I’m blown away by how simple yet profound this principle is.
It’s what makes a father, who may be a gangstar, a drunkard, even a murderer, become as meek and mild as a kitten when in the presence of his 5 year old daughter.
It‘s what makes the naughtiest boy in school, suddenly become an obedient and well-mannered little gentleman when he meets that ONE teacher that practises this principle, and unlocks the chivalry in him.
It’s what ensures that public transport passengers in most any country in Europe always buy a ticket when they ride, even if no one is there to check on them (save for the occasional spot check).
It’s what made me, just this evening, switch from thinking “Should I work with this person?” to thinking, “Wow, I HAVE to work with this person, I don’t care what it takes!”.
See, recently I was sourcing an interior designer to work with my clients that are looking to get their properties furnished. And I’d reached out to one that came highly recommended by an architect I respect and who had done work with them in large apartment hotel projects.
So we spoke and the interior designer agreed to send through the budget of what it would cost to furnish a 2-bedroomed apartment. They researched and did the groundwork and developed a spreadsheet of what is on the market.
This spreadsheet really constituted their intellectual capital, the convenience that myself and all my clients as potential clients are paying them to provide. So it’s only natural that they would want to guard it with all their might.
So when they mentioned that they could not share the spreadsheet but would need payment first it made sense to me, i wasn’t about to argue with that.
Then they did something that blew me away.
They told me “Let me in full trust that you will not share out my document, also share with you the spreadsheet, then will you be able to see what it was all about.” And even better they continued, “I will send it in the format that you can edit and eliminate as I might have included things not needed in the apartments. Kindly just do not share my hard work with anyone”.
And suddenly, right then and there, I decided to work with them. And in fact started calculating how soon I could pay them. If you had compared my thoughts just seconds before to my thoughts in the moment they told me this, they were like night and day.
Suddenly, when they put their trust in me, I rose to the occasion. I WAS that person that was worthy of trust. I was not about to let her down because now I saw myself through her eyes. Just like that drunken father will put on his best suit and go for his daughter’s ballet’s recital because he cannot bear the thought of letting her down, of violating her trust.
By that one act, she helped me to transcend the pettiness of doubt, disbelief, ingratitude, greed and selfishness and reach a place where only the purest of intentions live. An that is where I wanted to stay.
But sadly, come morning this fleeting moment may all be gone, when the bright glare of reality, and the sharp odor of the struggle for survival hits my nostrils, and the dream becomes a distant memory.
Why should it? Why must we resort to the very same tactics that bring out the worst in us and those around us? The mistrust, the greed, the I-need-to-get-me-some nature of self-absorbed pursuit?
I have decided that I shall intentionally move away from that. From using any potential commissions I could get from my partners to reduce the cost of what my clients would pay. To paying for things that I had never promised to pay for when my clients signed up, just because it FEELS right, it’s what would serve them best and ultimately, it’s what will make me stand up tall and proud as I speak about the transformation that I facilitate for them through my program.
I AM going to be different. That’s the only thing that I have control over. The minute that my clients have put their trust in me, I AM rising to the occasion.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am just as human as the next person, but I have always prided myself in my integrity. And just like we learn that integrity is what one does when others are not looking, I’ve also learned, what I do in those moments will come back to either haunt me, or bless me.
It will help me when my team and I are speaking to a potential client on the phone and telling them that we offer the BEST of what their exists on the market.
It will help me when we tell them, “You will not find these rates anywhere else”. Because nowhere else do people forego their commission to take their client’s costs down.
Most of all it will help me when I tell my clients, “We only work with the best”. Because only the best, the ones that have their clients goals at heart, will even consider taking a pay cut just so that they can deliver to the maximum.
So I’m going to do my part. And I’m going to change the environment one person at a time.
Maybe it just needs to start with one person choosing to trust on one day. Maybe that person is you. May that day is today.
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