Part of my job as a Sales Person is reaching out to “new” Decision Makers. It is a part of the job that most experienced sales people hate, but honestly it is an important part of keeping revenue potential high when you/I don’t work for a big and established firm. Before my illness, I never used my last name (“Hi, this is Robert with ABC Company”) when I called, and never emailed someone I hadn’t met before – primarily because I didn’t want someone recognizing my name in a personal setting (a fear of at a dinner party someone saying, “Hey, I know you, aren’t you that sales person who called and emailed me last week?”). But my potentially fatal illness a few years ago changed that – now I am okay emailing strangers, and using my full name when I call someone. Why? Because everything in life is so temporary, and at the end of the day, no one’s opinion really matters any more (note: I still do the ethical thing, but not because I fear being judged — I do it because it is how I am wired to be). That summer when I was coming off treatment, when I didn’t know yet if I would survive, the world seemed like a shadow and I didn’t feel like I belong in the world; for the most part that has passed, but in some ways I still maintain that couldn’t-care-less-what-you-think mentality. HOnestly, it’s quite pleasant and yet another gift my illness bestowed upon me.