I Used to Sell Missiles, Now I Sell Books and How Online Writing Brought It All Together

It was about halfway through business school when I figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up.

During a project for a double-credit leadership development class, it dawned on me what really jazzed me up: helping lead teams to victory.

That sounds like a bunch of rah-rah malarkey bullshit. I get it. But it’s true. Winning is important to me but winning together is what fires me up big time.

At the time of the project, I was selling missiles for Boeing and had an offer to take a promotion that would have also meant a move away from Washington, DC. After the project however, I started looking at Fortune 100 leadership development programs. I was blinded by their glossy exteriors; promises of fast-tracking and career hacks galore. I declined the promotion and left Boeing.

Only to suffer crushing rejections during interview rounds for blue chips like GE and BP.

It took a while to come back from these. They wounded my fragile and petty ego something fierce. In the end, the dose of humility was part of what I needed.

And so now, a few years later and seemingly decades wiser, I got an email a few months ago inviting me to my company’s leadership development program.

Unbelievable catharsis came with it.

The only thing standing between me and the leadership development opportunity I’d craved for so long?

Six essays between 200 and 300 words. Six “atomic essays” on leadership…

Good thing I’d been writing one of these every day for 250 days straight at the time.

The universe truly works in mysterious ways.

Last month I finished the leadership development program and it was everything I’d been waiting for.

Sometimes the path we find is never what we had in mind but it turns out even better in the end.

Keep going. Your big break might be just around the corner.

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