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 13—Make Adjustments 

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Michael Santos

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What do companies do when ventures they launched don’t work out? They adjust! That’s the power of using accountability metrics. Leaders will continuously review and assess their performance. If the business model succeeds, they accelerate. If the business model fails to deliver, they determine what changes they can make along the way. In business and life, those who know how to adjust better progress along their pathway to success.

Authorities arrested Weldon Long for armed robbery when he was 19. He served several years in prison. During that time, Weldon adjusted to the ways of the penitentiary. In other words, Weldon didn’t think about preparing for success upon release. Instead, he adapted to the practices of others who served time alongside him.

Weldon concluded his sentence. When he returned to society, employers wouldn’t hire him. He reverted to criminal behavior. Sadly, a conviction and a new prison term awaited him. He served several more years in Colorado’s prison system.

After concluding his second term, Weldon struggled again. He couldn’t find a job. Within a year, new criminal conduct led to a 10-year prison term. While locked in a federal detention center, waiting to begin his third prison term, Weldon’s father passed away. 

Losing his father crushed Weldon’s spirit. The personal tragedy influenced his perception of life. His difficulty inspired him to adjust differently.

Weldon felt despondent for the loss of his father. Regretting that he failed to prove worthy of his father, he chose to change his life. His dad knew him as a drug addict and a petty criminal. In his father’s memory, Weldon committed to using his third term to change. Weldon earned a bachelor’s degree. Then he earned a master’s degree. He became an author, sharing his steps to begin preparing for success while serving ten years in federal prison.

Weldon concluded his third prison term, but society didn’t welcome him. Without a job, he was homeless. Six months passed before he could land a job. With his commitment to succeed, Weldon kept on his path. He talked his way into a commission-only job selling air conditioning equipment. He got the job on a Friday and spent the entire weekend watching videos on YouTube to learn about air conditioners. 

During his first month on the job, Weldon sold $140,000 worth of air conditioners. By the end of the year, he celebrated being the top salesperson in the company. He performed so well that he decided to launch his own company. And over the first five years, his company sold more than $20 million of air conditioners. Then Weldon sold his company to a competitor. 

After selling his company, Weldon approached the most significant air conditioning manufacturers. He asked executives at those companies if they ever wondered how someone out of nowhere built a company that sold $20 million worth of their equipment. 

The executives told Weldon that they were curious. 

He told them the truth, saying he used to be a drug-addicted criminal who served three terms in prison. The skills he learned to overcome those character deficiencies were the same skills that would help a person become a high-performing sales professional. 

Weldon designed a course around the lessons he learned in prison. Whenever he hired a salesperson to work in his company, he required the person to go through his course. Those lessons led his company to break sales records. Weldon offered to use the same course to help other sales professionals reach their highest potential. 

The manufacturers liked Weldon’s idea and opened introductions to distributors across the country. His conversations with the executives led to Weldon’s new company. He helps Fortune 500 companies train their sales teams. 

The irony, Weldon said, was that those companies would not hire him for minimum wage because of his felony background. Yet they’ll sign six-figure contracts to hire his corporate training company. 

When people adjust to changing circumstances, a person creates new growth opportunities. Think about how you can use the same strategies as Weldon to transform your life.

  • How does your behavior today differ from your routine before you faced the challenge?
  • In what ways have you adjusted your behavior since beginning your pathway to success?
  • What adjustments could you make to accelerate progress?
  • What expenditures do you anticipate making during the first six months of your liberty?
  • What steps are you taking to influence your income upon release?

Word of the day: despondent / Define despondent:

Use despondent in a sentence:

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