The Things We Carry

We all carry things through life. John Bunyan, that sage Christian writer from the 1600’s, described the pilgrim’s life from prison, being no stranger to burdens borne. Tim O’Brien in The Things They Carried described the emotional baggage of war, of horrific sights and lessons learned. He wrote that soldiers “carried all they could bear, and then some, including a silent awe for the terrible power of the things they carried.” That is true for us all. We carry seeds of kindness as well as the potential to cut another’s soul to the quick. Think about the qualities you want to carry, and focus on them, like planting daisies and trusting in the blooms to come. You choose what you carry.

Excess baggage defines you and can limit you. As we get back to normal, let’s repack our minds and our totes for optimal performance. Let’s begin with the mental: It’s time to leave behind the baggage of fears, shyness and feeling awkward. Present yourself with poise and confidence. Leave behind past failures and look forward to new successes. Carry with you lessons learned in life, and catalog them in your mind or journal your experiences to make your success real. Add to your emotional cargo the realization that you’ve been chosen to represent a brand and we know your worth. Whether you feel it or not, dig deep and find it, because we certainly saw it!

The personal things we carry define us. The type of lip balm, the color of lipstick, the gum we chew. Seemingly little things form the matrix of who we are. The cards and letters we keep or little talismans from a special event remind us of our circle of friends and keep their love aglow. These personal items fit into your purse or a small briefcase, and it’s both part and parcel of who you are. Choose these items with care.

The tote you carry speaks volumes. Some choose one with a cute phrase or graphic or a monogram. Others carry totes that resemble briefcases. Let it reflect you and your work. I have a dozen totes hanging in my closet, but when I want to represent myself professionally, I choose something more than casual, less than pretentious. Which do you think I would recommend?

You are more than your friendships and activities, though. You are an independent contractor. Merchandising rep needs both a game plan and a bag of tricks. In getting back to work, it’s time to pack a clean tote if you have one. You’ll put a lot of miscellaneous into the tote, but be sure to add:

  • a Windex travel pack
  • a duster
  • an exacto-knife with blades secured!
  • Set up a method for carrying call cards from the attached file for each cycle, an LOA letter of authorization if required and service guidelines…one copy for each project with a call report of each stop.
  • Be sure you have an adequate (or three) writing utensils.
  • Include your personal items within the tote—a handbag, phone, small folder or briefcase, a planner, etc.
  • Don’t forget to pack a positive attitude and a friendly smile.

You are so much than you thought, right? From the tangible to the intangible, you are priceless. We thank you for your service to others.

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