Proverbs 16:26 says (NIV), " A laborer's appetite works for him; his hunger drives him on."
It was the year 1975 and I had been married for less than a year. I had recently quit my job on a church staff and had turned down two j-o-b (just over broke) jobs for the opportunity to set my own hours (translate that: work 70 hours instead of 40), set my own limits, and set my own pay in the vacuum cleaner industry.
Only we called them "home maintenance systems"
In the training, our manager had placed a $100 bill under one of the chairs. I did not get it, but I did make the first sale in the group that night and got a $100 bonus on top of my commission.
I sold it to my wife and it still works in our home.
Back in the training, our leader said something I will never forget, something encouraging, uplifting, and comforting, "I hope you are all broke and badly in debt."
I felt my heart warmed ... or was that heartburn?
He meant that he wanted us hungry because without the hunger, we would not care enough. Without it, we would not be desperate enough to get up and do what needed to be done. we would not knock on the extra doors, walk the extra miles, or put forth the extra effort required to beat the numbers game that is sales.
It was raw sales without internet, tools, CDs, business cards, or brochures. We lugged around a huge piece of equipment in one hand and a "premium" gift in the other in hopes of bring invited in for a 1-and 1/2 hour demonstration and presentation.
We had to be hungry. I was starving and I sold 5 that summer including the one I sold to myself. There were two in one day, one in a house without carpet and a "No Solicitor's" sign on the front door.
I love to tell that story. It is my claim to sales fame.
Starvation would have taken deeper hold if it had not been for my wife's j-o-b, some savings, some preaching honorariums, and the five commissions.
but I got the point and gladly accepted the pastorate of two small country churches in August and turned in my home maintenance system.
But selling was in my blood and I have done it here and there ever since, both in the work of the ministry and helping to supplement my ministry in the world. I got the principle of big numbers and applied them to Sunday School enrollment campaigns. I came to understand necessity of appetite and hunger in driving us toward success.
Hunger is the prevention of a negative experience. Appetite is a positive propellant toward a goal or dream that we have so deeply embraced that to be without it is painful, unbearable, and disastrous. it is the kind of pain that works for us because it gets us up and gets us going.
Where do your hunger and appetites lie? If you are not consumed by any, get some. Otherwise, you will stay where you are, satisfied and stagnant.
Feel those pangs!
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