My driveway seemed quite a bit bigger that morning back in 1995. I remember stopping dead in my tracks when it hit me that both my cars had been repossessed. My world fell apart that day and left me without my cars, my business, $60,000 in debt and without any degree of self esteem.
With one small child and another on the way, I was lost, scared and not used to being poor.
I took on a night job working from 8pm to 8am as a Laser Operator making $8.50 per hour plus incentive pay. I remember working through my breaks and being within a few thousand impressions of hitting bonus and then the machine would break down. I would leave there feeling like a bigger loser than when I arrived . I'd get home, exhausted and many times would fall asleep while catching up with my wife. I remember ransacking my ashtray to find 40 cents so we could each have a roll with our coffee. Those were great mornings! I took on jobs delivering pizza's and as a bus boy at a local Italian restaurant. I know first hand what it feels like to get screwed out of tip, have people treat you like crap and have lots of time to reflect on your sins, all the while wondering what you did to deserve this?
But it wasn't all bad.
I learned to bust my ass again
I started to appreciate things I had taken for granted
I became closer with God and my family
I started to dedicate myself to continual learning
I learned what its like to feel like you're at the end of your rope and then have someone come along and offer a random act of kindness. That one stands out most!
You know, this thing called life is a very delicate thing. I think we need to be respectful of the things we have been given and find a way to give something back.
That brings us to the Thanksgiving portion:
As we quickly approach one of my favorite holidays, I would invite you to think beyond the turkey (I know you would have lost me right there too), think beyond the travel or perhaps if you are like me, think beyond the juggling of visiting more than one relative and the whole “I’ve got to see both sides of the family today” thing.
When we break up the word Thanksgiving it obviously gives us two words.
The first word is "Thanks" Do you express your gratitude to your clients regularly? Do you do so in new, exciting and unique ways? Do they feel appreciated?How about your support team at your company? When was the last time, you thanked them for coming through for you, going the extra mile or just being a good support team?
Do you have some people in your life who have supported you, encouraged you, guided you, listened to you? When was the last time you thanked them?
And now, the million dollar question . . . Do you have an overall attitude of gratitude? Are you grateful for what you have?
The second word is "Giving". Many years ago, I heard Tony Robbins give a tip on being wealthy. He said that if we truly want to feel wealthy then we should make giving a habit. He went on to explain that when we give, we are subconsciously telling ourselves we have enough to give to others. In that moment we feel wealth and abundance. The giving doesn’t have to be some enormous amount either.
How about that free turkey you are about to win at the supermarket. Consider donating it.
Buy an extra can or two of food and donate it to a local food bank. With the economy the way it is our local food banks are really hurting right now!
That spare change in the coffee can in your room
Frequent flyer miles
Give blood A kind or encouraging word to someone who needs a little pep talk. Please don't take that encouragement lightly . . . everyone deserves another round! Encouragement keeps them in the fight!
This week, your focus is on “Thanks” and “Giving”.
What can you do, starting right now to really own those two concepts?
Finally, I hope you will slow down on Thanksgiving and enjoy your family. This is why we work as hard as we do and quite frankly conquering the world at home is a must!
Oh, and I am very grateful for that day back in 1995, when my world fell apart, because it set in motion a series of events that brought me here today . . . For me to show respect and appreciation for a second chance!
Wishing you and your family a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving!
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics (CGX) one of North America’s leading general commercial printing companies. Paul has over 25 years of sales and sales leadership experience. He has trained, mentored and coached over 3,000 sales and sales leadership professionals. An accomplished public speaker, Paul has delivered numerous key note addresses. He has authored numerous training manuals, articles, blog posts and is currently working on his first book for release in 2011. Feel free to email Paul firstname.lastname@example.org.
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