But if you love what you do, you will always see it as fun, it will be as easy as breathing. Go after it. I am not saying you should drop everything and fly away. Do it one step at a time, take your time, or just drop everything and fly high. To each their own.

But if I can go after what I love, who are you NOT TO? Just sayin…

I just wanted to say once again that I am thankful and grateful to all of you. I am thankful you take time out of your busy schedule to read and listen to my stories. I want to thank you for sharing my texts and stories with other people. I want to thank you for texting and emailing with your comments, suggestions and feedback. I appreciate your time and your references. I appreciate you sharing my blog and I want to thank all those who suggest that I add people on my WhatsApp list so new people can receive my texts and audios. I want to thank all those who have offered me their unwavering support and believed in me from day one. Thank for you to everyone who has joined me in this great journey. From the bottom of my heart, thank you…

Just one man’s opinion.

Now smile, go after that dream and go on with your day.

Freeman. B

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