Occupation or Calling

Owning an insurance company is a highly lucrative occupation. Big bucks can be made, but is selling insurance a true calling? It is for some who feel the need to help provide protection and financial planning. However, many people full of hope and sense of purpose are attracted to insurance sales as an occupation that is very useful to providing for family and security when the commissions roll in.

There is nothing wrong with rising to responsibility in any line of work in any occupation.

That does not stop the hunger.


As a young man, Earl Nightingale took that path. He had been poor. He had served as a Marine. And, he became a successful announcer in Chicago.

Fate stepped in once he started an insurance agency and was successful.

Earl decided to take an extended vacation and the sales manager asked Earl to record a message to motivate the sales people while he was away.

The idea made sense to Earl. He sat at his typewriter.

Blank pages have a way of staring back.

After another cup of coffee, he looked around his office and saw his inspiration. The book he discovered in the Long Beach Public Library and remembered the words, “We become what we think about.”

Words flew and filled the pages.

Later at the studio standing at the microphone, Earl began, “I want to tell you the most interesting story in the world. Why a person becomes the person he or she becomes.”

He gave the recording to the sales manager and in Earl’s absence, people for the first time heard, The Strangest Secret.

Word got around and before long other companies wanted the recording.

That action launched the personal development audio publishing industry. Since then, the record sold over a million copies making it the first spoken word record to go gold.

In the pursuit of an occupation, Earl Nightingale discovered his true calling.

Today the company he co-founded, Nightingale Conant, has taken the best of Earl’s life work to release a new updated Earl Nightingale program, The Secret Advantage: CORE Fundamentals to Get Anything You Want.

What Job Creates Abundance?

CAREER JOBAs the consequences of unemployment continues to spread, so does opportunity on your hunt for a job. 



A recent re-reading of one of my Earl Nightingale books makes a point about getting a job that is worth retelling.

Earl writes, “There is no such thing as a job that cannot, with time and thought, lead to greatness.”

We joke about career choices that lead to, “You want fries with that?” or “Paper or Plastic?” However, most of the CEO’s at McDonald’s started flipping burgers when they were teens. I remember calling on an ad agency that represented McDonald’s back in the 70’s and learning that McDonald’s had the statistic of being the first job experience for one fourth of the workforce in America. Wow, one out of four workers started out at the University of Mac.

In today’s job market if one were to take a job packing groceries and decide to study and learn everything they can about the food industry, how far might they go? It’s just a job to some, but an introduction to an industry to others.

In today’s unemployment economy, there are jobs to be had. It’s kinda’ up to us regarding attitude about those positions. Take the entry level sales job. Accept it even if it’s commission only. It may be the first rung in your climb up to the level of success you were created to achieve.

My son-in-law is a very impressive guy. He’s a decorated USMC Col. Imagine how tough you have to be, to be a Marine … much less earning such a high rank at a young age. When we first met I asked why he joined the corps. Without hesitation he answered, “It’s a calling.”

Wow. Not a job, or career, but a calling. How fortunate to do something you love and were meant to do. And, how fortunate for the rest of us that young men and women hear that calling and rise to the occasion.

But, what about other ways to make a living?

A friend told me of a relative passing and the fact she had worked 55 years at the same fast food restaurant. For someone like me that’s moved 22 times and lived all over the country from Virginia, Miami, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando, Chicago, Los Angeles, and North Carolina, the same place for 55 years is puzzling.

Earl Nightingale considered the difference between vocation, career, and job. While on the surface these three words seem to mean the same, they are quite different. Vocation carries the biggest meaning. Translated from Latin the core meaning is to call; therefore, the calling. This is the purpose, the nagging inner desire, the big plan. There can be many careers used to support this calling. For example, a person that is called to be a healer may be a doctor, and the many specialties involved, or a nurse. And, there can be many job descriptions that work to satisfy a higher calling such as an orderly. So, the task of changing beds and bed pans may be a means to fulfill that higher purpose. That position of orderly may only look like a job, but it may be the engine that drives a vocation.

Back to our fast food lady, the person who worked for over five decades everyday at the same counter handing out trays of soft drinks, fries, and sandwiches, was she just doing a job? Or, was she motivated by a higher calling to serve others, or maybe something greater, to send her kids to college, pay off a mortgage, enjoy the American dream. We don’t know her higher calling. People may not know your calling by seeing the uniform of your job. Whether you wear a coat and tie, or shorts driving a brown truck, no one knows your vocation. But, you do.

Is your daily routine one of the many gears turning to answer your calling? Or, is it really just a job.

If you have to choose between a job or a career, your college education has not worked.

More people today are looking for work instead of pursuing a meaningful purpose.

DECISIONSThe rising cost of college measured by a resulting career has been delivering a failing grade for return on investment leading to mass disappointment. These are not new challenges. It doesn’t matter when the graduation date fell on the calendar. Many that graduated in the summer of love in 1967 are still searching for purpose. Millions today are looking toward the upcoming days of the 21st century with the same question, “What’s the purpose of my life?”

Tough times have always defined people in two ways. There are those who simply give up and settle for whatever wages they can get, and that amount defines their lifestyle. Then there is the other group who see tough times as a time to get motivated to find a career, make changes, and take advantage of ideas that emerge in times of dissatisfaction.

Earl Nightingale lived in a tent city in Los Angeles as a boy. Everything around him pointed to a life where he would be forced to settle for less. He chose a different path. As a young man he found the secret to riches in a book. Inspired with just six words, he grew up to revolutionize the personal development industry with his recording of, The Strangest Secret. The message he taped became the world’s first spoken word recording to sell over a million copies. That was in 1960 when there were no self-help sections in books stores, and no Oprah on TV.  It was this success, and Earl’s national following on over a thousand radio stations, that Lloyd Conant shaped into a new business model. Nightingale Conant has published hundreds of best selling authors and created more millionaires than all personal development experts combined over the company’s fifty-plus years as the world leader in personal development.LLOYD EARL TABLE

Vic Conant took over the company as President and Chairman and led the publishing giant into new media formats to change with the times, but remain true to the concepts that change lives, “I have always believed that thoughts and ideas are our most powerful possessions. An idea can change the way we look at the world and the way we think. Ideas improve every area of our life – career, relationships, personal wealth, and self-confidence.”

Today, Vic has taken on the challenge to find the most relevant messages for today’s growing population that can take advantage of the life work of Earl Nightingale. There are thousands of recordings from his best sellers and radio broadcasts. Over the past year, Earl’s extensive library has been researched and edited into a new release called, The Secret Advantage. In a discussion with Joe Nuckols to create a formula for the program, Joe mentioned, “Today businesses are looking for core fundamentals in the people they hire and promote.”

One idle comment started the engine of the creative process. Research conducted with top CEO’s and Business Owners revealed something in what Joe said. The top concerns of the leaders included developing dynamic core competences, focusing on and building human capital, effectively using new technology, engaging in valuable strategies and building new organization structures and culture. That research gave direction and shape to the new program to be based on four core fundamentals. Joe developed the concept around the acronym, CORE for Competency, Opportunity, Results, and Effectiveness. With this concept in mind, Joe took on the task of becoming a contributing author and producer to find Earl’s best messages to address each of the four core fundamentals.

The result is over 21 hours of edited best principles. From there, the program is produced in 64 episodes of approximately 20 minutes each for easy listening and reference. In addition to the audio library, the program includes a half hour video documentary on the lives of Earl Nightingale and Lloyd Conant is included along with six unedited Earl Nightingale Classic Videos.