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My Story

The Professional Journey

-Dwayne Vera

My professional story begins as a kid, standing behind the desk of a retail store. 

There I was, as a shift supervisor, thinking to myself, “There has to be a better future than working up to the Store Manager of this place.” (Store Managers made maybe 35K per year, and I was 2 promotions away!).

   With a store full of people, and my “help” running late from lunch, I had to let those thoughts go, because people NEEDED MY HELP. (Really, they just wanted the latest video game, but it was important.) After the longest 30 minutes of my life, there was 1 man left, standing there in a suit. As he approached me, I was trying to think of the possible reasons he might be upset. “Did I not greet him? Did I give him the wrong item? Are we about to battle? (Dramatic!)

He came up to the counter and said, “I am impressed with the way you handled the customers! I sat back and watched you.” 

After some chatting about my goals and the future, he offered me a salaried position with his company, on the spot.


“The size of your business does not matter. Neither does your target market or how long you have been around. The only thing that matters is the experiences people have, whether employee or customer, when they interact with your brand.”

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The Mentor

After that initial conversation with the man in the suit, I decided it was best to go home and speak with my parents. My father, recognizing that I was unlikely to follow in his footsteps as a union worker, gave me a piece of advice that has helped me throughout the years. 

He said,” Do it. The worst thing that can happen is you fail. But it will be a lesson learned.”

So I accepted the offer from the man in the suit and he became my first mentor, introducing me to a much larger world of business and sales.

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“The worst thing that can happen is you fail. But it will be a lesson learned. “

Lead into Gold

I imagined that my ability to relate to people would turn me into an instant success. And I was right if success meant leading my team to the worst sales in the company. I had a lot working against me. I was new to the industry, new to managing others, and new to commission sales. But the Man in the Suit saw my potential. He taught me how to channel my ability to connect with others and desire to please into something that was profitable. Within 1 year my location broke the top 3 in sales and I personally lead the region. 

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The Big Leagues

I eventually was recruited to take on a high powered sales team for a Fortune 500 company. I had never been responsible for so many individuals’ performance. My direct report count increased 10 fold with this new role, but so did my ability to learn from others. Taking advantage of the synergy that was available, I was able to win awards for leadership. More importantly, I was able to learn incredible lessons about relationship building, motivation, leadership, and action, that can only be learned working inside of a Fortune 500 business alongside top-notch individuals.

A Bet on Myself

Eventually, the company left the market I was in, and for the first time in a while, I was unsure about my future. Fortunately, I was armed with knowledge and a bit of experience and it did not go unnoticed.  

After working with a company to successfully reshape their sales and marketing channels, it was time to decide whether I was going to work for another company, or myself.

So I took the opportunity to help other businesses grow.

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“The worst thing that can happen is you fail. But it will be a lesson learned. “

The “Tellum” is Born

I now have the opportunity to share my knowledge and broaden my skill-set, working with companies from 5 employees to Fortune 500, always taking a “party in the front- analytics in the back”, (a tellum?) approach, where the focus is customer-centric, but the decisions are analytical.

I am having a wonderful ride, that keeps getting better. Traveling the world has shaped my perspective of the people that occupy it. I have had the privilege of working alongside some of the brightest people in their industry, seeing successful companies from the inside, and making an impact on future entrepreneurs. 

Find out how you can help shape the future of my story below.