Who Are You? Why Are You Here?

There’s an old story about Akiva, the rabbi, who had been in the village to gather some supplies. Walking back to his cottage, he absentmindedly took the wrong path. Suddenly, a voice came through the darkness: “Who are you, and why are you here?”

Shocked to awareness, Akiva realized he had wandered into the Roman garrison, and the voice had come from the young sentry keeping guard. But being a rabbi, he answered the question with another question: “How much do they pay you to stand guard and ask that question of all who approach?”

The sentry, now seeing that this was not an intruder but a rabbi, answered meekly, “Five drachmas a week, sir.”

At that point the rabbi offered, “Young man, I will double your pay if you come with me, stand in front of my cottage, and ask me that question each morning as I begin my day: ‘Who are you, and why are you here?’”

On Sales:

I’ve recently learned something about sales.. on being a salesman. What I learned is, assuming you believe in what you are selling, and you believe it will do good for people, that you must sell it. You have an obligation to do your best to sell it successfully, because whenever there is a sales meeting, there are 2 parties selling. One party is trying to sell a solution, and the other is trying to sell their limitations. If the solution is sold, both parties win. If the limitations are sold, both parties lose.

If you do not sell your solution, you are allowing the other party to buy their own excuses for failure, or at least for mediocrity.

Now here’s the kicker – Everyone is a salesperson. Think about it now. What are you selling?