The Grind Works with Sydney Handel

About This Episode

On this week’s episode of Decision Point, we have Sydney Handel. We talk about her past experiences and where she got to this point in her life, but also how different generations work. Don’t miss this episode.

Listen Now

The Grind Works with Sydney Handel

Share This Podcast

Get Podcasts In Your Inbox


Episode Transcript

On this week’s episode of Decision Point, we have Sydney Handel. We talk about her past experiences and where she got to this point in her life, but also how different generations work. Don’t miss this episode.


[00:00:00] Welcome to Decision Point, a podcast about overcoming adversity in sales and the growth that we experience in the process. I’m Brad Seas.

You know, maybe let’s just start, let’s just kind of go in the way back machine and you can kind of walk me through how you got into inside sales. Um, I do know I won’t ask you about mi, I know you’re from Michigan, right? Cause I think that’s how I happen to see your face. When they asked you if you were a Michigan fan and they, they missed it, but I saw it.

You were definitely not. Yeah, no. It’s funny cuz I don’t even think they asked if I was a Michigan fan. They just said, Oh, you’re from Michigan. And I made like a face and they were like, You know, I think I said some then I think I said I wasn’t a Michigan fan and I grew up there and you were like, you like knew it before they even asked.

Well, I face, so when you were talking, there was some [00:01:00] reference I thought, I, I thought there was a reference to the University of Michigan where at that point I could see in your face you very distinctly were not a Michigan and, and they didn’t pick up on it. So then I went and I Googled, I googled your name and I saw you.

And I was like, Okay, that makes, that makes sense. But I do think that’s a, a important, um, point of like why selling over video is super important. Yeah. Or in or in person. Yeah. Cuz I very distinctly picked up that you, um, were not, were not of, um, Yeah, for sure. So I, um, Obviously went to iu. We, we talked about that.

Had had literally no idea what I wanted to do. Went through the whole like business school thing, thought I wanted to do that. Then I went through a phase where I wanted to be in like tech and took some coding classes. Um, [00:02:00] ended up deciding on advertising, which is basically the, the field that you kind of go into if you like, know that you don’t know what you wanna.

But you wanna, you wanna, you know, major in something that opens basically like any door, um, aside from like the science sort of fields, which is of course not where, not where my interest lies. But anyways, after college, I, um, moved right to Chicago, started a bartending job. I, um, I think I applied for like 30 plus.

Age, advertising, agency jobs, didn’t get any of ’em. Um, kind of like. Expected but not, didn’t feel good , you know, Um, then I, um, was bartending and then one day a group of two people walked in and, and they were from home advisor and they were having fun. They were, you know, partying obviously like me just coming from iu, just recent [00:03:00] college grad.

I was like, These people look awesome. Started talking to them. I was a bartender, so I was serving them. I think it was like a Wednesday or a Thursday or something. So I was like, Okay, these people look fun. They were like, Do you wanna apply to Home Advisor? Of course, you know, at the time that they probably got their little like referral bonus.

I think it was only like $200 or something then. But, um, I was like, Sure. You know, I, and then I, I interviewed in person that was like, back in the in person days and you know, I went in there and I, I don’t know if you can kind of imagine like, you know, like the call floor of just everyone, like the energy is just so extremely high.

You know, they’ve got all the like millennial. Kind of toxic culture things in there with like the beer, the, the, you know, the ping pong tables and the basketball hoops and everything that like, is now kind of a red flag to me. But, um, at the time seemed extremely enticing. So, um, went ahead and, and got [00:04:00] my start and scales there.

Um, that was an interesting job. It was, it was cool because it was like, you know, I learned that. You know, can, can make 200 dials a day and it can work, it can, Cold calling isn’t dead, I promise. It’s not. So, um, that, that was good. Not a lot of emailing or like LinkedIn outreach in that job, but it was an interesting start.

Um, so what was your biggest mi so when you, when you came into that environment, you mentioned, you said the words millennial toxic culture. So do you not ? What do you mean by that? Yeah, you know, just like, I guess since it’s interesting. Okay. Because I feel like I’m in part of like the generation that’s like between Gen Z and like millennial.

Like I was born in 97, so I’m like right on the cusp. And it’s cool because it’s like I see the like grind culture and I also [00:05:00] see like the. Screw you. I value my time, you know, more than anything, and I’m gonna work however much I want to. If you don’t like that, I’ll go find another job. Um, so I honestly like have values from both sides.

Right. But I mean, I think now after, after Covid and having the opportunity to work from home and like being able to kind of choose how I structure my day, I kind of, I have a, I have a bad taste in my mouth about the companies that, you know, wanna get you in. Play all their games and go to happy hours and things like that when you know people are much more productive.

And it’s been shown that people, you know, can get the same amount of work done at home. So I don’t necessarily buy into all of that type of stuff. So is the grind culture, is that a millennial or a Gen X? Yeah, that, So millennials are like the grind culture, I would say the GR culture. Okay. And they’re the people that are like the American Dream sort of, Well that’s maybe the generation above them, but I feel like they [00:06:00] kind of, they, they kind of held onto that.

They’re like, you know, work harder. The more you work, the more money you make. Whereas I feel like Gen Z’s a little bit more like I shouldn’t have to work that hard to make, you know, a normal living. I know little about this and you’re talking about stuff that I’m like, Oh, this is really interesting. So we totally, we totally could run, go down the runway on this, but yeah.

Um, let’s, let’s shift a little bit and let’s talk about, So I learned, so because I, my dad had at a business and I would go there after school and to get to his office, I had to go to the sales. And the sales floor had 10 or 15 guys on it at any given time, and there’s a big whiteboard and um, it’s a mix of guys and girls, but there’s just a ton of energy.

And I just love being down on the, I love being down on the floor and I love talking to the sales guys. And I would go in there and hang out and, um, I just, the whole thing was awesome. And at some point they’ll let me sell, they’ll let me sell a deal before I go off to school. But it was just a [00:07:00] really great experience and it really laid the foundation to learn how to.

You have a similar environment, but you have like a very different like experience. So what is fascinating to me is that hey, there’s a group of people coming at a school that don’t value that kind of communal, um, sales experience. Cause I don’t know how you set, like, personally, I don’t know how you learn to do your job.

Um, and it sounds like maybe there were some other issues there besides being together. Wasn’t the problem Uhhuh? Um, but, um, there were some other, it sounds like maybe there was cultural issues there, but I don’t, you still, if you’re not around a group, you know, if you’re not around a group of people. Um, so super curious, kind of your, like, your insight or your thoughts on that.

Like what do you think about, just how do you think about that? Like, And Orde and then working from your house and there’s tools out there to keep you, you know, can keep you connected. [00:08:00] Yeah. I mean, listen, it’s not, it’s not a one size fits all, and I have friends who love going into the office. I have friends who do, you know, full time in the office.

I have friends who do hybrid. Like everyone’s different. I’m, I’m definitely never planning on going back into an office. Completely optional, and I can just go in whenever I want. Um, so I think it’s, everyone works differently, right? And if you’re the type of person that really wants that energy, um, then, then that definitely makes sense.

Um, But I will say to your point, there is something about starting my career in that way that I feel like is like helpful because I feel like having that experience and understanding that like the grind does actually work. Although it’s a little bit like taxing on your, your mental health maybe. It does work.

[00:09:00] So I think that there is something to be said about that. If, if you ever are questioning your abilities or like underperforming, you could always just work harder. You could always just grind it out. But of course there’s, you know, tons of things wrong with that. Um, but I think, like, kind of going back to your question, just do, do you need.

Kind of have that. No, I mean, there’s plenty of ways to, and this is something that I did at Home Advisor at my job after that and at my current role is there’s things you can do to increase the energy remotely. Um, but I will say, I think a lot of that, it, it can fall on the company, but I think a lot of it falls onto you as personally.

And I say that because. companies will set up all this shit, you know, for people to network and for people to come together. But it, it doesn’t feel the same when it’s set up [00:10:00] by like the company than when it’s just like you and your friends bonding after a long day of sales. So like, it’s the other day, literally two days ago, I shot a message to my team and I was like, Anyone wanna hang out today?

Like, and by that I meant like, does anyone wanna hop on a Zoom and just like work together? Um, I mean that works for me. I also have, my roommate and my boyfriend are both in sales. They’re ones at ae, ones at a, um, a bdr and it’s like, so I have that energy around me all the time and it’s not necessarily like they don’t work for nis, so we don’t all work together, but the energy is consistently around me.

Um, Enough so that like, you know, we can hype each other up. If I’m having a bad day and I wanna talk about it, they understand all of the lingo and all of the, you know, I’m like this, you know, whatever it may be. [00:11:00] Um, it’s a lonely, I mean, I think sales, sales is a lonely, uh, being a CEO’s a lonely job, being a salesperson can be a lonely job.

Yeah. So, I mean, I think that’s definitely helpful. Is just like the fact that I. Unintentionally surrounded myself with people, you know, that do the same thing. But actually very fun fact. Um, my roommate is someone who I met at Home Advisor, um, and we’re, we’re best friends now, so it’s, it’s kind of crazy how that works.

The, that’s, uh, that’s awesome. Um, what do, what do you think the one, so what’s the one thing you wish you knew when you got into inside sales, Sales development that. Um, didn’t know. Okay. So I have, I think I might have a couple different answers because the thing is, is I’ll tell you, so home advisor was like full life cycle.

I did everything. I closed those deals, but it was like not, it was just like on one call [00:12:00] usually. Um, and so I think for sure, one thing that when I got into business development, Um, in my current role that I learned that I was like, I wish someone had told me this was that you are not selling, you are not a salesperson.

You’re more of like a marketer, if anything. Um, and your job is not to tell them everything about the product. Your job is to get them on a phone call. Um, and then I think, like, I think the re I mean, I think like what I was gonna. Is that a big piece of like, what I wish someone would’ve told me at Home Advisor was that like, it’s okay to be disappointed.

Like I know everyone always says, detach yourself from the outcome, detach yourself from the outcome. And I agree if, if that’s possible for you. But I think it’s also okay to be disappointed that you know, someone, someone didn’t show up or something didn’t go the way you had planned. That’s [00:13:00] okay. It’s okay.

It’s just the, the fact is that you have to be able to brush it off eventually. You can’t let it ruin your entire day. Um, but I, I remember, like I was taught early in my career, and this wasn’t just my first job, this was like a mix. That and my second, uh, job as well was that like I was taught to never be negative.

Like I, I was taught like never show your emotions, not to clients, but even to the team. Um, and this might be a hot take, but I think that’s the biggest bullshit because there is nothing more, like, there’s nothing like getting the team together. Like talking about your bad day. And I’m not saying you need to be like, Fuck this.

You know, everything sucks. I’m sick of sales. I hate it all. No, no, no, no. I’m saying you call your friend after a bad call and you say, Oh my God, this guy just, you know, told me to screw off. Like so annoying. You know, just kind of talk [00:14:00] about it and you just say like, God, that was annoying, wasn’t it? Then you get back on the.

but there’s nothing worse than, And I’ve done this, I’ve done this many a times. I’ve basically just let everything bubble up. And I’ve been like, Oh, I can’t say anything bad. And then I’ve just started crying at work, just crying. And everyone’s like, Are you good? I’m like, It’s just a lot, you know? It’s just, it’s just too much.

And it’s like, well, well what happened? Like, well, a bunch of shit happened. I wasn’t able to talk about it. So I think I’m a big fan. Feeling those emotions and understanding that things do happen and just being able to feel it, talk about it. If you need to move on, journal about it, if you have to. You don’t have anyone to talk to.

You gotta get people to talk. I mean, that’s the most important, important thing. And I think, you know, throwing out. Funny stuff. We used to always joke, you know, there’s certain states where you could just call and, and say the college football team, like if you called Alabama and said Go Tide, everybody would be like, you know, immediately start talking to you.[00:15:00] 

I was gonna say the south, that’s like the one down there. Georgia. Say Go dogs and everybody will get all, everybody, everybody in Georgia get all excited. Yeah. Um, but they take their football down the South Road serious. They get a buddy who, uh, moved down there to start a painting company, his wife to uh, ut.

And uh, when he got down, like the very first house he did, he, the UT grad and the guy takes his finger and points over to the wall where it says a and m and he is got like a class ring on the wall. Mm-hmm. . And he’s like, We’re Aggie fans, you can get out . And he walked him right out the, he walked him right out of the house.

Oh my God. Um, little intense, but um, yeah. Well this was, this was great. I really enjoyed talking. You love hearing your story. Um, what’s the one thing that you’re the most passionate about? It could be work, it could be personal. It’s the one thing that’s really making you tick these days. Hmm. Per. I’m passionate about my [00:16:00] cat.

First of all. He has an Instagram that I like, have been kind of working on his name’s DJ Litter Mittens, if anyone’s interested, but DJ litter Mittens. Okay. I like that. Uh, he’s great. I’m really passionate about him. Honestly, would probably be like my number one, like just the best thing about me, honestly.

It’s kind of a whole personality trait at this point. People like him more than me. But I also just like personally am really into, um, working out and hiking and anything to kind of get my body moving. That is hopefully outside. I mean, I’m in Chicago so it’s like kind of hard sometimes, especially cuz there’s not like too much like hiking around here.

But, um, any chance I can get to, you know, go out. Some sort of hiking or even by the, the water. Um, I try to do that. Okay. Well that was awesome. Well, I, I appreciate you having, uh, [00:17:00] having you come on. This was great. And um, I’ll, uh, I’ll get you the clips here so you can promote it and, uh, thanks again for hopping on.

Yeah, yeah. Thanks so much. And I’m gonna, You bet.

On this week’s episode of Decision Point, we have Sydney Handel. We talk about her past experiences and where she got to this point in her life, but also how different generations work. Don’t miss this episode.

More To Explore

Download The..


Overcome your next big challenge in sales or in life with the eight characteristics that exemplify mental toughness, told by those who have risen to the challenge.

Download the

Mental Toughness Playbook

Please enter your work email below and we'll send you a copy of the Mental Toughness Playbook.