Working Through Our Excuses (and other nonsense)

Did I ever tell you about Ray Taylor?

I had just started my first big person job. I was 22 and hired to supervise 45 people twice my age. Ray was the superintendent on the third shift of a large tobacco factory. I was told to report to him on a Sunday night at 10:30 pm. I walked up and introduced myself and his response was We start at ten on Sunday night!

The training center told me 10:30

Who do you work for, me or the training center?

Alrighty then.

We rode a freight elevator up five floors, the doors parted and Ray said Here ya are. Your supervisor should be by in a bit.

All of these people were staring at me. Some of them had smiles on their faces that should have been accompanied by the music from Jaws.

Training and development in prehistoric times.

I learned through experience. No books or magazines. No internet. No networking groups. Just survival of the fittest.

But, I gotta tell you Ray taught me something that’s stuck with me forty five years later.

There are two kinds of people in this world. People that let things happen and people that make things happen

Ray Taylor circa 1976

I haven’t always enjoyed that reminder. Ya know, making excuses is a lot easier sometimes.

We’re in the midst of a pandemic! How do I meet potential clients and conduct my business. I’ve already sold my package to all my relatives! There is not much I can do!!! (Gloom, despair, agony on me!)

There are days I’m right there with you. I like my old tried and true ways. A bit of face-to-face- a bit on the internet. A lunch appointment every now and then. Hugs and coffee after networking events.

I mean, there’s not much I can do, is there?

There are two kinds of people in this world. People that let things happen and people that make things happen.

Sometimes, I am perfectly content to let things happen. I look to the left and look to the right and see so many other people doing what I’m doing. Misery loves company?

How do I make things happen in midst of an acute case of Zoom fatigue?

It dawned on me this weekend that I belong to a zillion Facebook groups. (I just hate to say no to anyone. I mean what will they think of me?) In those groups are the opportunity to cultivate relationships with other people.

The trick is not to burst though the door and start asking for business. The trick is to begin by being helpful to those zillion people I already know.

When you help other people get what they want, you’ll get what you want!

Zig Ziglar

What’s my endgame? Well, I want them to know I genuinely care about their success in life and in their businesses regardless of the path they take.

I want them to know that deep inside I do multiple fist pumps when they score a victory and when they scrape their knees and look a tad bit bewildered, I shed a tear with them and say a prayer for their quick recovery.

I want them to feel what I’ve felt along the way, on the path and in my journey.

I want them to know that just because I’ve got certain gifts and talents doesn’t mean I know everything.

Mostly, I want them to know that I decided long ago that I was going to be there for them when they were lost and confused because there were days no one was there for me and I know how it feels.

Somewhere in this crazy mess we exist in lies an opportunity to make things happen. I could write for days on ways to make this happen but the best advice I can lend is to find your own path on your own journey and build visibility and trust

I’m going to leave it here and let you pick it up and run with it on your own. But I have to say, the best coaching I ever received came from people I didnt identify with as coaches.

People like Ray Taylor

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