We all know the saying ‘when one door closes another door opens’ but in the case of one insurance salesman, it was more a case of him slamming the door and wrenching another one open.
Earl Ho, the singer from Kiwi band Sherpa was working in his job in insurance sales when he got talking to an old man on the phone.
Somehow, the conversation turned to Ho’s future life plans with the old man telling him he had to follow his passion and do what he loved.
“I was never going to stay in insurance for a long time,” Ho told the New Zealand Herald’s TimeOut. “And that spurred me on. I got off the phone and bought a one-way ticket to London for $1100.”
This pivotal conversation means that the band’s upcoming concerts for New Zealand music month could be the last in a long time, as Ho flies out the day after the last show.
However Ho insists he will still record with the band, albeit over the internet, and he plans to push their material to anyone who’ll listen so that the rest of the band will have to follow him over there.
So that innocent cold call could either signify the beginnings of a huge international career, or the end of what could have been an unusual, if unlikely, career in insurance.
Whatever happens, it’s not likely that he will return to the world of insurance, even if he wanted to.
When Ho quit his day job he didn’t just burn his bridges, he left a towering inferno.
“No one in the insurance industry is happy. Everyone’s real jaded, pretending to be happy about it,” Ho told Timeout.
“At the last meeting, someone said, ‘It’s sad to see you go.’ I said, ‘It’s sad to see you guys stay,’ and it just cut like a knife because it’s so true. Everyone’s heads dropped and I was like, umm…
“But someone told me afterwards it was funny, so I wasn’t sad at all.”
You can see Sherpa playing tonight at Cassette Nine in Auckland, The Royal, Palmerston North on 23 May; Meow, Wellington on 24 May; Re:Fuel, Dunedin on 30 May and Darkroom, Christchurch on 31 May.