A Friend In Need

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Our member map

Ours is a big family. Thousands of members, brethren if you will, that have come together for the common cause of good. Good to our industry, good to the public we serve and good to each and every company and the individuals who earn their living in the service of pest control. When one is hurting we all hurt and with each victory I’d like to think we all celebrate with that one. It’s one of the main reasons I started my blog many years ago and perhaps still, the main reason I am still writing to this day. There is little voice out there for the small firms, few places where a mom & pop or small one man operator can get real world help. I’d like to think of pestcemetery.com as one of those places.

There is strength in numbers, there is wisdom and hope. 

The following is a small post I wrote in my Facebook group also called pestcemetery which is a closed group of around 2000 pest control professionals from literally around the world. I had no idea when typing away on my phone, (I was multitasking while watching House of Cards) that my words to a fellow member would spark such interest and/or inspire so many. Neither was I prepared for the MANY great comments and tid bits of wisdom and insight that this would generate.

I simply noticed a fellow member, a brother in the industry that is (hopefully by now WAS & it’s now passed) in such a low place. So low that he was seriously contemplating leaving 29 years of pest control experience and ownership behind. I won’t list all the troubles he faced, it wouldn’t matter anyway. We’ve all, dare I say faced similar and for some whose comments were on this thread, were even more dire, more pressure filled.

If you’d like to see the entire thread and comments or become part of this growing online community I invite you to look me up. The learning never stops and the ‘instant’ help that is offered is unmatched in my opinion. Here, in it’s entirety is my post to a friend in need. 

Extremely long post but mostly for a friend who needs it.

At one point in my career I almost gave up pest control. I remember sitting in a recruiting type meeting where the room was being sold on the virtues of water softeners. The money that could be made – the freedom of your own schedule yada yada. I remember specifically what I said when we went around the room introducing ourselves and announcing our current vocation.

“My name is Jerry Schappert and I’m in pest control but it’s starting to bug me. “. That got a chuckle.

You see- at that point I was very very low. I was barely scraping by, I couldn’t make any real sales and in danger of missing draw for several months. Sure, I got kicked around by the “corporate system” and the pressure in my life was more intense than ever before. I saw the eyes on me whenever I walked in the office, saw those who whispered to each other as I walked by & dreaded- ABSOLUTELY DREADED the morning meetings because I was always the lowest. Hard to go lower than zero. I could blame corporate and I do if you read my stories in my blog… I don’t deny that nor am I walking it back. But there was more.. More that I didn’t write about but it’s just as true. A coin always has two sides. My personal life wasn’t the greatest at the time and I definitely wasn’t giving it my all.

Suffice to say there were two casualties as a result of this huge mix of miry quicksand I found myself in. Probably more but THESE TWO caused a HUGE hole in my life that was damn near fatal.

#1. My confidence was shot. Ruined, and no amount of counseling from peers or fleeting positive thoughts could spark a comeback or provide a foothold whereby I maybe, just maybe could gain some sort of solid footing so I could catch my breath, take a moment and perhaps take the next step onto another precarious but at least somewhat stable ledge. It was as if I could do nothing right and fear had gripped me so tight. Even the right answer staring me right in the face, caused me only to doubt. I was sinking fast.

#2 -My passion for the pest control industry was all but gone. Vanished before my eyes. All I have seen, all the marvelous experiences I had suddenly did nothing for me. Even though I could recall them all, tell each fascinating story, the most I could gin up was a small flicker, a tiny spark when I’d think of them.

So there I was, ready to switch careers and embark on changing the world selling soft water systems. Anything HAD to be better than what I was doing. But somewhere in that little seminar I knew that I wasn’t going to make that switch. I knew somehow I was not going to make that jump. At first- I thought “I would just fail at this too- why even try?” But listening to the pitch and the endless reasons we all needed to sign on and start our REAL careers it just seemed like I’d be going from one sinking ship to another. I was the only one who didn’t sign up that day.

Now- if you’re looking for that “aha” moment or life changing event such as lightning striking two feet from me as I cried out to God and my career and life made this miraculous turn around… That didn’t happen. Far from it. Instead, something even better. What could be better than an instant miracle you ask? What could top instant answers and results? Persistence. That’s right! Persistence.

You see, I realized I couldn’t sell water softeners, or any of the many other things I considered. Not after having a taste of one of the greatest jobs on the planet. I realized- somewhere- hell I don’t remember when- that the only way to get back in the game was indeed, to GET BACK IN THE GAME.

So I did.

Like I said, no lightning bolts but there was one solid strike. A decision- a solid decision with a resolve that I was going to make it. Amazing what one little thought, one little time of putting my foot down and not giving up on it did for me. Hey things were still slow. Challenges, setbacks and even grievous moments where I was tempted to say “I give in” came up many times. But… Persistence kept me alive and persistence put me a step closer each and every time I applied it.

Now, 20 (?) years later I know I’ve made the right choice. All this time has gone by and I can truly say I’ve beat back those demons that would have beat me down and cast me, my dreams and my ambitions into oblivion. Because of persistence, I am where I am today.

So alls free and clear now right? HA! Not a chance in hell. There are so many challenges and roadblocks now that make those early years seem like child’s play. Serious deadlines, payrolls, company growth and thousands of people who depend on me to provide service and are in no way shy about calling when it isn’t. Pressure?, still there. Fear?, it raises its ugly head -disguised as negative thoughts which turn into to doubts and then comes out in its full array. Failure is still lurking. It still wants to and will take anyone it can. It’s one enemy- persistence. Because ONLY persistence will beat failures, wear down fears. Only persistence will breed confidence with the inevitable WINS it brings. And they will come. Only persistence will take you through any storm.

Stay strong, don’t give up and…stay PERSISTENT!!


About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. Pestcemetery.com was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.

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