How I became ShowMeDamani

Many people love my Twitter handle and Blog name, ShowMeDamani. They usually always ask, how it came about. For starters, it was inspired by this iconic scene from one of my favorite movies

This is the detailed backstory to how my nickname became my nickname:

I started my career as a D2D salesman in Texas, a job that is as much about skill as it is about discipline, controlling your mind and asking for help. Since the retention rate of employees was less than 10% after 30 days, it was common to see people quitting or getting let go. There was unspoken respect for each person that survived past a month. This is because everyone knew the tremendous character it required to stick it out for that long. Therefore, it was almost a rite of passage that after a month you got a nickname, and almost always it was one that stuck.

There were two ways that an employee could gain the respect of their peers and the management at the company. The first was to achieve rare sales numbers like 20 sales in a day (Club Venti) or 100 in a week (Century Club); the second, was to deliver a “package”. A “package” was a sales number that you committed for a day, week or month for yourself or your team (if they were a leader). It was a number that was achievable if you pushed yourself and as a competitive unit it was not uncommon for team members to push each other to achieve higher sales numbers. So, if someone promised numbers that were below their caliber, they would be called out for “sandbagging”. However, if someone was unable to deliver their package they were subjected to some form of playful punishment and universal frowning.

I wouldn’t call myself the best salesperson in the company, but I was consistent in delivering the packages that I had promised. At around the same time, UPS was running a famous ad campaign which led to my first nickname – UPS

As I started moving up the ranks of the company from a D2D salesman to a team leader, area leader, and regional leader my boss and mentor taught me one lesson – To make people work twice as hard in front of you as you would expect them to behind your back. His theory was simple, “people do less than 50% of what they are capable of, therefore pushing them beyond their limits in front of you will ensure that they are still doing more than they believe they could when you aren’t around.”

This inspired me to run from office to office, team to team and person to person asking people old and new to “show me” what they were working on, “show me” their sales presentation, “show me” how they would tackle tough customers, “show me” the answers to common customer objections. Therefore, there was a considerable energy every time I visited an office since every person in the office from the salesperson to the person sitting on the front desk was on their toes knowing that I would randomly inspect any one of them. This news reached the ears of the partners of the company.

Around the time of the next promotion, I was called in for a meeting with the partners. As I got the promotion I wanted i.e. the national sales team one of the partners asked me what my nickname was. When I told them it was UPS, someone in the room commented that it could be perceived as a racial slur, a second partner remarked that I should be a new nickname. Almost on cue, the third partner (Bish) asked me what my last name was. When I said “Damani”, he said, “that’s it! You should be Show Me Damani.”

and that is how I became @showmedamani.