On the cover of my planner is pasted the following quote:
"The difference between average & top people can be explained in three words: And Then Some.They are thoughtful of others, they are considerate and kind - and then some. They meet their responsibilities and their obligations fairly and squarely - and then some. They are good friends to their friends and can be counted on in an emergency - and then some." - Mary Kay Ash
I felt the need to put those words in a place where I could reread them frequently, because in spite of all my blunders and failings, it's the kind of person I want to be. How often do we drudge through our day doing a mediocre, okay job, and not throwing our hearts over the bar? I didn't have my coffee, a little ankle-biter wouldn't take his nap, I'm stressed about such-and-such... we can come up with all sorts of rationalizations why we don't feel like putting forth the extra exertion it takes to do "and then some"-s. It's been true for me, I can say that with brutal honesty.
I am getting it right more than I used to, though. One example: I recently sat down for a facial with a friend from college who needed to choose makeup colors for her wedding day 'look'. Although normally my one-on-one appointments only take an hour, I worked with her for nearly three. Firstly, because I wanted to take the time to catch up on life with her, not just crank her through a facial, take her money, and send her home - I want to be true to 'The MK Way' which focuses on cultivating relationships with customers. Also, I know how a woman looks on her wedding day is pretty important, so I made sure we tried all possible combinations she thought she MIGHT like until we found the perfect one. Lingering like that, really focusing on making her happy - it gave me SO much satisfaction.
[Side note: I think I've mentioned before a fabulous book called Why Mars and Venus Collide: Improving Relationships by Understanding how Men and Women Cope Differently with Stress by John Gray. He talks about the physiological explanations for how we deal with stress and makes some great recommendations. It's a book you should read! Anyway, he talks about how a woman often measures happiness by the quality of relationships in her life, and how talking and cultivating that decrease her stress level. I realized that, although working my business is 'work', it doesn't need to be stressful if I remember that talking to, helping, and bonding with other women is stress-RELIEVING. It shifts my paradigm to think of what I'm doing as oxytocin-boosting girl-time rather than 'work' which just messes with my head.]
If only I would be that consisently others-focused with my general customer service and seek to 'and then some' all my clientele. I've been reminded of this business philosophy by recently reading The One-Minute $ales Person by Spencer Johnson, M.D. I picked it up at a used bookstore for $2.50 (woohoo!), and have been leisurely thumbing through it this weekend. It's a good practice for me to read non-MK business books (although ours are awesome best-sellers!), because it reminds me that good business principles are universal and aren't just a cutesy 'pink bubble' way of doing things. Principles like:
· "The 'Wonderful Paradox' - I have more fun and enjoy more financial success when I stop trying to get what I want and start helping other people get what they want",
· "Whenever I am successful, I know I have chosen consciously or unconsciously, to use the positive thoughts that created my success", or
· "After I sell On Purpose, people feel good about what they bought and about themselves. And so they give me invaluable REFERRALS!
are the same as what I've already been taught. Translated into 'pink lingo', it's:
· 'Imagine everyone you meet is wearing an invisible sign that says Make me Feel Important!', or 'Help enough other people get what they want, and you'll get what you want'.
· What we think about we bring about, expect acceptance, and the concept of 'affirmations'
· 'Business will go where it's invited and stay where it's appreciated', or 'it's 5 times as difficult to win a new client as it is to keep a current one happy'.
I also want to share something special that happened recently. I like to spend time during the day listening to educational or motivational recordings, and one of my favorite people to listen to is NSD Cindy Williams, who is one the most fun, servant-hearted, and successful people in the history of the company. Even though she grew up in a crazy abusive situation, she bubbles over with joy and has such a transparent, beautiful heart - she is just so inspiring to me and I listen to her almost every day. Anyway, I was listening to one of her talks where she mentioned that her 'love language' is words of affirmation, and I had the impulse to send her a postcard telling her how much she helps me and how great I think she is, so I jotted a few lines and sent it off. Well, she wrote me back! Now, I know I talk about our corporate culture here being a sisterhood where we encourage each other and I believe it wholeheartedly, but I was still touched that she took the time to write to me and it made me feel so important.
I mention Cindy because she didn't just reply, she And-Then-Some'd me. I sent her a little postcard, and she responded with: a handwritten letter, and autographed picture of herself made out to me, AND a little valentine-esque card with my name and a quote by Mary Kay Ash on it. Talk about 'and then some', this lady responded with so much generosity I almost cried (Okay, I did cry a little, but part of that's because I was having a rough self-doubting day). I took those three things and put them in a frame that's hanging in my office space to remind me not only of the affirming words she spoke to me, but as a reminder: I love Cindy because she's an And-Then-Some woman, and if I want to be like her, I need to seek ways to be that And-Then-Some woman, too.
So, to tie it altogether my dear readers, I want to leave you with a parting thought: I don't think it's difficult to see what and-then-some-s we can do in our daily life if we are listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Say you cook a Sunday brunch for someone you love - listen to that little voice that nudges you to fix up their coffee, too. Look for those opportunities, they are like an Easter egg hunt for toddlers (in other words, they are EASY to see!). I gave Cindy something small, and her generous heart immediately responded by outgiving me. God's heart is infinitely generous, and we can never outgive Him! So live from a generous heart and you'll see two miracles happen: 1) you will grow in generosity and see your heart become more like His, and 2) He will forever outgive you.
Happy Sunday, all! God Bless you