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Grow Your Business and Grow Yourself

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					by: Stuart Lockley

Grow Your Business

A postal clerk in Indianapolis made a discovery about her customers and coworkers and her own
nature.

A newspaper editorial charged that her branch had the rudest clerks in town. The clerk was
angry.

"I was rude to people because they were rude to me, she said. What goes around comes around.
Then she wondered what would happen if she treated others with courtesy. Would that come
around too?

So she made an effort to get to know customers names. The clerk began to smile and ask how
they were doing. Even a man known for his grouchiness eventually became a favourite customer.
All the clerks began to make an effort. Everybody reaped a reward of cheerfulness.

And it all started with one woman who decided that what goes around comes around can be good
news.

Father John Catoir
Three Minutes a Day
The Christophers

It has taken me many years to learn a simple lesson. There are very few things in life that we are
able to directly change. We cannot change our colleagues, the government, the weather or our
customers. We cannot change our spouses or our children. If we wish to change any of those
things we must begin by changing ourselves.

If you work in any organisation there are probably coworkers who you do not get along with as
well as you might. No doubt they annoy and irritate you. But have you stopped to consider what
might happen if you treated them differently? Would they react to you differently and become
less annoying and nicer people? Perhaps it is worth a try, just do not expect immediate results.

Often it is easy to blame someone else for a situation when we are equally to blame ourselves.
Even if a situation is not our "fault" it is still probably worth changing our own behaviour
towards someone else if that will produce an effect that we want. Even if the change just leaves
us feeling better within ourselves knowing that we have done whatever we were able to do to
change things.

How do you treat your customers? When was the last time that you sent them a simple note to
say Thank you for your custom and support, have you ever sent such a note? How would you
feel towards a supplier who sent you such a letter?
When was the last time you asked your customers if there was anything that you could do for
them? I do not mean as a veiled message which really means is there anything else we can sell
you. Simply and genuinely ask if there is anything you can do for them without expecting
anything in return.

Will some people take advantage? Probably but I am afraid that is just life. Those people were
always going to take advantage in some way. What is important is the goodwill you generate
among the majority of your customers. If your customers feel that you care about them they are
far less likely to change supplier and it will always be cheaper to keep existing customers than to
find new ones.

Why not just try the idea out with a few of your best customers and see what happens?

Grow Yourself

The best rosebush is not the one with the fewest thorns, but that which bears the finest roses.

Jerry Van Dyke
Entertainer

The Daffodil Principle
credit to Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards

Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, "Mother, you must come see the daffodils
before they are over." I wanted to go, but it was a two- hour drive from Laguna to Lake
Arrowhead.

"I will come next Tuesday," I promised, a little reluctantly, on her third call. Next Tuesday
dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and so I drove there. When I finally walked into
Carolyn's house and hugged and greeted my grandchildren, I said, "Forget the daffodils,
Carolyn! The road is invisible in the clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you
and these children that I want to see badly enough to drive another inch!"

My daughter smiled calmly and said, "We drive in this all the time, Mother." "Well, you won't
get me back on the road until it clears, and then I'm heading for home!" I assured her. I was
hoping you'd take me over to the garage to pick up my car."

"How far will we have to drive?" "Just a few blocks," Carolyn said. "I'll drive. I'm used to this."

After several minutes, I had to ask, "Where are we going? "This isn't the way to the garage!"
"We're going to my garage the long way," Carolyn smiled, "by way of the daffodils."

"Carolyn," I said sternly, "please turn around." "It's all right, Mother, I promise. You will never
forgive yourself if you miss this experience." After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small
gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand-lettered sign
that read, "Daffodil Garden. "We got out of the car, each took a child's hand, and followed the
path. Then, we turned a corner of the path, and I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most
glorious sight.

It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it down over the mountain
peak and slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns- great ribbons and
swaths of deep orange, white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron, and butter yellow. Each
different-coloured variety was planted as a group so that it swirled and flowed like its own river
with its own unique hue. A charming path wound through the garden with several resting
stations, with Victorian wooden benches and great tubs of tulips. It didn't matter that the sun
wasn't shining there were five acres of flowers!

"But who has done this?" I asked Carolyn. "It's just one woman," Carolyn answered. "She lives
on the property. That's her home." Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A- frame house that looked
small and modest in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house. On the patio, we saw
a poster.

"Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking" was the headline. It Read:

50,000 bulbs,
one at a time,
by one woman
two hands,
two feet,
very little brain.
began in 1958.

There it was: The Daffodil Principle. For me, that moment was a life-changing experience. I
thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than forty years before, had begun-one
bulb at a time-to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountain top. Still, just
planting one bulb at a time, year after year, had changed the world. This unknown woman had
forever changed the world in which she lived. She had created something of inde scribable
magnificence, beauty, and inspiration.

The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration. That is,
learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time-often just one baby-step at a
time-and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply
tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish
magnificent things. We can change the world.

"It makes me sad in a way," I admitted to Carolyn. "What might I have accomplished if I had
thought of a wonderful goal thirty- five or forty years ago and had worked away at it 'one bulb at
a time' through all those years. Just think what I might have been able to achieve!"

My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. "Start tomorrow," she
said. "It's so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson
of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask, 'How can I put this to use today?'"
How many times have you put off your dream of a writing a book, painting a picture, learning a
language, starting a business or something else that is your deepest desire, because it seemed
daunting or unachievable? What excuse have you used to wait for another day? Do you tell
yourself, I will start:

When the children are grown
In the spring
In the summer
After college
When you lose 10 lbs.
When you gain 10 lbs.
When you get married
When you get a divorce
When you have kids
When you retire

How much could you achieve if you start today by doing just one thing towards your dream?
Like the daffodil gardener, if you plant just one seed of your dream every day, you can create a
lasting life quilt that leads to your destiny.

There is no better time than right now to be happy. Happiness is a journey, not a destination. So
work like you don't need money. Love like you've never been hurt. And, dance like no one's
watching.

If you want to brighten someone's day, pass this on to someone special.

I just did!

Wishing you every success

Stuart

This article was posted on March 25, 2005

				
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