My first recollection of what I wanted to be when I grew up was to be a garbage man. I was fascinated with the garbage truck and each day it came by it compacted the trash in front of my house. I was amazed that a truck could carry all that trash and it just looked fun. This dream was then filled with dreams of owning my own business, specifically a soccer store. It was my passion sport.
The idea of owning my own business was very strong and through my high school years, I spent time dreaming up all sorts of ways to work for myself. It was such a passion that I even majored in Entrepreneurship.
However, upon graduation, I didn’t have a real idea. Sure a soccer store would be fun, but I knew nothing about running a business so I went the corporate job route out of college. These years were the most informative years of my life, where I learned all sorts of things about retail and business.
Then the day finally came, my brother and I bought a tiny single owner/operator kayak business.
Neither of us had ever really kayaked, but we both loved retail and had a passion for taking care of customers. Truth be told, I still don’t kayak and never really liked it for all those years, but our customers liked it, and selling something they enjoyed was fun.
This was 2005. Ecommerce was a thing but in its infancy, we knew nothing about it. That didn’t matter, we didn’t really know anything about kayaks or owning our own business either.
Success isn’t defined by what you know, it is defined by your motivation. Aptitude is completely offset by attitude.
This isn’t just true about how we grew a tiny nascent business into the largest independent specialty retailer, it is true about hiring great people.
We write job descriptions with ‘requirements’ and then hope to find those with the aptitude – when really their attitude is what will make them successful.
People who are motivated to be successful will far outpace someone that has experience but just isn’t motivated. Don’t limit yourself to just those job requirements.