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The real reason I failed at my last job

The real reason I failed at my last job Blog Feature

Nick Bennett

Sr. Marketing Manager, Retains 16 HubSpot Certifications, 8+ Years Experience in Customer Service & Marketing Strategy

January 27th, 2020 min read

The day started just like any other.

Six-thirty in the morning. My alarm went off. I was so groggy you’d think my eyelids were tied down.

I had no motivation to get out of bed so I just lay there. I knew I had to get up, but my body was rejecting the day.

“Here we go again,” I thought to myself.

“Just get through the day. It’s only one day, you’ve done this before."

I waited until the last possible moment to put my feet on the floor and reluctantly get my day going.

This feeling was becoming all too normal and that was not ok.

See, I am typically the guy who starts his day at 100 mph, so I knew things were getting bad when the mornings, and days, started to drag like this.

My days were filled with something I didn’t really want to be doing and something I didn’t care much about.

I had no clue the effect this would have on me mentally and physically. I was irritable, losing my hair, and gaining weight. I was just floating along.

Every day, I found myself in the same place; sitting at my desk, hood up, hat brim entirely too low.

I’d pick up the phone, dial, leave a voicemail, log call. Over, and over, and over again. For what felt like 500 hours a day, 300 days a week.

I just “smiled and dialed” like they told me to — if I could muster the smile.

It was moments like these when I wondered to myself, “How did I get here?”

It all started in 2016

I was almost five years into my career as a salesperson and felt like I was hitting a ceiling.

The job I was doing had lost its luster and, despite working for a massive corporation, there were not a lot of jobs to grow into.

I knew if I wanted to move up, I had to move out.

It was around this time that I was approached to work for a small local company with about 10 employees.

It checked all the right boxes for me:

High earning potential? ✔️

Professional growth opportunities? ✔️

Personal growth opportunities? ✔️

So, it was time to take a risk.

Leave the only “big boy” job I’d ever had. Leave the comfort of my work family, commute, lunch spots, day-to-day tasks, sights, sounds, and smells all in the name of growth.

It was time to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

That’s the ultimate sign of growth, right?


I ended up struggling. Badly.

How was this possible? I thought I was pretty successful in my last role. I even found myself among the top 10 reps in New England some years.

Now, for some reason, I was burning out just a few months into this job and couldn’t make a sale to save my life.

I couldn’t grasp the concept of “smile-and-dial,” interrupting people, and trying to sell them things they didn’t want or need. I didn’t believe in doing anything to get the sale.

The sales strategy just felt dated and didn’t align with the way people actually buy today.

But I didn’t give up

I buckled down. I tried.

I identified issues and what wasn’t working, and found solutions.

I introduced them to inbound marketing and HubSpot to help them cater to how people actually buy today.

I collected HubSpot Academy certifications like they were Pokemon cards and championed things that were future-focused; things that were going to see results.

But when those results didn’t show immediately, I was ushered back to the safe zone.

Back to what the rest of the team and leadership knew and were comfortable with.

No one else really seemed to care about what was possible or what the future could look like, just about maintaining the status quo.

I can’t recall another time I’ve felt this misunderstood; felt this type of frustration.

A clench in your jaw, pit in your stomach, wondering where you went wrong type of frustration.

All I wanted to do was succeed; to help my team win in new ways. I was being proactive and living in the solution — but they just couldn’t see it.

So, that’s where you found me at the start of this article.

Head down. Hood up. Dialing. Defeated.

It was at that moment I realized this worked for them, but it most definitely didn’t work for me.

Something I didn’t know I needed

It wasn’t too long after that day that this company and I parted ways.

I wasn’t very happy or good at the job. I knew it. They knew it. So, I left.

Again, I found myself terrified — because I didn’t have a job and you need one of those — but also excited because I had no excuse not to find a company that just “gets it.”


It had everything I needed:

High earning potential? ✔️

Professional growth opportunities? ✔️

Personal growth opportunities? ✔️

But also something I didn’t know I needed: culture fit. ✔️

The truth is, today, I find myself in the same place I was at my last job — but this time, I don’t want to jump ship. I’m really happy about where I am right now.

I find myself again entering a sales role where the space is largely outbound; where all the incumbents are “happy” with the way things are.

But that’s not IMPACT

At IMPACT, I know there is another way… a better way.

We’re an inbound organization and we shouldn’t be following the old outbound playbook for anything — and my team recognizes that, too.

You see, at my last company, they were happy with the way the sales process was and never thought about how things could (and should) evolve.

They never thought about what was possible; how things could be better.

I was fighting a culture of complacency.

At IMPACT, I can challenge things. I can make decisions. In fact, I’m expected to.

I have the autonomy to build this my way — whatever my “this”’ is as the head of partnerships or an account executive or HubSpot consultant.

I’m allowed to say no when everyone else says, “Well, that’s just the way it is.”

I can be the person who says, “That’s not an acceptable answer.”

I’m allowed to be relentless. I’m allowed to never be OK or never be satisfied — and I have the support of the team to do it.

I’m glad to always be challenging things and pushing boundaries and to have the opportunity to turn the idea sponsorships and partnerships on their heads.

And this is only possible because IMPACT’s culture allows me to do it.

Find a company culture for you

This concept of a culture fit was new to me when I found IMPACT.

It wasn’t until I started reading articles from our VP of talent and admin, Natalie Davis, that I even knew this was a thing businesses could talk about, let alone clearly articulate.

Today, I know what it’s like in the wrong fit.

I know what it’s like when you aren’t on board with what your company is doing or stands for.

When I arrived at IMPACT, I quickly realized that was the real reason I failed at my last job.

At that moment, I swore that would never be me again.

In order to succeed and feel like you belong in a job, you must find a company and group of people who care about the same things as you; A place that matches your values.

No matter what you actually do for work, you can love or hate doing the exact same job for any business. It’s this match of values that makes getting up in the morning easy.

It’s the match that makes the 57 unread Slacks and emails no big deal. That makes the early mornings and late nights all worth it.

You can find your team and a place that believes in what is possible, whatever it may be, just as much as you do.

IMPACT just happened to be the right match for me, but you can find yours, too. And, when you do, you’ll have no problem smiling and dialing.

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