After Rand over at SEOMoz asked about making the silly tagging game of “5 Things You Don’t Know About Me” into a more relevant game, I thought of the idea of “5 Things That Got You Into SEO/Internet Marketing”. I’ll start just a post here with the hopes that the rest of you will join in the comments. The rules are simple: what skills from a job or business opportunity (as many of mine were) prepared you for your current job in SEO and internet marketing? Here are the five “skills” that got me ready for SEO:

1. Auto Sales – I was 19 and learned really quick how hard it can be for people to sign a piece of parer knowing they are about to commit a large sum of money for something. While I was only in the business for a little while ( I literally had someone call me the devil at some point – for an innocent kid that’s not a cool thing to live with) I learned some very valuable lessons in how to present offers to people, as well as pointing out pros and cons of what can be considered a major purchase. The same applies today when consulting for a business, especially when the SEO world can have as many negative connotations as positive ones.
2. Cellular Phone Sales – I worked as an independent contractor and was the first to introduce business – to – business sales in our team. This was my first experience with selling a product that increased the productivity and profits of a business in my sales pitch, a quality that would prove to be the backbone in my SEO future.
3. More sales – I’m embarrassed as hell to say that I took a job selling frozen food door-to-door out of a crappy 94 Toyota Pick-up. While my time there was obviously short, the ability to be constantly turned down by so many people would prove important as I began my internet marketing business a few years later, selling this “SEO” product that nobody wanted or needed (or so they thought).
4. Restaurant Management – obviously the abilities to manage a staff and listen to all the demands of a customer were the things that would prove important; going above and beyond to make the customer happy is important in any job function, and can have lasting impacts on people who continue to come back and support your business.
5. Having the entrepreneurial spirit and taking business opportunities;

I ‘ll be honest; my first introduction to SEO was through a silly fly-by-night internet marketing seminar I attended at some hotel (This was after I lived off of ebay selling my comic-book and action figure collection for 4 months). What I learned there would forever change my life. Most of my friends and family thought I was crazy that marketing online was the next big thing and that I would make it. While my initial plans fell through I kept learning and pushing, and now my friends and family call on me for advice. I saw an oppurtunity and chased it, and now I look back and thank God that I did what I did.

So, while I never had a high-profile job like others in the business have, I have taken many of the jobs and found important factors that have made me an up-and -coming figure in the internet marketing world. What about your personal job and business histories? What did you learn that you are utilizing today ?