As a young man, Milton Copeland worked in food service and the entertainment industry for a number of years, struggling to find his way while supporting a wife and child. A chance meeting with a sales manager from Dick Hannah Honda led to a career where he now finds himself a sales manager, earning multiple salesperson of the month awards and holding sales records for the dealership.“He saw something in me, maybe passion, enthusiasm, a willingness to work hard, somebody he could shape and mold into someone who would do a good job. Failure was not an option when you have a wife and kids — maybe he saw that kind of thing.”Residence neighborhood: Old Evergreen Highway Neighborhood.Employer: Dick Hannah Honda.Business address: 3321 N.E. Auto Mall Drive, Vancouver.Age: 35.Educational/professional background (include where you’re from/your early interests, jobs): I grew up in a government housing complex with my mother in Grand Rapids, Mich. I always wanted money because we didn’t have much, so as a kid I would wash cars and shovel sidewalks for money. At 14, I got my first real job at Burger King and worked in food service for several more years. I went to Grand Valley State in Grand Rapids for two years but had to drop out to support my wife and soon-to-be child. I was transferred to Las Vegas to help with the company’s live shows and front-of-the-house duties but was laid off after 9/11. After painting holiday decorations on windows for a few months, I found my first sales job selling coupon books. Within a month, I became the top salesman. My employer moved us to San Francisco a few months later. The transition wasn’t smooth and we lost everything. After having to sleep out of my car for a few weeks, but still hitting my sales numbers, I was transferred to a better territory in Portland.How — and when — you got started in your business: I started with Dick Hannah Honda almost 13 years ago. I had been selling for a door-to-door sales company that wasn’t doing so well when I ran into a manager at Dick Hannah. He saw something in me and offered me a job. I had never sold cars before, but he seemed to think I would be good at it. The Hannahs do a good job of hiring morally ethical people, so many of the managers became role models for me. Being only 22 when I started and growing up where I did, I didn’t have many successful people to learn from. It seemed you could make a good living selling cars while staying morally ethical, and that was important to me.Personal/business philosophy: My personal philosophy is “life is a downhill race, even if you fall, you are still moving forward.”Many people in life quit or make easy goals and don’t take risk. You can’t get what you truly want until you are willing to lose what you already have. I had no choice when I lost everything, but it helped me understand everything.