My article as it appears in The Professional Woman’s Magazine:
January 20, 2015
Insights from automotive sales leader and author Terri Lynn
When my career in automotive sales began I was living with horrible circumstances. My two young sons lived two hours away, I was living on welfare, and my life dreams were shattered. I needed to train my brain to stay in the present moment otherwise I would have been swallowed by the sadness. One thing I understood was that if I were to survive I needed to be happy. So I made the commitment to be happy no matter what, which to this very day I see as my biggest accomplishment.
Sales actually helped me achieve my goal of happiness because engaging with clients helped keep me in the moment and kept my mind off of what was missing in my life. The long hours filled my days and my commissions provided a means of support. I did the very best I could with the job in front of me (which I have since learned is one of the spiritual laws of success).
Being happy was my real job. It took concentrated effort to focus on something positive because the feeling of loss and missing my boys surrounded me and could have easily carried me away from my target. I learned the hard way that if I entertained those sad thoughts I went deep down and had a difficult time gaining back a positive perspective so I learned to fight against the darkness within.
After a few years in sales I decided that I wanted to be a sales manager but had no clue how to achieve that goal. I started talking about this new goal and began asking myself questions. “What would I do differently if I were a manager? What would I be wearing? Where would I live?” etc.
I used my imagination all the while doing the best I could with the job in front of me until one day, like magic, I was invited to be a sales manager. This did not happen overnight by any means, but the position came to me.
Every time there was a sales contest I would place the reward somewhere in my office where I would see it often, and I drew myself in the picture. Each time I noticed the reward I would just say, “Yes!” with great enthusiasm. At the time, I did this just to keep myself focused on something positive, but magically I won almost every contest.
Several years later when the horrible circumstances in my life had passed and my grown sons were living with me, I had a fantastic life to share with them, and my happiness level was over the top.
Today I realize that the commitment I made to be happy was the means to my success in business. I have traveled all over the U.S. and Europe not only for free but with red carpet treatment. I know plenty of people that worked just as hard as I did that never won an award. My success in business is wonderful but to me being happy is still my biggest success.
My experience taught me that happiness breeds success. My mindset to be happy and my focus on the positive presented me the tools I needed to succeed: Sales.
What I discovered along the way is that we have a built-in navigation system. In order to receive guidance a goal (destination) is needed. When you set a goal and commit to it, you turn the system on. Your belief keeps the engine running, and when you say, “I can” you fuel the engine. Keep moving and you will receive directions. Often we give up on our dreams because we do not see how we can possibly succeed with our limited human mind.
Believing is key. In your car do you trust your navigation system to guide you to an unknown place even when you have no idea of where you are going? Of course you do. Our inner guidance system works the same way but we need to trust in it and believe we will get there. Without belief there is no power and the system turns off.
My new goal in life is to help others see the importance of being happy. Many times happiness is put on the other side of a goal, “When I graduate I will be happy.” “When I find my perfect mate I will be happy.” “When I get a promotion I will be happy.” The truth is that when happiness comes first the goal is achieved much faster. Science has proven that a happy brain and heart function much better. So no matter what is going on in your life I urge you to Live Happy!