SIC 021: Being First

Donald Kelly

In today’s episode of Selling in Color, Donald discusses the idea of being first. Whether you’re the first person of color selling in an organization or your first family member to join the sales industry, there are challenges and benefits to being first

Donald experienced being first.

  • As the only black person at a software sales company, Donald found it awkward being surrounded by people who didn’t understand the challenges and difficulties people of color faced.
  • Fortunately, a person of color named Janice joined the ranks as an executive assistant, and she helped raise awareness of the issues associate with a lack of diversity
  • When you’re exploring a new job as the first person of color, it’s going to be awkward. It’s going to be tough, but someone has to do it. Someone needs to be that first person. 

Don’t focus on the naysayers.

  • You’re trying to make a change for your family and community, not for them.
  • Look at Kaepernick. When he decided to take a kneel, he helped push forward a movement. It took just one person to do it first.
  • So when you’re starting at a company, what kind of impact are you making for the future? What are you doing it make the organization more inclusive and aware of the topic?
  • It’s incredible that you’re the first person. But it’s not necessarily about you; it’s about the people after you.

With momentum from those first people of color in various organizations, and thanks to communities like Sales for the Culture, Sistas in Sales, and even this podcast, we’re bringing attention to this topic to help make the next generation more inclusive and accessible for all people of color.

It’s not always easy or convenient to be first. But what you’re doing for people of color down the line is inspiring.

This episode is brought to you in part by Skipio.

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Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound. Other songs used in the episodes are as follows: The Organ Grinder written by Bradley Jay Hill, performed by Bright Seed, and Produced by Brightseed and Hill.

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