“My first commission check was negative $600.”
If your first “commission” would eat into next month’s paycheck, would you stick with the role?
When asking Aaron Klein why he decided to take on a publication that was doing so poorly – especially since this was his first neighborhood with N2 – his answer is surprising: He had no hesitation in taking on a big challenge. He didn’t agonize over a failing publication or having to right all that had gone wrong. Instead, he viewed this opening as being in the right place at the right time.
“This [publication] was out there and it was going to go away if no one jumped on to take it over… I just decided I had to do it,” he said. “I felt it was a good opportunity.”
His first commission check in the red was a far cry from what Aaron brought his publication up to within 12 months – and after less than two years, he’s already one of the top-earning N2 Area Directors in the country.
First Things First
“The first step for me was always about the attitude, drive, and work ethic. I didn’t see failure as an option here.”
And so, Aaron dove in head-first. He bet all of his chips. He threw every egg into one basket. He had a growing family to take care of, but that was fuel for his hard work, not an excuse to sit still and stare at all his metaphorical eggs sitting in his metaphorical basket. He knew the N2 model would work if he put in the effort, and he got right down to business.
“I saw the success of others at N2 and if they were able to do it, I knew I could too,” he said.
Starting out with the odds (aka commission) already against him, Aaron targeted his focus on the right industries for his publication.
His activity levels were consistent and calculated. Mondays were dedicated to calls in his home office. During any given week of ramp-up, he made dozens of calls to prospects, scheduled at least eight meetings, and partnered with at least two new advertising clients.
“Behind it all was the drive to succeed. There was never a time where I was taking a break from the work,” he said.
But beside every closed sale was a drawer full of other businesses who said no. And behind every resilient drive to push forward was a handful of setbacks.
“As hard as I was working, I wasn’t closing every deal by any means. It just takes a lot of activity even when things aren’t going right. There are hills and valleys of the business. It takes a lot of effort to get to that point,” said Aaron.
A Means for Motivation
N2 is not Aaron’s first rodeo in the sales world, though all of his “rodeos” have been different – from Fortune 100 companies to Internet start-ups. He’s always had an affinity for helping businesses grow through marketing efforts, so N2 felt like a natural progression for him and his talents. And while the Area Director role is overall very similar to his other roles, he still finds this experience unlike anything he’s ever done. Through every role he’s held, one person has remained by his side, offering endless inspiration – his middle-school-sweetheart-turned-wife, Dina.
“We knew each other as kids and I sought her out later in life. I knew I wanted to marry her even back then. My wife and I do everything together – she’s a support figure for me and has seen me through the frustrations and hills and valleys. It’s a meant-to-be story and we now have three kids,” Aaron said.
Now a family man, his motivation and determination to work hard stems from a heartfelt desire: to leave behind a generational legacy. Aaron views his work as a means to build a family while also investing in creating the quality of life and flexibility he strives for.
“The fact that you can have what you need with your family while still running a successful business is absolutely a perk that N2 offers,” he said.
Anything He Can Do…
The really exciting thing about N2’s model is that success truly is within reach to anyone who is willing to put in the time and hard work needed. Aaron says he’s proof of that, and the numbers speak for themselves.
“Anybody in the company can go from negative commission checks to the top of the list for AD earnings. Everyone should be getting that Big Dog award (at an N2 conference). Everyone has that opportunity within N2,” Aaron said.
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