If a man has any greatness in him, it comes to light, not in one flamboyant hour, but in the ledger of his daily work.
– Beryl Markham
Sometimes the work we do, and that you do, can mask the human heart beating inside the bodies of our clients, of your clients, of your staff.
I was reminded of this yesterday, during my weekly ops meeting with our Operations Director, Troy Lakey. One of the things he and I like to do is to set aside time to pray for the business, for our clients, for our staff.
(By the way, yes, I’m a man of faith — but for those of you who may not share my faith persuasion, please know that it’s not ever intended to be a “card” I play, or something which I believe should be at the forefront of my business identity — for many reasons. But I is who I is, and part of what I’m working with so many business owners to help them accomplish is to harness the power of authentic human connection within the service professional arena.
So I can’t help but be myself. You should know more about the man behind the marketing.)
So many stories. That’s what I came away with, after hearing Troy pray for our various employees and contractors. A couple births coming up, marriages being revitalized — and one special story which I’ve been given permission to share with you, because I believe it holds the keys for an important “tactic” for you during this intense tax season…
This is Melissa Wagner, one of our Client Service managers. She’s a little gem we unearthed a little over a year ago, and, though young, she’s got a maturity beyond her years. I’ve been around a lot of Client Service representatives, and she’s one of the most efficient and conscientious I’ve ever seen [and no, she’s not looking for another job; you can’t have her:) ]. So, while in college, Melissa somehow ended up hosting a table for the DKMS Americas foundation (http://www.dkmsamericas.org/) and one of the things they do is take a simple cheek swab and add your information to a donor registry.
Well, somewhat surprisingly (apparently, this is rare; less than 1% of patients find an unrelated match), she has been identified as a match for a 19-year-old patient. In three weeks (March 2-3), Melissa will be undergoing a risky operation whereby she will have her blood and bone marrow harvested and placed into a dying patient to, quite literally, breathe new life into his bones.
Here’s the thing about Melissa: to her, this isn’t a big deal. She is who she is.
Now the reason I share this story with you is twofold. Yes, Melissa is doing something beautifully-sacrificial, but that’s actually not the point. (We give her enough kudos ’round here!)
1) There are stories around your office which your clients should know about. One of the simple “success secrets” I’ve discovered in marketing (online, especially), is that piercing the “corporate veil” around who you are, who your staff is, only serves to establish a real human connection to your work.
That’s one of the reasons I’ve been so open about my struggles with conceiving a biological child with my wife — but also the incredibly-rewarding journey we took a while ago to bring children into our home from Ethiopia. It’s not a cynical ploy; it’s the real me. It’s the real Melissa. You should know more about the people behind the marketing, behind the business. And so should your clients.
2) (And this, I think, is even more important) You must take the time during the intensity of tax season to honor your employees … and to honor your own heart. We get so caught up in the daily tasks, that it’s so tempting to emotionally shut down, and stay in “go mode” during busy periods.
This wonderful technology which we harness was meant to free us, but it can so often add it’s own chains. Seriously, I find myself frustrated when my email takes five seconds to load, even though it used to take fifteen on my old computer. There is an illusion of security in being needed and “getting things done”. But it vanishes after the rush of the sale, or when you close those office doors on April 18th this year.
I’m simply reminding you of what has been written so much before: The success of your business, of your life, comes down to how you answer that question.
You can have the greatest business in the area, and go home empty. I’ve seen it so many times among my friends in the success-driven internet marketing community. Don’t let tax season victimize your life, your marriage, and your heart. Breathe. Pray, if you will. Get above it, daily … and a funny thing will happen: Your business will thrive. As Dana Carvey used to say, “Hear me now, and believe me later.”
Your real bottom line will thank you.