The currency of contribution

A thirty-something job seeker called Darren contacted me seeking work.

He explained he had a passion for sales training and had resolved in his mind that BOOM! was the place to be and company to work for. He was complimentary of our work and sounded genuinely enthused about the opportunity.

I thanked Darren for his kind words and acknowledged his zeal. I then quizzed him on why he was so passionate about sales training?

His response was short: “I just want to help people”.

He then expressed that his current job was not rewarding. He was despondent and noted that at his age, he was looking for the next stage in his career, one with meaning.

To clarify I drilled a little deeper. “So you have a true passion for helping people?” I asked.

Darren blurted: “Absolutely!”

With my next question I queried, “so what else are you doing to help people?”

“Ah, what do you mean…?” he responded.

“You have a passion for helping others, I just want to get a sense of the things you’re doing to help people, to give me a better understanding of where your passion rests.”

“I’m not following,” he responded.

“How else do you help people?” I added.

“Well, that’s why I want to work for BOOM!, so I can help people.”

His retort told me everything. As you can imagine the call curtailed rather quickly from here. I handed Darren some words of advice — he took these reluctantly and then went on his way.

What’s interesting about Darren, and others similar, is this: sure, they may want a job, but it’s not because they want to help people.

They’ll help alright, but only if there’s a form of financial or personal gain. We know this because, if their desire was genuine and strong, they’d already be contributing to others or society in someway without the need to be compensated for it.

Darren’s not coaching kids in his spare time, you won’t see him down at the local soup kitchen on a frosty evening, nor sight him volunteering in his local community. He’s not aligned with a worthy cause. So, what is he doing to ‘help people’?

What Darren is completing missing is an understanding of the world’s most valuable currency. A currency that doesn’t need an exchange rate. A currency that is universal. A currency that supersedes all others. If he truly wants to ‘help people’, he is already richer that he knows. All he has to do is get out there and share his currency.

This is the essence of the advice I offered Darren. However, I also offered him an opportunity, and that was, if he was actively doing some of these things in the within the next 12 months and still wanted a job, he could call me to explore.

Regrettably, I don’t think I’ll be hearing from him any time soon.


Trent Leyshan is the founder of sales training company BOOM! Sales and author of Outlaw and The Naked Salesman.


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