More About Sarah
My name is Sarah Mae Dickinson and I was born a tiny salesperson.
I grew up in a very small town about an hour outside of pittsburgh in coal country. I am the youngest of four by about ten years and spent most of my more influential years with my mom after my parents divorced when I was ten.
I watched my mother become a real estate agent when I was in high school and went with her most weekends as she cleaned offices in our area for extra income. You've never met hustle until you've met a single mom. Looking back, I realize I didn't spend much time with people who had "traditional" jobs and it rubbed off.
I was a kid that wanted to learn about everything. I loved school. We lived in the country and I saw from an early age that being "involved" got me to town and around people. I learned pretty quick that my voice was the ticket. I would speak in front of anyone. I was in plays, musicals, mock trial, ran for every leadership position that I could and volunteered for the rest. I wasn't good at everything I tried, but learned that didn't really matter. As long as I was in the hustle and bustle of activity, I was happy.
As I graduated high school, I wasn't sure what direction I would go. The one thing I knew was that more school was the way to my dream of living in a big city and nobody could make it happen but me.
College wasn't gonna pay for itself so I always had a job. I started school at Penn State in the fall of 2005. My mom wanted me to focus on classes as much as possible, but by the spring of my freshman year it became pretty clear I was gonna need to work. I don't remember who it was but someone must of heard me talking loudly (pretty standard) and pointed me in the direction of Lion Line. Most universities have an organization or a job like this. We sat in a room of sixty and called alumni on the phone and convinced them to donate money to academics and scholarships. You keep your headset on and the phone dials all night. When a voice picks up you have about 5 seconds to orient yourself with the information on the screen and prepare yourself to chat. Most people quit after a few weeks, but I was there for the entirety of my undergraduate experience. I worked my way from caller to trainer to supervisor to recruiter.
The first summer back from school I got a job at newly opened movie theater. I started working as an usher and LOVED it. Chatting with customers, organizing lines, speaking to crowed theaters - it was my jam. Over that first year, I was promoted from usher to assistant manager and worked in whatever department they needed during the busy season.
I loved both of those jobs. I didn't know it at the time, but I was learning the basics that I wish everyone knew. The skills I learned during these pivotal years are skills that I have used at every job since and teach to my clients today.
I honestly never thought I would end up in sales.
I took the five year track and graduated college in 2010. For anyone that was looking for a job at that time, you know it wasn't a great moment in history to make a big career move.
Luckily, my background set me on a strong path. Over the next ten years, I worked in long term relationship building sales, ran teams for door to door sales, worked trade shows, was head of sales in national roles and created sales and marketing processes for startups.
But, the chapter that changed my story the most has very little to do with my professional career.
Six months after graduating from college and two months after moving to Philadelphia to "start my life," my mother was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer.
In an instant my life changed and I quickly learned skills that I hope most people never have to. Examples include: How to fit five days of work into four so I could drive the five hours home and be with her for appointments and visits when I could; How to receive blow after blow of devastating news and walk directly into a meeting with an important client; How to hit sales numbers (or get as damn close as you can) when your world seems to be tilting off its axis. That period of my life is a blur.
Sadly, she passed away two years later.
I was lost. What I thought was important just wasn't anymore. I spent the rest of my 20's slowly realizing that I wanted my life to be different. I wanted it to be more than a job. "Working my way up the ladder" didn't seem like it was gonna cut it anymore. I realized that working for someone else always left me frustrated and wanting more.
I just kept thinking "Is this it?"
Several years later, I met my husband and I knew I wanted my next decade to be different. Problem was I had no idea what that meant.
After two years of dating we moved back to his hometown and unsure of what to do next I started taking freelance work. After only a few weeks on freelance websites, I saw posting after posting requesting coaching for sales and start ups.
I was confused. Since I had only ever lived my life, I just assumed everyone had the skills I did. I honestly didn't know that the kind of knowledge I had gained wasn't given to everyone. I thought everyone was taught how to sell. I found out quickly that I was wrong.
So, I took on a few clients. At the beginning, I started slow and created a system that taught them everything I had learned along the way. People were coming to me with these incredible companies, ideas and products with no idea how to sell them.
I knew the skills I had were the freedom they needed and I wanted everyone to have it. I want everyone to have the skills to succeed.
In 2018, I started Sarah Mae Dickinson, LLC known to you as SMD Coaching.
I was asked about a year ago where my passion comes from. You know, why do I do this.
My passion is simple. I love teaching those who want to better their lives and don't know how. There is nothing greater in this world than teaching someone a skill and seeing them be able to perform it on their own. In each new client, I see a hardworking, badass individual who wants to learn and grow their potential not only for themselves, but for the people they love.
In essence, I see my mom.
And you better damn well bet I'm not gonna let her down.
My work, this website and my company are dedicated to sharing the knowledge, sales skills and business education I have learned along the way. My life is dedicated to helping others succeed.
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