Goal Setting is your Key to Success – Blog #1. Have you ever wondered “what do I want to be when I grow up?” Hopefully that’s early on in your journey but quite frankly for me, even in my fifties I wondered that. Not to say I don’t love what I do now, because I do, but what is “being grown up mean?”
My name is Michael Normart. I’m a Senior Director at Zappos.com in the Merchandising area.I’m writing about my 40 year journey in the footwear industry. I want to share my journey to help people that might find themselves in similar situations in this crazy retail world we live in. Each Blog I write about a real life experience and how I handled it. Sometimes it was right and other times a lesson to be learned. In any case I survived it all and learned a whole lot to share in this story.Let’s go back into time now when I was 21 years old and how I first learned that
Goal Setting is your Key to Success
Why is Goal Setting the Key to your Success? I will explain in this story.I just turned 21 years old, started working at Fridays restaurant as a fry cook…a grill cook..a plate cook. Just so you know, I wore a lot of “cook” hats doing “whatever you had to do” as a cook. It was a dirty job. The hours were “sh..ty”. But, I also had to work night shifts 6p -3a, 5 days a week. I slept for 5–6 hrs then went to college from 8–12. Oh yeah, I was also a door to door vacuum salesman part time, too. It was brutal. The goal was to to get out of my parents house, and I had no financial support.
I also had this minimum wage car wash job I did on days I didn’t work at Fridays restaurant. But at the car wash, I had this cool incentive to sell extra car wash services; wind shield wiper fluid…oil fluid..transmission fluid. I mean any “fluid” or anything I could sell at the car wash I could make commission on, I sold… and guess what? I got top salesperson for selling those services!
I basically had to support myself which including going to college. So, I sucked it up and stuck it out working until I got a place rooming with my high school best friend, Bryon (who is still one of my best friends today).
I’m saying all this because going into survivor mode and working my “a_s” off gave me a lot of life lessons. I had to learn to suck up to grunt jobs and suck up to people as a grunt worker. At first I was all over the place. I wasn’t very organized tom even what I wanted, so I broke it down.
My real immediate goal was to have my own place. So I needed to figure out how to get there. For me it meant working multiple jobs but I knew this would be temporary.
My goal was achieved. I finally got my own place! But along the way, I also learned basic politics 101; how to be politically respectful. To this day I’m always respectful of salespeople, and I go to bat for my hard working team. Doing these grunt jobs early on gave me respect for people who grind through the stuff they don’t like as part of the job.
So, 1st lesson I learned in my footwear journey was why goal setting would be the key to my success. This worked for me on so many levels. If you are flexible and stay open to different management styles and personalities, you never know what other valuable life lessons you may learn along the way. But it all starts with a goal and then working towards achieving that goal.
So to re-cap I wanted to have my own place and had no financial backing to help me out. So I had to do whatever it took to get there. For me it was working three jobs until I found just one job that would support me. Turns out, that one job ended up being my start in a career in the footwear industry.
Hi Mike! Love your new blog! How very generous of you to share your knowledge and experience with others. I will be following you and wishing you great success with this awesome blog. (We met a few years back when my partner and I came to Zappos to show you our patented two-piece boot design 🙂 )
Hi Llynda! Thank you so much for following me, I appreciate your kind words