Portable Sanitation Association International

Association Insight July 3 2019

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WEEKLY EDITION JULY 3, 2019 Lessons from Sharon Paulsen By Karleen Kos, PSAI Executive Director 1. B e fr i e n d l y a n d t ak e p r i de i n y o u r i n d u s t r y. My first contact with Sharon was at the 2013 PSAI Convention at Myrtle Beach. I was there to get a feel for the PSAI and to meet with people on the search committee for the new executive director. I had been told it would be better if I didn't share that I was a candidate for the job, so my nametag didn't list a company. I just said I was thinking about entering the portable sanitation industry. Sharon spotted me as I slipped in for lunch. She chatted me up at the buffet line, followed me to the empty table I selected, and proceeded to treat me like the best thing that had happened to a PSAI convention since the invention of restroom trailers. At that point in time I wasn't sure how I felt about the PSAI job – and the selection committee definitely wasn't sure how it felt about me – but I was sure of one thing. If Sharon and her husband Lou were any indication of what the portable sanitation industry was like, it was a pretty amazing industry. In the past I'd worked in "high falutin'" jobs and rubbed elbows with some people you hear about on the news. None of them was as good an ambassador for their professions as this lively woman. She was real, she was friendly, and she was proud. 2. F i n d s o m e t h i n g i n co m m o n w i t h e v e r y o n e y o u m e e t b e fo r e y o u t r y t o s e l l t h e m s o m e t h i n g . Sharon never met a stranger, and she found something to share with everybody. Within a few minutes of meeting me, Sharon had already discovered that we both lived in Peoria, Illinois for a time – and that's not a detail that pops up often in general conversation. Over the years that I watched her volunteer at the PSAI booth during WWETT shows, I never saw her at a loss for words or unable to find common ground with people. Whether it was something about the business, their choice of jacket, where their grandchildren lived, or the weather in Indy, she found something to share and agree on with people. Once she did that, she had something on which to build. Sharon could use virtually anything as a bridge to describing the benefits of getting involved — or more involved — in the PSAI. I have no doubt the same technique served her well in promoting Can Doo Budjet Rentals or her favorite charity. PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 15

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