When I started back in the family staffing business, my salesmanager gave me a list of companies I was forbidden fromcalling.

She and her sales reps were worried about one of theowner’s sons being given preferential treatment, and they wanted toprotect their turf.


Honestly, they didn’t have a firm grasp on how a family businessworks. In most family businesses, you are expected to do more thananyone else, whether or not it is “your job,” and regardless ofwhat you are paid — or not paid. That is exactly the preferentialtreatment I was given, and I never expected anything different.

Clients no one knows

The list they handed me had all of the most well-recognizedcompanies in and around Columbus, Ohio. You would still recognizemany of these names. They cherry-picked what they believed to bethe biggest and best prospects, and they walled them off fromme. At the time, I didn’t think anything of it.

Not being able to call on what everyone else was calling onforced me to call on companies with names no one would know. Theinternet wasn’t what it is now, and I dialed through the businesspages of the phone book. I literally started at the letter A, and Idialed number after number, unless it was clear that we couldn’tserve them. I skipped churches, auto repair shops, and day carecenters.

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