Tis the season to be jolly and giving. Every year at this time people rush around like wild herds of buffalo storming store after store looking for the best deal for their “gifts.” Sometimes to the point that people literally get trampled when the doors open on Black Friday (it is suddenly so clear why they call it that!)
What’s the point? Do we all really need dedicated seasons to remember to be thankful, generous, loving, etc? This particular holiday period is apparently all about gift-giving and being generous. Yet how generous are we when all we do is open our wallet but close our hearts. When we give because it’s the thing to do rather than always doing more than what is expected.
Generosity isn’t so much about giving of things. Its true nature is in giving of ourselves, our heart, our smile, our full attention. When we are generous in this way the world around us changes for the better…
As I sit down to write this monthly letter, I realized that I have been writing it for over 25 years! Over the time frame, I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed writing this letter and working with my clients and brokers through the good times and bad times. In life and business, we often break things down into what we can do, what we should do and what we must do. Failure to realize the difference will have dire consequences to your company, career, and life. On the other hand, it is most amazing to me that most salesmen (or women) fail to realize that when they become the best they can be, they will attract the right offers rather than seek them.
Of course, you have to be good at what you do and your product or deliverable must be beyond average. However, all things being equal, the relationship wins the day. Relationships take time because it takes time to build trust. At times, relationships that were established months or even years prior will yield results you never even dreamed of.
Once you’ve determined what you love to do and dedicate yourself to getting the skills, the third part is about believing. You must believe in your company-believe in your product-believe in your service-and believe in yourself. If you believe deeply that everything is “best,” your message will be so enthusiastically delivered that others will catch your passion. A deep self-belief will create enthusiasm, and a deep self-belief will create passion.
The final part is about your attitude. Attitude starts from within. It’s the mood you’re in when you wake up in the morning, the mood you stay in all day long, and the mood you’re in when you go to bed.
But attitude is not a feeling. Attitude is a life-long dedication to the study of positive thought and the character/charisma that you display as you interact with others. If it’s not internal, it can never be external.
John Peterson, the founder of National Cash Register (NCR) said it best when he said “put your heart into your work” and better yet when he said, “your heart is attached to the wallet.”
The funny thing is that if you figure out how to truly be interested in someone you meet, with the goal of building up a friendship instead of trying to get something out of that person, you will almost always have something happen later down the line that benefits your business or yourself personally.
During the Holiday Season more than ever, our thoughts turn gratefully to those of you who have made our progress and success possible. As we get to the end of the year, we once again realize it isn’t about what you own but who you know and I am happy that we have come to know each other this year and I hope that we both make an effort this coming year to talk, do business and build our relationship. In the meantime, the entire team at CDC Commercial wishes you a holiday in which the opening of presents overshadows the closing of transactions and due diligence is reserved for finding just the right gift. A season in which time with loved ones is the most important appointment on your calendar. And just remember… to “Keep Your Fork.” I hope you enjoy the story . . . Happy Holidays!
Keep Your Fork
There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things “in order”, she contacted her Pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted to be sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in.
Everything was in order and the Pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her. “There’s one more thing,” she said excitedly… “What’s that?” came the Pastor’s reply. “This is very important,” the young woman continued. “I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.” The Pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say. ‘That surprises you, doesn’t it?” the young women asked. “Well, to be honest, I’m puzzled by the request,” said the Pastor.
The young woman explained. “My grandmother once told me this story, and from that time on I have always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement. In all my years of attending socials and dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, “Keep your fork.” It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming… Like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance! So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder “What’s with the fork?” Then I want you to tell them: “Keep your fork…the best is yet to come.”
The Pastors eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young woman good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the young woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She had a better grasp of what heaven would be like than many people twice her age, with twice as much experience and knowledge. She KNEW that something better was coming.
At the funeral, people were walking by the young woman’s casket and they saw the cloak she was wearing and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over the Pastor heard the question, “What’s with the fork?” And over and over he smiled. During his message, the Pastor told people of the conversation he had with the young woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. He told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either. He was right. So the next time you reach down for your fork let it remind you, ever so gently, that the best is yet to come.