My dad is a salesman. By occupation, but also by nature. Some salesmen, I’ve come to find, are doggedly determined and border on obnoxious. Some, ensnare you in their net and before you know it, you’ve bought what they’re selling and you feel you’ve made a best friend. Terry is most definitely the second.
For over twenty years, my dad has been cultivating his perfect sale. Sometime around my brother’s birth, he created a brand in his head. Your brand is your people and his brand was going to be self-assured, intelligent, inquisitive and humorous. They would find sport and hobby in constructive places, and most importantly they would be “good people”.
Now, before you think I’m the most egotistical asshole ever, recognize that a brand is built. To build the brand, you have to believe in it and convince others to buy into your vision. Since the day we were born, my dad has been selling my brother and I on his brand.
I don’t ever remember a time thinking that I couldn’t do or wasn’t smart or good enough to do something or that the Glass Ceiling or the Man or Jesus himself would prevent me from completing what I set out to accomplish. If you try hard enough, work hard enough and plan hard enough, you are capable of doing anything you set your mind to. So says the brand of Terry, and therefore so says the voice in my head.
Obviously, there have been slip-ups and mishaps along the way. I am human and so is he. But the message has never wavered. I still vividly remember being dropped off at elementary school and he’d say, “Be a star! I love you!” He said the same thing the first day of my real world job and I’m sure he’ll say it at every next step in my life.
After more than twenty years of buying what he’s selling, I have to say, my dad is a pretty damn good salesman. And an even better dad.