I recently asked nearly 1,000 millionaires nationwide “What was your first full-time job?”. Out of those 1,000 respondents, 137 answered, “sales/marketing professional.” In fact, this proportion places the “sales/marketing vocation” as the #1 first full time job. Does this mean that people in this profession have a significantly higher probability than those in other jobs of becoming wealthy? No! There is a smaller proportion of millionaires who are sales professionals than would be expected given the large size of the sales professionals in general employed in America.
Only about one-half of those millionaires who started with a career in sales remain in that profession today. Those who moved on are highly concentrated in two areas: they are either owners/managers of successful businesses or they are senior executives of public corporations.
This in no way should discourage people from entering the sales profession. For this vocation is often the incubator for future corporate leaders and entrepreneurs. Given the right sales position, you may be given the opportunity to interact with possibly thousands of key people in other corporations. This often stimulates one’s creative side in finding opportunities that have not be exploited. One of those opportunities is to be hired by one of the organizations that are among your customer base. If you are successful in selling for others, you will be able to sell your own product via your own company someday. Plus most millionaires are leaders. And most leaders must sell their ideas to their troops.