By Eliana Barriga
Publisher and Managing Editor for The Retail Observer
Last week I witnessed a deeply moving event at a women’s business conference in New York City. At one point, the leaders invited women to come onstage and share their experiences overcoming obstacles in their lives.
A woman came forward, visibly distraught, and bravely told her story of serious financial and personal challenges. It was moving to witness her vulnerability. Behind me, I heard a woman whisper to her seatmate, “We’ve got to do something. Let's raise some money for her–here, I’ll give $50.” Moved by her gesture, I turned and said, “I’m in–here’s $100.” Other women sitting nearby opened their hearts and wallets and soon we had $2,400.
I said, “Somebody should go to corporate and tell senior management what we’re doing.” One of the women said, “I’ll go.” Ten minutes later she returned, beaming, and said, “We did it! We’ve got $4,400.”
I guess it would be reasonable to ask: “What does this story have to do with my success? I’ve earned whatever I have by my own hard work!”
Well, let's consider Joseph and JoAnn Callaway. In their book, Clients First: The Two-Word Miracle, they reveal how they built a hugely successful Phoenix, AZ real estate business by doing the unthinkable: they based every single business decision on the best interests of their clients, regardless of the inconvenience and expense to themselves. While countless other agents were biting the dust during the subprime mortgage debacle, the Callaways were thriving. They encapsulate their philosophy in three simple words: Honesty, Competence, and Caring.
Too often, when contemplating the next bold step to build our business, we look for formulas, hoping that by following the steps others have taken we’ll achieve the same results.
But this is a New Year—let’s honor the spirit as well as the letter of the law. Let’s remember a wise Chinese saying: “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.”
To our shared success,