Having the most profitable, and unprecedented successful year I have ever had, 2008 was turning out to be a wonderfully, exciting and opportunistic year. Then October hit. My husband lost his job, I moved into a space that chafed my expenses into a diminishing, turbulent overdrive that even Dale Earnhart couldn't navigate through. Somehow overnight I went from a few hundred dollars a month in expenses to over several, SEVERAL thousands, including a house mortgage. Out of work for eight months my husband sent resume after resume into the abyss known as the unfaltering, non existent job market. I struggled to keep my dearly beloved company, that I so lovingly nurtured into success after five years, alive and kicking as it hung on by a wing and a prayer. Not to mention a roof over our heads. And did I mention, there was NO business walking through my doors!
Luckily the past seven months, while bleak, inconsistent and fading, has taught me a lot about business and most importantly about friendship. I no longer rush into decisions. I take everything into careful consideration. I no longer take ANYTHING for granite. I APPRECIATE helpful, understanding, kind people. I see more generosity, and benevolence than I have ever seen before. And I am doing everything I can to be helpful, understanding, and kind to those around me. Be thoughtful, selfless, and compassionate. We are all going through different variables of the same circumstances. Case in point:
A new rep of mine (who has been a true pinhead to me since day 1) recently filed for divorce. Unaware of HIS circumstances I was frantically calling him for over a week trying to get answers on a product I had numerous questions about. Now, him not getting back to me was nothing new. I found through experience that it generally took about 7-10 cell calls, 2-6 emails, 1-2 texts and 2-3 corporate calls to get a response. By the time I FINALLY got a hold of him I was belligerent. My client had been waiting on an answer and I couldn't do anything about it because this prudent ass wouldn't call me back. So I let him have it. Well he broke down on the phone, in a blubbering, sobbing mess. I couldn't even understand his words he was so upset. ( Might I add, this is not my area of expertise.) In unfamiliar, and downright uncomfortable territory all I could think was "oh shit, holy shit, SHIT!, is there a handbook for this sort of thing?" I quickly got off the phone. Not knowing what the hell happened, in a dazed, and pathetic state I moved on to the next item on my "to do" list. Seemed logical, reasonable and rational. Except for one thing. I couldn't stop thinking about him. For the next three days all I kept thinking was I should call him. Finally on Friday I did. As usual he didn't answer. But to my surprise he called me right back. I explained to him that I did not need anything work related. I simply wanted to call to check in on him, see how he was doing, (the best that can be expected I suppose) and to see if there was anything I could offer to console him. I told him I understood what he was going through, and had been thinking of him.
He was besides himself. Surrounded by numerous good ol' boy friends, and numerous lady friends, not one of them had called him. Except me. Now I don't know the reasoning behind the divorce nor do I care to know the details. Im already in uncharted waters as it is. BUT, I offered a small donation of kindness. We ended up talking for a good 15 minutes. I could hear the change in his voice as we continued to talk. He was smiling, delighted, and pleased that someone took the time out of their day to call HIM. Now this seemed, at the time, like a small and foolish thing to do.(After all, this IS NOT my area of expertise. I am not nurturing, warmhearted,doting or thoughtful) BUT, when I went home that night I felt incredibly good about the small deed I had just offered him. And while I was looking for nothing in return, he has now become a good friend, and answers my calls EVERY TIME.
So the question at hand:
How to stay upright in a downright economy?
Offer joy and happiness to a stranger. Be warm and caring. Offer help, be thoughtful and be sympathetic. Be understanding, and most of all be selfless. You will be amazed at how good it makes you feel, and you will be amazed at how a small act of kindness, generosity, and compassion can change someone's life!