I thought the reason I wanted to leave Amoskeag was simple, but it turned out to be much more.
There were many reasons I wanted to leave, but only a few that pushed me to actually do it. I am going to go through it one by one.
Why would I share this with the world? Why would I share it with my network? Simple. I struggled with this decision for a long time. Answers came slowly. Perhaps you’re struggling with these same things, with this same decision. Perhaps I can help.
I couldn’t grow at Amoskeag.
The beer industry is what I call a “lifer” job. Guys who stay in for more than 5 years seem to stay for their entire career. That’s great for the company, but it creates a lot of stagnation in the ranks. For 50 salesmen, there were a handful of area managers, and a smaller handful of sales directors. My supervisor wasn’t going anywhere, so neither was I.
I couldn’t grow my title, and I also couldn’t grow my income. The company doesn’t do raises, at least not that I saw. Prices would creep up and if you’re paid on commission, parts of your portfolio will lift your income. My pay, however, was only about 60% commission and the rest was incentives. The incentives seemed to shrink and became more restricted. All in all, I didn’t see a lot of earning potential beyond what I was making.
Note for next opportunity – must be able to grow.
I couldn’t do my best work at Amoskeag.
It’s hard to put into words, or more accurately it’s hard to put into less than 1,000 words… I had roughly 76 accounts, many of whom were twice a week visits. A standard visit is fill the cooler / stock the shelves, take inventory, do an order, speak with a manager, collect a check. With over 100 stops in four days, it became impossible to do any selling.
When I first started, I had help. From time to time but consistently, I had another team member help me on busy days so I could take the time to set up products & promotions. As time went by, the job was more and more isolated and the support became impossible to obtain.
Note for next opportunity – must have a strong team.
The bottom of crap mountain.
We all know crap rolls down hill. At Amoskeag, as a salesman, you are responsible for everything. Merchandisers didn’t rotate product? Driver didn’t pick up a check? Office misapplied a payment? Customer didn’t pay a bill?
All of these things, despite being outside your control, are your responsibility. Each person in the supply chain has severely limited accountability. It all falls on the salesman.
Note for next opportunity – must have authority over my responsibilities.
I never felt welcomed.
It’s a little hard to admit, but not feeling like a valued and important part of a team ate at me. Triumphs were never celebrated. The nitpicking was obnoxious, but the real thing was that Amoskeag made it feel as though I was being given a gift by being allowed to work there. I wanted to be on a team not just in my area but for the company as a whole.
Note for next opportunity – must focus on onboarding employees, celebrating and growing successes, and provide support. Culture is vital.
That review though.
There is a fine line to walk when giving an employee a review. Mine was brutal. My customers ranked me in the low 90s out of 100. Based on 2016 as a whole, I would have given myself an 80. My company review was 14/40 leaving me with 35%. One of the categories was “Value of Work Completed” in which I scored a 1 out of 5. This is the kind of review that shuts down even a loyal employee.
The review had flaws for sure – mainly the categories being too broad. But when a review falls that far south on the “value of work completed” scale for a person who for the most part executes, grows sales, achieves incentives, and has great customer relationships, the reviewers need some coaching as well.
Note for next opportunity – expectations that are reviewed should be quantified. 360 degree reviews are vital if reviews are in place. Reviews shouldn’t be once a year – coaching should take its place and it should be constant.
I stayed for the benefits.
For several months I found myself staying at Amoskeag for the benefits. I was staying for the paycheck even though while it was decent, it wasn’t getting me to my goals. When that’s the only reason you’re staying, it is might be time to move on.
Note for next opportunity – find meaning beyond the check, but the check has to be great.
Too good to pass up.
Some of these situations caused angst, some were near crippling when it came to my desire to do my job. The real reason I left and severed ties was the opportunity in front of me.
I am fortunate enough to have met some stellar people and from them I was offered something I couldn’t pass up.
Here’s the deal…
- I have unlimited financial growth potential. I have to earn it, it’s not going to be a cake walk, but the ceiling doesn’t exist. The people I bring on board have unlimited growth potential. The sky is the limit.
- I have an incredible team. The founder of the company sold his last business for $4.3 billion. My manager is incredible, and everyone involved at this stage is an owner with nothing but kicking major ass in mind.
- I can do my best work. My talent lies in bringing the weird combination of all my experiences to bear for a business and help them. Our products and services are top notch, our service team is the best. I can focus on what I do and allow my strong teammates to do what they do best.
- I can control my outcome through effort, training and talent.
- Our early conference calls and meetings have been centered around building the best culture to keep the best people.
- Performance is my review. As a Division Sales Director, I won’t just cop out and review my reps. I will help them be their best on a continuous basis. I will ask them how I’m doing and work to get better.
- Half the profits of Beyond go to charity, the other half goes to the employees. The charity is the Give Something Back Foundation, which helps kids go to college that wouldn’t have had a chance. Meaning and unlimited earning. Yes please.
- Seriously too good to pass up.
If you find yourself struggling with these or other issues and you want to get Beyond where you currently are… get in touch with me.
I’m looking for people who share my desire to change their circumstance and go Beyond.