Do Something…


Okay… so I was twenty-five years old… just hired to help establish a skilled-trades division for a regional staffing company… first day in the office.

My boss approaches, “We can fill out all your paperwork later… right now… here’s a phone book… make some appointments… and get the word out.”

End of training.

The year was 1985… less than two years later, I would open my own small business.

Within five years, we would grow to have the best reputation in our market… and ultimately employ over fourteen thousand wonderful people.

And the stories… oh, the stories… of incredible success… of heartbreaking failure… but always moving forward.


Ahh… but I digress.

Back to my first day on that job… my boss… the phone book… and the anti-training. I can still remember the way he said “…get the word out.”

I didn’t know what the ‘word’ was…

I opened the yellow pages… wrote down the names of ten machine-shops… and started calling. About the third call, I got through to the owner.

It must have been obvious that I was a novice… and he must have had nothing better to do.
“How quick can you get here..?”

I was out the door.


My first sales call… and solo.

I was told to wait in a large empty conference room… or should I just say… a large empty room. And I mean empty… no desks, no tables, no chairs… no equipment, no… anything.

Just me, standing in the middle of this great big empty room.

Ten minutes… fifteen minutes… twenty minutes… whatever. It seemed an eternity. And then, in came Bob… the owner.

“Listen… you ain’t nothin’ but a blankety-blank head-hunter…”.

Nice… now I had another problem… I had never heard the term before… the head-hunter part, I mean… the blankety-blank I was familiar with.

I asked him to explain… we ended up having a fine conversation, and I left with two job orders.


I don’t know if he ever intended to hire through us or not… but we recruited some top-notch talent for those positions. When he later balked at the interviews… I called the other companies on my original list… and our people were hired.

All of them.

Looking back, I learned a great lesson that day. Sometimes… the most important thing you can do is… something.

It can be as simple as that. One action leads to a situation that demands another action… and suddenly, you find you’ve grown.

As for ol’ Bob… I really need to look him up and thank him.



1) Some of the best growth opportunities come from our response to failed plans.

2) Difficult and uncomfortable situations can hone our skills and make us stronger.

3) When in doubt… don’t stand still. Do something.

4) Blankety-blank head-hunters are people too.


I look forward to hearing from you.


Photo Credit:

Krikit ♥