Why I Got Into Generating Leads for the Solar Industry
Let me ask you… what was your childhood superhero?
My superhero was this character named Goku in this Japanese comic book.
Cute little monkey dude with superhuman strengh… he even shoots fireballs out of his hands.
Then when I got slightly older (i.e. junior high school), I realized the chance of me becoming a monkey-human superhero that shoots fire out of his palms and flying around in a cloud was (and still is) pretty slim.
In fact, I thought it was kind of dumb to think that I was going to become anything like him.
So instead, I decided to become Captain Planet instead.
Sure it was more realistic.
5 kids shoot stuff out of their rings, I appear out of thin air like those nice IRS auditors during the tax season.
Then shoot organic wheat-free noodles out of my wrist, launch grain fed free range chickens strapped to bombs, shoot hummus laser out of my eyes, and hulk-smash the bad guys for not separating their recyclables from the TRASH.
Then I’d say some wise but corny, like “the power is WITHIN you”… “YOU can change the world“… or “Can you hear me now?”
Of course, i’d drive away in my 50+mpg Prius.
But I realized something really deep.
That fantasy is stupid because… I do not have green hair.
Reason #1: We’re shitting where we eat.
Ok, in all seriousness, Captain Planet was fascinating to me because of this picture I saw when I was a kid that totally freaked me out.
A picture of a completely nasty, polluted beach.. something like this:
I do not think of it as “we’re killing the environment”.
(I mean seriously… if our Mother Earth decided that we’re a threat to her, she’d wipe us out in hours with some kind of catastrophic natural disaster.)
It’s more like that phrase: “don’t shit where you eat”.
Even my 12 lb. terrier dog understands this.
If we put trash in our own houses, where do we sleep? Where do we eat? Where do we do… stuff?
Reason #2: No fulfillment in what I marketed
When I grew up, I got into marketing & advertising.
What worked for me was promoting other people’s stuff (also known as performance marketing or lead generation), particularly in the weight loss industry.
I’m sure you’ve seen ads like these:
Yeap, we live a fat society where people are looking for that quick, silver bullet, one-shot miracle cure to our obesity problem.
And of course, there are MILLIONS of people willing to provide that hope and dream for a beach body, for a price.
Selling diet product to bunch of image conscientious overweight people is like selling water to someone who’s been walking through Sahara dessert.
At the peak of this business, I started wondering.. “am I changing the world or am I just making a buck?”
There was no spirituality behind what I did… no fulfillment, no meaning to what i did.
Even though I was making a ton of money, I decided to call it quits.
Reason #3 : My friend “Charles”
(I’m using an alias here because my friend’s family wishes privacy.)
I met Charles in early 2001 at a crowded divebar in San Jose.
5’6, 130 pound’ish, 21 year old (at the time)… soft spoken and shy. Grungy hair.. and even grungier clothes. A typical 21 year old college student, I thought.
When I first said hi to him, I didn’t get a very good impression of him… didn’t talk very much… was always playing around with his phone, and when I’d strike a conversation with him, he’d mumble.
Of course, as fate would have it, his sister and I became very good friends, and I ended up seeing him more and more.
One night at a BBQ at his house, I noticed that he had a clean cut shave.
It turned out that his sister threw the BBQ as a farewell party for him before he got shipped off to Iraq. (He was in the army reserve, but got called in.)
Charles was quite drunk that night.. and he actually opened up to me when the night started dying down.
I asked “what do you want to do after you get out of the military?”
Without a beat, he said “I want to start a dog rescue to save old dogs people don’t want… and help my parents with money.”
When he said that, that just melted my heart…
As a dog lover, I love all kinds of dogs..
As a son of an immigrant parents, I feel the pain that these Asian Americans children feel about their parent’s financial needs.
That night, we connected.
When I left, I gave him a hug and wished him good bye.
I even told him “you better come back safe in one peace otherwise them stray dogs and your parents are gonna be pissed.”
He smiled. (Something I personally have never sen him do.)
So did Charles come back?
In fact, Charles died on day 1 of active duty.
A RPG was fired into his Hummer within 15 minutes of him and his teammates leaving the based in Iraq, and everyone in the Hummer died instantaneously.
Not single shot fired from his gun. He didn’t even get to see what the enemies look like.
I don’t want to turn this into a emotionally charged post about how I feel about the foreign relations we have as a nation.. or any kind of politically biased opinion because to be frank, I do not know all about that.
But I do know this.
Whether or not this was a war about Iraqi freedom or about oil, all I know is my friend Charles… a shy yet passionate 21 year old from San Jose.. who had a dream of becoming a veterinarian, a dog rescuer, and a son who was going to provide financial stability to his immigrants parents died that day.
Charles wasn’t a statistic.. Charles wasn’t a news headline.. Charles wasn’t a “tragic hero killed in action”.
Charles was my friend. Flesh and blood that I’ve personally know… and someone whose family STILL grieves to THIS day of the loss.
Solar Leads – My Way of Helping Out
I care about the environment..
I don’t want someone’s friend “Charles” going to a war we don’t need because we need more of it to fuel our homes and cars
I am good with advertising..
Then it dawned on me..
I should do advertising / lead generation for the solar industry.
Sure it’s not being out in a battlefield.. and it’s not glamorous, but if I can help increase the chance of solar industry being adopted by the mainstream with each solar lead, then I can do my part to save a “Charles”… or clean up the environment.
To those in the solar industry, thank you for letting me serve you so that you may serve humanity.
“Do what you can, with what you have, wherever you are.” – by Theodore Roosevelt
PS: Here’s an inspirational video about how a “useless” dog found a new role .. and in turn found happiness and new purpose (kind of like me).