Don't you just love stories? Everyone loves stories. I remember when I was a child always wanting my mom and dad to tell me stories. As I was growing up I'd listen to my grandfather tell stories from when he was in World War II. History stories have always fascinated me and I guess that's why I enjoy learning about world history.
In fact the History Channel is my favorite tv channel. If you don't like history don't worry cause I'm not gonna bore you with a history lesson today. I'm gonna just share something from a good book I read a while ago and was reflecting about today as I cleaned the clutter from my desktop.
I'd like to share an excerpt from the book: Sandbox Wisdom...Growing Your Business with the Genius of Childhood. It’s written as a story with “life’s lessons”. It can be applied to many areas of our lives no matter what we do or want to do. It’s a great and easy read. I hope you will enjoy it.
Here's the scenario: The company that Bill West owns is in trouble, and he turns to his long-time friend for help. His friend said, "I know the answer to your problems, but you've got to trust me on this one." Enjoy the story...
They arrived at Falcon's and Annie's favorite hamburger restaurant named The King's. Elvis Presley glossy photos and memorabilia hung on every available inch of wall space. Elvis dolls and swivel-hipped singing knickknacks adorned shelves. And of course, Elvis crooned out over the restaurant's sound system.
After following Falcon's recommendation and ordering two burgers with "the works," and a cheeseburger and chocolate shake for Annie, Bill leaned back against his side of the booth.
"You know Annie, your Grandpa's a pretty terrific guy, to watch your two soccer buddies on Thursdays - and to coach your team. I'm going to have to come to a game, now, you know." Annie smiled.
"That would be GREAT, Mr. West."
"Blue Suede Shoes" came on over the sound system as the waitress brought their drinks and a children's activity paper with crayons for Annie.
"Thank you Ma'am," Annie smiled.
"Your welcome, young lady," the waitress smiled back.
"What have you got there, Annie?" Bill asked as Annie took her green crayon and began working on the puzzles and games on the paper.
"This puzzle." She showed Bill the classic nine-dot puzzle. "I have to use only four straight lines, and I can't lift up my crayon. And I have to connect all these dots."
"That's a tough one."
Annie nodded and bent her head in concentration.
"You know Bill, I've seen a consultant use this puzzle in a workshop. He talked about mental boxes and needing to think outside the box."
"Yeah. I've heard that before with a different prop."
"But you know, I don't think it's really about mental boxes."
"It isn't?" Bill looked puzzled.
"It's about physical boxes - our homes and our businesses. We go back and forth, back and forth, like rats in mazes. And sure, maybe we brainstorm here and there and try to think outside the box. Maybe we hire the best creative staff money can buy."
"Sounds familiar," Bill said, ruefully.
"Sure. You can come up limitless ideas, but if you don't break out of your routine, if you don't connect to the bigger reality outside your physical box, all the creative ideas in the world won't help you. And what do you think is the most important puzzle to master?"
"To do what?" Falcon leaned forward. "Take it another level higher."
Bill shrugged. "Enlighten me, Falcon."
"The most important puzzle to master is understanding and communicating with your audience. Figuring out what people want and giving it to them. Helping them get the positive feelings they want, and eliminating the negative ones which they don't want."
"Falcon, again, it seems so obvious. I don't know..."
"But it isn't so obvious. What people think about you or your company is unimportant, Bill. What matters is how you make them feel about themselves and their decisions in your presence." Have you heard the story about Benjamin Disraeli?"
"Nineteenth-century British Prime Minister?"
Falcon nodded. "Yes. The story I'm thinking of is about a young woman who dined one night with William Gladstone - another eminent statesman at the time. The next night, Disraeli accompanied her to dinner. And the woman later said, "When I left the dining room after sitting next to Mr. Gladstone, I thought he was the most clever man in all of England. But after sitting next to Mr. Disraeli, I was sure that I was the most clever woman in England."
"Apparently she had a memorable encounter with Mr. Disraeli."
"Sure. The feelings he stirred in her about herself lingered long after the dinner was over. And that's your job, Bill, and the job of everyone in your organization. You have to enhance your customers' experiences with you each and every time they see you. And by you, I mean your people, your ads, your packaging, everything. That's the secret of capturing loyalty."
Annie looked up from her puzzle. "I did it!"
Both men looked at the paper and her green crayon marks.
"Good job, Annie," Falcon said. "You used your thinking cap. That's not an easy puzzle."
"Thank you, Grandpa." Annie beamed.
The part I love most is when he said: “You have to enhance your customers' experiences with you each and every time they see you”. We really, really do. That’s the best part about our lives. We can do that with everyone that we meet, no matter who they are, and make them feel as though they are the “most clever” man or woman in the world! You have the power to do that.
You can make someone have the best part of their day when they are around you even if it is ever so briefly. It's all according to our attitudes and our desire to prioritize others over ourselves. Yes, yes, yes there are more important people than us, but we must still focus on us at the right times. That's why I love group fitness practice, such as my Synergy Kettlebell Kamp, so much. It allows the individual to focus on their own body WHILE having a great time around other people of like minds and there for the exact same purpose. We're a family really... a family who blasts fat together.
I’ll leave you with an Anthony Robbins quote that I’ve absolutely loved over the years.
“What would you try now if you knew you would not fail? What would you do?”
Have a great day!