Terry Rhodes: Man of Perseverance, Hard Work, and Faith
If there’s anything that the story of Network recruiter Terry Rhodes proves, it’s that perseverance is rewarded.
In his case, it was rewarded with a $1 million cash-in through Top Echelon Network, primarily by being an exporter.
Despite enjoying substantial success earlier in his recruiting career, Rhodes of NewCareers in Harrisonburg, VA hit some obstacles a few years ago inside Network. He made just one placement in the Network each year from 2009 to 2011. Placements in general became fewer and farther between.
The reason? Rhodes acknowledged that, in addition to the general economic decline, his reluctance to embrace the rapidly expanding world of social media hampered his business.
“During that time period, things had been tailing off,” said Rhodes, who joined Top Echelon Network in 1994. “I didn’t respond in as timely a fashion as I needed in changing my [business] model and making it more attuned to today’s environment. As a result, I saw a real change in production, and it took longer than I would have hoped to get back, but praise the Lord, I have since the end of 2011.”
Rhodes’s recent split placement with Neil Goldman of Neil Goldman & Associates was his 125th placement in Top Echelon Network. Not only that, but the placement pushed his cash-in total as a Top Echelon Network recruiter to $1,002,551. For his part, Rhodes is both pleased and relieved to have reached the rare milestone.
“It’s been a long time coming,” he said.
Before becoming an executive recruiter, Rhodes worked for almost 25 years in corporate America for seven companies. By his account, he held over 20 different jobs. It was his experience with those companies and jobs that led him to the recruiting profession.
“I used recruiters to find jobs, and I used recruiters to find talent,” said Rhodes. “I thought I at least knew a little about the profession, and I was tired of corporate America. I decided to do my own thing, which was recruiting.”
However, Rhodes acknowledged the irony that accompanied his new career choice.
“In the end, I still ended up working with corporate America,” he said, “but at least I was my own boss, in a way. Recruiting is an unusual business, though. You’re actually working for two people. You’re working for the client company and also working for the candidate, and in the end, you don’t have control over either one.”
Rhodes started recruiting in April of 1994 and in November of that same year, he joined Top Echelon Network.
“I had no background whatsoever,” he said. “I was just self-taught, and I learned from my mistakes. The smartest thing I did was join Top Echelon. Without TE, I wouldn’t be where I am now, 20 years later.
“There were some rough times initially, and it was definitely interesting because I didn’t know any different. I was just totally gung-ho. The enthusiasm and adrenaline is really what got me started, and I still get that adrenaline.”
In the early days, those feelings of adrenaline were certainly intensified when Rhodes made a placement.
“It’s a feeling of satisfaction, for sure, but it doesn’t last long,” Rhodes said with a chuckle. “You always have to be looking at where the next one is coming from.”
When Rhodes joined Top Echelon, his attitude regarding his participation in the Network was instrumental.
“There are a lot of different ways to have success, but they all boil down to one thing: hard work,” said Rhodes. “When I joined the Network, I made the decision that I was going to put significant effort into it and it was going to be an important part of what I did. If you do something, do it right and commit to it.
“If I can do that, there’s no reason why other people can’t.”
One of the things that’s unique about Rhodes’s success in the Network is that his 125 split placements have been made with a diverse group of recruiters. In many cases, when a Network recruiter makes a considerable amount of placements, they have a Core Group of Trading Partners—four or five other recruiters with whom they work. Such is not the case with Rhodes.
“If you go through the 125 splits I’ve made, you’re going to find only about four or five recruiters that I’ve made more than three splits with,” said Rhodes. “I guess that’s indicative of the fact that I’m a true generalist rather than a niche player, which kind of hits the bread basket of the Network.”
In short, Rhodes hasn’t relied upon a niche market or industry to help achieve tremendous amounts of success in Top Echelon. Working as a generalist, he’s relied upon his commitment to the Network, a commitment rooted in hard work and determination. In addition, he expressed appreciation for the quality and commitment of his Trading Partners, a group of highly competent professionals.
Rhodes has also relied heavily upon his assistant . . . who also happens to be his wife, Mary Beth Rhodes.
“None of this would have been accomplished without Mary Beth,” said Rhodes. “We’ve worked as a team for over 20 years. A lot of people have asked us, ‘How in the world can you work with your spouse?’ It was just a natural transition. Mary Beth was a homemaker while the kids were growing up, and when the children left, she worked in the business.”
Rhodes and his wife have four children, all grown.
“They all graduated from different Virginia state universities during those 20 years, without any debt at the end,” he said. “I thank God and the business for that. I feel that God has blessed me during these many years, and I certainly want to acknowledge that.”
So while Terry Rhodes’s story proves that perseverance and hard work is rewarded, perhaps it also proves that faith is rewarded, as well.
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