I met Tom, the owner of TradeNet at the SAAI Promotional Products 1987 show in Dallas. I had just started my business, InSight Products, “We keep your name in sight for a year or a lifetime. I was making Year At A Glance calendars, picture frames and magnetic boards. Tom did magnetic boards and I sent all my 8 1/2 x 11 inch board business to him and he sent me everything he didn’t do which was anything bigger or smaller. (There was a reason for this that didn’t become evident for forty-seven months.) We were in the New Supplier section and had a lot of traffic.
Everything I accomplished for the rest of my life (after the first year) I owe to Tom. He completely retrained me in selling. When I was hired he asked me what I would need to live on for the next three years. He said I would be overpaid for the first year, paid what I was worth the second year and would pay him back on the third year for what I was overpaid on the first year. He also told me that I wasn’t to “sell” anything. I was only paid to “tell the TradeNet story.” It would turn out to be exactly what I was good at.
For 23 years I worked with the best people in our industry. They always had my back even when they cringed at my actions. I always had their back and tried to be the cheer leader for the team. It worked. We made a lot of people happy and built an award winning business.
Here are some photos from that period of my life.