Part 1 - History.
Bill Vick is a big biller. He was rookie of the year in the first recruiting organization he joined. And by his fourth year in the business he was a founding father of the Pinnacle Society, a group for big billers like himself.
To qualify, you have to bill one million dollars over three years.
What does it take to be a big biller and how did Bill become one? I spoke with Bill recently and this was the focus of our conversation.
Bill's career started in a karate dojo. Karate excited him and seduced him into the pursuit of excellence. He became a devoted student and eventually ran his own school.
Passion for Perfection
Bill claims that the passion for perfection, once created, is something that never leaves you. It's informed everything he's done since the dojo days and he says that it's not uncommon for him to meet top billers in recruiting who also have a background in the martial arts.
The Big Biller's Profile
Does that mean that you have to be a good martial artist to be a good recruiter? No. The Pinnacle Society tried to define the essential qualities of a big biller and a background in karate was not one of the requirements.
But, in fact, neither was anything else. According to Bill, there are no essential traits common to all big billers. They include different kinds of people who work in completely different ways.
There was only one consistent trend the Pinnacles believed they could identify. They decided that the majority of big billers are not pursuing success as much as they are avoiding failure.
And, in fact, Bill thinks that it's not at all unusual for a successful person to have worked hard at something and failed "because you have to taste failure before you can taste success".
It's certainly true of Bill. Or, perhaps I should say somewhat true. For he has been, generally, very successful although he has failed a number of times, as well. Here is a bit of his story.
As I said above, Bill ran a karate school in California. Then he worked for the Burns detective agency as an investigator, then for an insurance firm as an adjustor.
When he got married he needed extra money so he became a part-time Fuller Brush Man selling cleaning utensils door-to-door.
Bill found that he was the most successful part-time Fuller Brush Man the company ever had so he went into sales full time.
He soon had a successful career as a sales manager and, eventually, as a VP in a brand name cosmetics company.
Where's the failure? It's coming.
The Computer Bug
In 1978 he hand-built his first computer, an Altair, and got "bit by the computer bug". So he went into the business full-time selling computers out of the back of his car to businesses in Dallas.
To remain successful, he needed to get the IBM franchise for his area but his business, a boutique store, was not what IBM wanted.
He lost out to a bigger firm so he gave his business to his partner and joined a software company in Vancouver.
They had a great IPO but they only raised five million and his partners spent six so that job fell through too.
Home At Last
And that's when he became a recruiter, as he says, for all the wrong reasons. He thought that if he was working in a recruiting office, he'd be in a good position to place himself. But he found that he loved the business and decided to stick around.
END OF PART ONE
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