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Success and that defining moment…

April 2, 2010

Cindy Donaldson, Director of Marketing & Personal Lines Sales - Founders Insurance Group

One of my first defining business moments happened during a rough part of my life. I had just moved to North Carolina, I was in a pretty miserable marriage and was raising two small children. My entire family was in Connecticut and I felt completely isolated, lost and most importantly I felt trapped in a situation that I had no idea how to change.

With the help of some dear friends (Diane and Carolyn J ) I was convinced that being a stay at home mom just wasn’t what I needed to do anymore. My son was almost 4, my daughter was in kindergarten and I needed an identity. I took a temporary position at a local printing company as a customer service rep making $8 an hour. I caught on quickly and within a few months the owner pulled me aside and said, “Cindy, you would make a great salesperson.” At first, my insecurities got the best of me. Sales – oh, no…not me. Mr. Weber (my boss) took me out on a sales call with him, and in the car explained the glory of being a sales person: Unlimited income, in charge of your own destiny, freedom to come and go, and the thrill of the win. Defining moment. This was how I was going to change my life.

Unfortunately this company didn’t have any openings for a full-time salesperson. I thought I would prove to them that it was my destiny to be the best print salesperson on earth  If I worked hard enough they would just create another position, right?  I offered to make cold calls for the current salespeople and set their appointments and then I got my own little group of clients on the sly.

A couple of months later, my boss pulled me into his office and closed the door. Turns out I was selling more than the salespeople…and doing it part-time. It wasn’t really flying with the “real salespeople” – it was their job to sell, it was my job to support. This angered me. They had the job I wanted more than anything – yet they couldn’t see how great they had it! He calmed me down, laughed a bit and said I was right. Yes, I had what it took to be a great salesperson – but his daughter, the sales manager, just didn’t want another full-time salesperson. She thought I was doing a great job right where I was. So much for extra effort!

Instead of quitting, I worked harder. I was motivated. I saw the answer to my problem, and I would do anything to get where I needed to go. All the hard work, all the bumps in the road didn’t matter. I had a dream, I had a goal and I knew exactly how I was getting there. No one and nothing was going to get in my way.

We all have defining moments in life. I eventually left that print shop because a full-time sales position wasn’t going to happen. I had to stick with my plan. Mr. Weber helped me get another job in CT with a sister company. I became one of the top salespeople in the country, divorced my husband, was back in CT with my family, eventually started my own successful company and now am with the Founders Insurance Group on a new venture. My mission here? Get to the top – failure is simply not in my vocabulary.

Success is a mind-set. It isn’t handed to you, you need to want it and work for it. No exceptions – No excuses.

Did you have a defining moment in your life? Share with us!


Cindy Donaldson, Director of Marketing and Personal Lines Sales – Founders Insurance Group, Inc.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2010 1:50 pm

    Wow, I just got a little tingle in my spine. Great story Cindy! I can imagine that success is in your nature as hear your name (and Founders Group) whispered around Insurance circles everywhere I go.

    Keep up the great work and I look forward to more inspiring stories!


    Ryan H.,

  2. April 8, 2010 10:00 am

    Very inspiring Cindy! Thanks for sharing.

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