When I tell my friends, I travel a lot, they imagine a life of opulence and luxury, but it could not be farther from the truth. Traveling takes a toll on a salesman and anyone in the profession can attest to its challenges.
I travel in cramped seats in economy class for 12 hour flights. I fly red-eyes to make my meeting on the East coast and to save a day in a hotel. I sleep in budget hotels so I can save every little dime I can for my company. Those who know what I do immediately ask me, “Why? Is your company too cheap to pay for that?” The answer is no.
If I wanted, I could live between 5-star hotels and fly business/first class, but I can’t find the value in it. I don’t deserve it; I can’t justify it. For a business class ticket to Asia, it costs between $3,000 to $5,000. After honing my flight seeking skills, I can find a ticket on economy between $700 to $800 during non-peak seasons. For the price of a single business ticket, I can travel round-trip to Asia 4 times (just for calculations, sake – I realize that time and other expenses need to be taken into account, but I’ve just done this for simplicity’s sake). If I can save over $150 on a hotel every night that I’m away from home, my coworkers in Korea can receive a little bonus, a better salary, or even a single night out on the company’s dime.
People who work in our factories live hard, arduous lives. The unfortunate decisions that they have made strayed them into a life of physical labor. They haven’t developed any other skills so they don’t have too many opportunities to get out. That’s why I have to build it for them. I have to invest myself into work that much harder so they can feel that much better. That’s why I do it. And I’m content with living like this.