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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

How My First Sales Job Traveling The World Changed My Career

Elaina Giolando, Fast Company, Jan. 12, 2017

It was a Friday morning and I happened to be drinking vodka.

I don’t even drink, but I’d just closed a deal with the CEO of a Mongolian hedge fund and he insisted on drinking shots to celebrate.

From his boardroom on the twelfth floor, I could see the frozen streets of Ulaanbaatar below, a foreboding reminder that I still had the rest of winter in the world’s coldest capital city to suffer through, not to mention a half-million dollar target to hit.

But hey, I was 24, working in one of the world’s most interesting emerging markets, and gaining experience doing something my entry-level consulting position back in New York hadn’t prepared me to do: sell.

And not just sell to anyone, but sell to presidents, prime ministers, CEOs, and other intimidatingly influential personalities in every country where I was sent, from Nigeria to Qatar, South Africa to Turkey. I landed the gig through the simple magic of referrals–namely the “weak link” kind that research has shown to be the most powerful. A friend of a friend was in the same position and recommended me for an opening.

In just one week, I did a first-round interview, flew out to the company’s European headquarters for the final round, and received and accepted an offer on the spot. That may go against traditional career coach–issued advice, but it worked for me and I never regretted it. I flew straight home, quit my consulting job, and was off to my first assignment in Nigeria a few weeks later.

In my new role as country director for an international media company, I was in charge of selling advertising in promotional country reports that would be distributed by major media brands. And all the while, I had to manage a remote team of three, no matter where those sales duties took me.

For two years, I pitched in parliamentary palaces, climbed 10 stories in Ethiopian office buildings with no elevator, and drove to government offices halfway across countries I’d arrived in less than 48 hours before. I would fly from the Middle East to South America on the same day if we scored a half-hour slot with the governor of a central bank.

I signed contracts with farmers in warehouses in Paraguay and with CEOs in top-floor multinational headquarters in Johannesburg. The contrasts of these experiences kept me on my toes. I learned to strategize, pitch, negotiate, and close deals on five continents and in a handful of languages.

Some people say that everything is sales, and I’ve reluctantly come to believe them.

In February 2015, the Wall Street Journal reported that the youngest members of the workforce are hesitating to take sales jobs, and a Forbes contributor agreed, arguing the same year that companies needed to do a better job (ironically enough) of selling their sales positions to sales-shy millennials.

Here’s the thing, though: Selling is a universal skill, and it’s instrumental in every career. Personally, I couldn’t be happier that I took a couple of years early in my own career to pound the pavement and learn the ins and outs of sales. In the process, I single-handedly delivered over $1.5 million in revenue to my company in 27 months. Even if you aren’t in a sales role, you need to be able to interact with people you’ve never met before, learn what they need, and explain how you can help deliver it to them at a competitive price (ever been on a job interview?).

I learned directly from government officials and company executives about every imaginable industry, from stocks and steel to reinsurance and cement. I toured leather factories, soybean farms, and coffee plantations, learning to speak the language of my clients, whether that was investment banking or industrial agriculture. To this day, I’m one of the only people my age who I know has this depth or breadth of firsthand sales experience.

And it’s proved to be an asset, even outside of sales jobs. Since exiting that role in 2015, I’ve moved into an operations and project management position for a top tech company in Silicon Valley. I know I’m going to keep drawing on my experience as a young, globetrotting sales rep in the years ahead.

People in my former company have big personalities. Every one of us can walk into a boardroom of 10 executives in any foreign country on the planet and command the room in at least three different languages. We ooze confidence and enthusiasm for our product, the country we’re in, and the person in front of us. We know it’s not only what we say, but how we say it.

That job taught me to project confidence when I least felt like it, which has been a useful lesson for everything from assuming leadership on a new team to going on dates in New York. The more confidently I act, the better I perform.

Lose control, lose the sale. I was taught to keep my eyes on the objective of every meeting with a potential client, which was usually a signed contract. You can be friendly, but you’re always steering the interaction.

The ability to subtly maintain control of an interaction as it unfolds is a powerful job skill. It’s useful for every type of business interaction on the planet: What’s the goal of the email you’re sending? What do you want to communicate to your boss during your weekly check-in? What are the most important parts of your work experience to get across during your job interview? If you can be clear and purposeful the whole time, you can keep things moving in your direction.

Preparation, preparation, preparation. For every one-hour sales meeting, I prepared for days. I always researched the company, its competitors, the entire industry, the relevant economic background of the country it operated in, and the career and personal history of the individual I was going to meet.

I apply this principle to every meeting I have with important stakeholders in my current job, and I plan to do the same on every new job interview I ever go on. I’m notorious for not leaving my house for up to 48 hours before a big interview, but my preparation pays off when I know the company, the role, and my most relevant experience inside and out.

High spirits, high sales. Your attitude is an aura. No matter what you’re saying or how big you’re smiling, people can feel how you feel. If you’re always focused on the positive, your team will be more motivated, your friends will want to spend more time with you, and some researchers say you’ll attract better mates and earn more money in the long run.

It’s better to win big than avoid losing small. In my sales job, I focused less on the likelihood that we’d probably sell $25,000 that week and more on the possibility of landing a six-figure deal at any moment. I made my team’s mantra about aiming for the big wins, not getting by with the minimum to make our target.

In life, I’ve learned that you can either focus on the probable or the possible. Guess which one successful people choose more often.

Always ask, “How’s your granny doing?” Contrary to what many people think about salespeople (smarmy, ingratiating, fake), my sales job taught me to be deeply authentic. Americans tend to want to get straight down to business, but some of my biggest sales were made after hours of talking to CEOs in Latin America or Africa about their grandmothers or their hometown cricket teams or their passion for woodworking. And it was genuinely wonderful.

Sales, and life itself, is about making connections, sharing experiences, admitting mistakes, laughing, and letting go. Doing it well demands being human, which is something we forget when we get caught up in competition, money, sales targets, promotions, and power–things that can add to your stress and cloud your judgment in any role in any industry, anywhere in the world.

More than anything else, my experience as a sales rep traveling around on my own made me more comfortable opening up to all kinds of people, understanding what we’re all really saying (and not saying), and creating space for human connections, not just commercial ones. I can’t think of a better training ground right at the start of my career.

Elaina Giolando is an international sales director and digital nomad who’s lived and worked in more than 50 countries.

Where is America in Bible Prophecy - Chapter 47 -The Scofield Connection and the Pre-Tribulation Fallacy with Corrie Ten Boom's Perspective!

By Dennis Edwards

All Bible verses are from the King James Bible, although I have changed some of the old English. Any similarity to any modern version is only by coincidence. Bible verses other than the King James have been foot-noted properly.

Copyright @ Dennis M. Edwards (photos used from Google images for educational purposes only) [To go to the first chapters click on link]

Chapter 47

The Scofield Connection – The Pre-Tribulation Fallacy with Corrie Ten Boom’s Perspective

I have just been re-watching Bill Salus’s video on America in Bible Prophecy.[1] Bill comes out as a defender of the pre-tribulation rapture. Many Christians hold dearly to the pre-tribulation rapture escape doctrine in spite of the fact that it is contrary to sound doctrine and traditional Bible interpretation held for hundreds of years by our Christian forefathers. I will need to make a short case to refute the pre-tribulation doctrine as it is called.

Up until the 1830s no one had ever heard of such a doctrine. Since the time of Christ the church had taught that the true believers would suffer persecution for their faith. Jesus, himself, had said,

The servant is not greater than his Lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.[2]

Apostle Paul when writing to the Corinthian believers said,

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.[3]

In fact in the book of Hebrews the eleventh chapter we find a history of the heroes of faith of times past many who died for their beliefs.

And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: and others had trial of cruel mocking and scourging, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in mountains, and in dens and in caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.[4]

In 1563 Foxe's Book of Martyrs was first published. Written by John Foxe the Protestant theologian and leader, it was a famous collection of the history of the Christian martyrs from the time of the Christian persecutions by Nero to the then present.[5] In it, over and over again, one could see that God did not always rescue His beloved servants, but He gave them strength to suffer and die for their faith. As Apostle Peter had said,

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s suffering; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.[6]

The mentality of the Christian believer for eighteen hundred years was that he was going to suffer for his Christian faith and world view in this life. Jesus had told us so,

If the world hates you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.[7]

However, that all changed around the 1830’s when John Nelson Darby a famous Plymouth Brethren preacher in England visited a spirited revival in Glasgow, Scotland. A young woman named Margaret MacDonald, a member of the congregation, shared a revelation she claimed to have received of the Lord. She believed that the church would not go through tribulation in the last days but would be miraculously saved by Christ. Darby incorporated this idea into his own Biblical framework and eschatology.[8]

Later, C. I. Scofield amplified Darby’s teachings and spent various years researching and footnoting Biblical passages to reinforce the pre-tribulation idea. Scofield himself seems to have a dubious background. He abandoned his first wife and two children after being released from jail. He had been serving time for his part in a railroad scam including criminal forgery. He then adopted as his mistress a young woman from the St. Louis Flower Mission whom he afterwards left for a rich widower.[9]

Scofield’s financial supporters were wealthy Jewish businessmen who were determined that the Jews should have a homeland, a place where they could be safe from religious persecution. We do not know for sure that their motivation was humanitarian, as some believe it was totally diabolical. We do know that Scofield worked in their employ for many years and used as his residence the famous Lotus Club in New York City indirectly owned by some of these financial barons. 

One of the first Scofield met was Samuel Untermeyer, who later became chairman of the American Jewish Committee, president of the American League of Jewish Patriots, and chairman of the Non-sectarian Anti-Nazi League. Untermeyer introduced Scofield to such influential Jewish leaders as Samuel Gompers, Fiorello LaGuardia, Abraham Straus, Bernard Baruch, and Jacob Schiff. Scofield later travelled to Europe where he studied and researched at Oxford and elsewhere at their expense. They later arranged the publication and distribution of his concordance and annotated Scofield Reference Bible in 1909.[10]

The result was the Scofield Bible footnotes and concordance adhered to a thoroughly pro-Jewish interpretation of the Scriptures. His footnotes reinforced the idea that the Jews were still God’s chosen people despite the fact that they had denied Christ and instigated His death. Scofield not only incorporated the pro-Jewish doctrine into his Bible footnotes, but also, the pre-tribulation doctrine and the doctrine of millions of years of theistic evolution.

Somehow, Scofield became a good friend of Dwight L. Moody. When Moody died suddenly in 1899 at the age of 62, it was Scofield who gave the first funeral eulogy of the great evangelist. In fact Scofield was known as Moody’s pastor. Scofield’s Reference Bible with his footnotes was later adopted by the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and the Torrey Bible Institute in Los Angeles. As a result Scofield’s doctrines influenced all the Full-Gospel Businessmen, the Fundamentalist and Evangelical churches and universities. The Scofield Reference Bible became the favorite study Bible of almost all Protestant pastors. It is impossible to overstate the influence of Cyrus Scofield on twentieth-century Christian beliefs. His Bible has been the standard reference work in virtually all Christian ministries and divinity schools in the USA during the last century.[11]

I want to finish this chapter with a warning from a famous Evangelist, Miss Corrie Ten Boom. Miss Boom was a Dutch survivor of the WWII Nazi Concentration Camps. Because of a typographical error, she was miraculously released from a camp where her sister had died. Her mother and father had also died in a previous camp. On her release Corrie returned to Holland and after the war worked with victims of Nazi brutality. 

She taught and lectured on forgiveness travelling even in Germany. She noted that those who had the power to forgive were able to readjust to post war life and to reincorporate into society. Those however who held unto bitterness became incapacitated and were unable to find fulfillment in the post war period. Corrie became a world traveler speaking about her WWII concentration camp experience. Her famous book, The Hiding Place[12] documents her experience and was also made into a movie.[13]

During her travels to China, she was able to speak with the leaders of the underground Christian Chinese church. She learned that it was the pre-tribulation doctrine that had caused the Chinese Christians to be unprepared for the persecution which they experienced under Mao. The Chinese Christians implored Corrie to warn the Christians in the West of the dangers of such a doctrine. In 1974, Corrie published an article Prepared for the Coming Tribulation, from which I will paraphrase.

Corrie believes the world is deadly ill and dying. But although the world is dying and God has signed its death certificate, He still needs His ambassadors, His over-comers, to be streams of living waters and channels of mercy to the dying world.

In Ravensbruck, the concentration camp where Corrie’s sister Betsy died, she and her sister had been God’s representatives from Heaven. They were there because they had helped persecuted Jewish families. Seven hundred people from Holland, Russia, Poland, and Belgium were crammed into a room built for a mere two hundred. As far as Corrie knew, she and her sister were the only representatives’ of God’s Kingdom in that room. But because of their presence and because of their sharing their faith with others, things changed. Jesus said,

In the world you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.[14]

Corrie says that we can be over-comers today by bringing the love and light of God to a world filled with darkness and hate. When we read the Bible we may even get frightened as we read of the promised tribulation and persecution that are to come. We even see them coming true today. But we can still shout “hallelujah,” because Jesus has said,

He that overcomes shall inherit all things: and I will be His God, and he shall be My son.[15]

This is the future and hope of this world. Not that the world will survive – but that we shall be over-comers in the midst of a dying world.[16] - Corrie Ten Boom

Corrie went on further and said she could not understand why God let her sister die in that horrible concentration camp. But later, she realized that Betsy’s death was the catalyst that caused Corrie to end up travelling the world to tell people about Jesus. But she warned:

There are some among us teaching there will be no tribulation, that the Christians will be able to escape all this. These are the false teachers that Jesus was warning us to expect in the latter days. Most of them have little knowledge of what is already going on across the world. I have been in countries where the saints are already suffering terrible persecution.[17]

Corrie goes on to explain about what happened on her visit to China. The Chinese Christian leaders said that the American missionaries had told them that before the tribulation would come they would be raptured away. Therefore, the Chinese Christians were not prepared for tribulation or persecution. They were expecting God to supernaturally save them. But then the Chinese communists came and millions were tortured to death. The Chinese Christians encouraged Corrie to warn the west of the coming persecution. She writes:

In America, the churches sing, "Let the congregation escape tribulation", but in China and Africa (and throughout the Middle East and India) the tribulation has already arrived. In last year alone, more than two hundred thousand Christians were martyred in Africa. Now things like that never get into the newspapers because they cause bad political relations. But I know. I have been there. We need to think about that when we sit down in our nice houses with our nice clothes to eat our steak dinners. 

Many, many members of the Body of Christ are being tortured to death at this very moment, yet we continue right on as though we are all going to escape the tribulation. I feel I have a divine mandate to go and tell the people of this world that it is possible to be strong in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are in training for the tribulation, but more than sixty percent of the Body of Christ across the world has already entered into the tribulation. There is no way to escape it….We are next![18]

Corrie also tells us how we can get ready for the persecution that will come one day. First of all she says we need to feed on God’s Word and digest it so that it becomes part of our very being. Like Joshua said to the Jews as they entered the promise land:

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shall meditate upon it day and night that thou may observe to do all that is written therein, for then shall thou make thy way prosperous and then thou shall have good success.[19]

Corrie says we should have disciplined Bible study each day, not only to memorize Bible passages, but to apply those passages to our lives. She goes on to say that we need to develop a personal relationship with Jesus, not the Jesus of yesterday, but the life-changing Son of God who is alive and well and willing to move in the hearts of men today.

We need an infilling of the Holy Spirit as a priority. The disciples of the past could not have stood up against the horrible persecution they received without the power of the Holy Spirit. Neither will we be able to face the coming persecution and tribulation without our own personal infilling of the God’s Spirit. Nor must we wait until tribulation comes before starting to encourage one another.

The fruit of the Spirit should be the dominant force of every Christian's life.[20]

We also may be fearful of the coming tribulation. But as Corrie says, when we are weak, then He can be strong in us.[21] If we have been faithful in preparation, the mighty inner strengthening of the Holy Spirit will help us through. We may not be strong in ourselves, but we will be strong in Him who will make us more than conquerors.[22] And though it may seem He slays us, by not saving us from the persecution or tribulation, yet will we trust in Him[23]; knowing that if we endure until the end, we shall receive a crown of life![24] Get ready. It’s later than we think!


[1] (accessed 03/16)
[2] John 15:20
[3] 2Corinthians 4:8-9
[4] Hebrews 11:35-40
[5]'s_Book_of_Martyrs (03/16)
[6] 1Peter 4:12,13
[7] John 15:18-19
[8] (03/16)
[9] (accessed 03/16)
[11] Ibid
[13] (accessed 03/16)
[14] John 16;33
[15] Revelation 21:7
[16] (accessed 03/16)
[17] Ibid
[18] Ibid
[19] Joshua 1:8
[21] 2Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
[22] Romans 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
[23] Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.
[24] James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Chapter 48

Moses’ Exhortation to Israel, America and the World!

Deuteronomy Chapter 8

By Moses

All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD swore unto your fathers. And thou shall remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou would keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knew not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.[1]

Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. Thou shall also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chastens his son, so the LORD thy God chastens thee. Therefore thou shall keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him. For the LORD thy God brings thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; A land wherein thou shall eat bread without scarceness, thou shall not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou may dig brass.[2]

When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shall bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint; Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end; And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.[3]

But thou shall remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that gives thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he swore unto thy fathers, as it is this day. And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish. As the nations which the LORD destroyed before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God.[4] [Last chapters coming soon!]


[1] Deuteronomy 8:1-3
[2] Deuteronomy 8:4-9
[3] Deuteronomy 8:10-17
[4] Deuteronomy 8:18-20

Monday, January 16, 2017

At Paris Meeting, Major Powers to Warn Trump Over Middle East Peace

by Dennis Edwards

Reuters announced last week that the major powers will send a message to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday. The message concerns Trump's plan to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. World leaders in Europe, China, Russia and elsewhere believe that a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians is the only way forward. If the U.S. insists on moving its embassy to Jerusalem peace efforts would be derailed.

From Bible prophecy we see that 10 nations will agree with the Antichrist and make war with Babylon. I have argued that modern day Babylon could very well be the U.S.A. If America takes this step to further strengthen Israel's rights over the lands obtained in the 1967 6-Day War, this would isolate her further from the rest of the world. Eventually the Bible says that the ten nations of the former Roman Empire will

give their power and strength unto the beast (the Antichrist).[1] 

The beast will lead the 10 nations against Israel in the Battle of Armageddon. The Bible says,

And the ten horns (kings or nations) which thou saw upon the beast, these shall hate the whore (American Capitalistic Corporate Empire), and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God has put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God be fulfilled. And the woman (the whore) which thou saw is that great city, (the American Capitalistic Corporate Empire) which reigns over the kings of the earth.[2]

If my perspective is correct, then this announcement would be in accord with what Bible prophecy predicts. America and Israel becoming further isolated from the rest of the world and pushing the other nations into the arms of the beast (Antichrist) which eventually leads to Babylon's destruction at the hand of the beast and his ten supporting nations.

In Ezekiel 38 and 39 we see a northern European nation leading an invasion of Israel with the help of Turkey and Iran, presently two of the strongest military forces in the Middle East, and some other nations.

Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog (Russia), the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia (Iran), Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah (Turkey) of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.[3] 

Saudi Arabia, a strong U.S. ally in the Middle East, is caught by surprise and questions the motives for the invasion along with Tarshish (Great Britain) and its young lions, or its former colonies: Canada, Australia, India, and U.S.A. 

Sheba, and Dedan, (Saudi Arabia) and the merchants of Tarshish (Great Britain), with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?[4]

Ezekiel 39 has similarities to Revelation 19, so they could very well be talking of the same events. I will be going over these points more thoroughly in my next book on Bible Prophecy. In the mean time take a look at Where is America in Bible Prophecy, where I argue that America could be Babylon the Whore.

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