As the old saying goes, is a straight line. While that may be true, is shortest always the best? We don’t think so. In fact, it’s the twists and turns that makes the journey fun, exciting, interesting and memorable. Yeah, you have to have a strong stomach and an iron will, but is there any other way to be?

We’ve chatted with some of our favorite oddpod pals, the ones who have traveled through life not up the corporate ladder, but by doing things they’ve found interesting and by achieving their own milestones. There seem to be commonalities: 1)they have many chapters in their lives, 2)they do not fear the unknown, 3)they have not spent much time along the well-worn path, 4)they’ve not moved in a straight line. They also are the most fun to talk to because the have the BEST stories.
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Occasionally we’ll share some insight to some of our oddpod pals and what makes them that way.

Our first featured pal is most definitely an oddpod. We’ll highlight some entries from his resume (a traditional yardstick) as proof. His “career path” is unconventional and most traditional corporations’ HR gurus would place him in the “we’ll call you” bin. But, he’s bright, successful (on a variety of levels), and happily odd. He can tell stories that make you laugh ’til you cry and he is a plethora of all kinds of interesting, obscure facts.

Produce sales – entrepreneur, founder and CEO
Age 8 – Resourceful. Finds connection for oranges, then polishes, bags and markets them. Sells door to door using own two feet and a red wagon. Becomes so successful, he is able to step back to management position while two commission-only employees pound the pavement. Achieved desired level of success and exited business.

Farm hand
Age 12 – worked on horse farm taking care of horses, stacking wood and laying gravel for roads. Learned what it means to work hard (and, that it won’t kill you), also learned that he enjoyed being around horses. Wouldn’t have discovered that had he not taken the job.

Organ tuner – apprentice
Not much else to say here, but did you even know that there were people that did this? And, that it’s pretty lucrative? Me neither.

Learned a lot about music, expanded horizons beyond what all the other teenagers were listening to, also learned that it IS possible to make a living at something obscure that you love.

Residential roofing
Saw a need for a service and figured out how to fill the gap. Found knowledgable partner. Marketed and services. Did that until it was time to move on.

Sous chef – Japanese steak house
Loved to cook, so started out peeling onions and tending the bean sprouts. Really honed cooking skills and still thinks that someday a restaurant of his own may be a reality.

Clothing department store
Almost not worth mentioning, but an adventure along the way. Did not last long, but picked up some education in retail and pocketed some needed cash.

Grocery store – stockman
Back to the food industry. Learns how much trouble you can get in if you forget to count the items you need to fill the shelves before the onslaught of Saturday shoppers. Great education in supply, demand, angry mobs, threatening bosses and, of course, food.

Car salesman
Developed snappy patter and learned how to develop rapport with customers. Also learned important life skill that most of us lack – how to buy a car without getting ripped off too badly.

Wholesale car business – co-founder
Learned the tricks of the trade in retail auto sales and figured out how work for himself and how to earn better margins. Did that til it was time to do something else.

Occupational Therapy
Tried to take an avocation an make it a vocation. While competing in mini triathalons and working out like a fiend, had the epiphany that perhaps physical therapy, health, wellness and nutrition was the next ‘career’ move. Returned to school to get the credentials, but could not see the future so clearly. So, on to the next adventure.

Distributor of gourmet food products
Back to the restaurant path. Became a distributor of fine foods, cemented relationships with producers and vendors and learned more about this food biz.

Grocery merchandising guru
Was sought out by a company to provide expertise given experience in all the food/grocery jobs. Job was a snap, compensation was quite good, all of which gave him time to think about the next chapter.

sidebar: wrote a country song and sent it to Nashville – got word that it’s being looked at

Industrial products manufacturer
Co-founded a company after a little research. Started with shoestring budget and still going strong. Uses sales skills, works with the automotive and food processing industries. See, it all comes together at the end. Oh, and did I mention that he was a part-time cowboy? He broke horses while building this venture.

That isn’t the last chapter, though. There are still many adventures to be had and the path is not certain. One thing is known, however. There will be lots of good stories!

sidebar 2: continues to work on a novel

What does your resume look like?