Isn't encouragement a beautiful thing? If a kind word or a sincere compliment give you a boost that motivates you to keep doing good things than pass that positive energy forward and give someone something powerful today, encourage them.
We recently ventured out from what we knew, what was working and what was comfortable to try our hands at a new challenge. In the transition we are staying with family which has created opportunities to connect with people we haven't spent significant time with in a while. On my first day of the new professional challenge my grandparents left this nice little note for me. It made me smile and signifies the greater truth that there are people rooting for you because they love and like you. Kind words can give you a boost to knock through the obstacles that stand between you and accomplishing your goals. Connect, collaborate and conquer is the recipe for success in personal as well as professional pursuits.
As discussed in a prior article, "There are few things in life that cost you very little and yet can have significant positive collateral impact in the life of another human. Paying someone a compliment will only cost you a few seconds of air and yet it has the potential to be a seed or a watering that flourishes in the life of a fellow human. We are well aware that words have the power to bring us to our knees, but words from the same stink filled sources also have the power also to lift spirits, raise confidence and inspire momentum." You can read more on the power and return on investment (ROI) of a compliment HERE. You can also read and view a funny video that demonstrates how people feel when they receive No Compliments.
Do you have a fun story to share from when you received a positive boost?
There are few things in life that cost you very little and yet can have significant positive collateral impact in the life of another human. Paying someone a compliment will only cost you a few seconds of air and yet it has the potential to be a seed or a watering that flourishes in the life of a fellow human. We are well aware that words have the power to bring us to our knees, but words from the same stink filled sources also have the power also to lift spirits, raise confidence and inspire momentum.
We recently had a very pleasant experience at a local eatery with a new waitress. What this young lady lacked in experience she more than made up for with the eagerness of a human who enjoyed helping fellow humans. Our waitress was personable, she smiled as she worked and greeted patrons with cheer. Our waitress was busy but she did not allow that to inhibit her from communicating with care. For example, we had requested non essential items from the kitchen, she politely stated, "I will grab those for you as soon as I clear this table so these customers can be seated." We made sure to inform her manager of her value, to tip well and to express our gratitude for this customer service professional in the making.
For many industries, service is an essential component of the product offering. Those who interact with customers communicate with their attitudes, personas, body language, word choice, pronunciation, etc. When service providers create a positive experience for customers they create an atmosphere where patrons become those who will want to return to spend their dollars in the organization.
We try to celebrate our positive customer feedback as we understand how many layers are baked into the process of bringing a positively finished customer experience confection from the project oven. When a patron chooses to hire our company, appreciates the process, enjoys our people's efforts, awards our team with a payment in full and then ices that cake with positive feedback, that's a party. We keep those nuggets of human positivity on our Wall of Fame and incorporate the details of their experience in our weekly meetings. For those out there who have taken pen to paper, fingers to keyboard and have joined the positive posting fans of an organization that has done them right, many thanks!
As consumers of service and as humans of the same race, it is important that we vocalize our gratitude. The paying of an earnest compliment has few equals on return in human value. The example of paying an earnest compliment has the potential to create a tsunami of positive momentum, as those that directly experience its effect are awakened to a universe as it should be. Life can be simplified as well as dignified when humans treat humans as humans. Enjoy the art in life, positive practitioners of customer service are artists with a human pallet.
Get your compliment check book out and start making some payments.
Perhaps the only way to build young entrepreneurs, dreamers and summit trekkers is to treat them like such from the time they are young and incubating in your home.
Everyone wants money but so many of our money trees just aren't growing, no matter how often we water them. Our kids express their desires to purchase things, we share means through which they may possibly earn money by assisting with tasks around our home that we would rather pay dollars than time to complete. As such, our kids understand (to varying degrees) that money requires work. At times the work equals money relationship becomes and expectation and other conversations or reality alterations occur. Parenting is always a cycle of challenges.
Recently, we had a unique opportunity and decided to experiment with something we have enjoyed from television's offering of educational entertainment. Our eldest son, currently 10 years of age, had a an opportunity through friends and family connections to create and distribute a naturopathic allergy remedy. It's a quirky industry but one that many people have an appetite for and thus there is an opportunity, especially for an eager young entrepreneur. Rather than hand over a fully funded business opportunity with zero strings attached, a scenario that would be a set up for disillusionment with future ventures, we decided to dabble with micro investing in our own home.
Summer is the start of allergy season, thus Summer is a prime opportunity for Caiden's Natural Remedies (CNR) to distribute a product in the Willamette Valley of Oregon that is notoriously brutal to allergy sufferers.
Caiden is still in grade school, which is not an obstacle to entrepreneurship but rather provides him the most direct path to initial sales as this is a focal point where those who are familiar with Caiden congregate. For Caiden's Natural Remedies this community creates access to the Lowest Hanging Fruit in his entrepreneurial ventures. But, school is almost out which both creates a need for urgency in getting products to market. Caiden's Natural Remedies needed an influx of cash immediately.
$100 initial investment for immediate purchase of product and materials. 50% of initial investment as a loan which had to be paid in 60 days to retain zero percent interest, then 20% of each sale in perpetuity (yeah, we made a Kevin O'Leary deal with our son).
With the $100 cash flow distribution, our son was able to purchase his initial stock for creating his initial offering of Caiden's Natural Remedies, an allergy oil relief in a roller applicator. In addition to Caiden's deal with his initial investors, Caiden decided to reach out to those whom he felt could be key business partners, and without sharing the details of each deal, he made offers of generous commissions for those who would be willing to assist him in selling his product.
If Phase 1 of Caiden's Natural Remedies was to acquire funding. Phase 2 would be acquiring materials for the creation of initial product offerings. Caiden was so excited to get his hands on his product and brand the Caiden's Natural Remedies Allergy Applicators. He will be hitting the streets to get his products into hands and make his first series of sales.
We will post updates as the story develops, you can find the young entrepreneur working his grind @caidenvents, if you suffer from allergies and are looking for a natural remedy, Caiden would tell you, "I'm your man."
If you are like me, then you are aware of The Eugene Mission, but do you really understand what they do?
That's easy, right? They help homeless people. End of story, thanks for reading.
What does helping homeless people look like? If you're like me and you're honest, perhaps helping the homeless isn't your highest priority...maybe the homeless should help themselves...maybe I work hard for my dollars and I don't always think that they should be "wasted" on people who aren't willing to work hard to change their own situation...
So, I'm putting it out there - these are some of the thoughts (one's I don't like to admit) but ones that bounced around in my hollow head. If you are better than me and have never thought these things, please hang around, you may still learn something you didn't know about the reach of The Eugene Mission.
I decided to take The Eugene Mission up on their offer to "Schedule A Tour" - this can be done through the website, a simple email or by calling. I had some time and had some specific interests, so we were able to walk through and discuss the majority of their 11 official structures (there are technically 13 if you count the 2 chicken coops) on the 7.5 acre property in the Whitaker District of Downtown Eugene, Oregon. Driving by the facility from Chambers street you cannot grasp the full layout of their campus, it is quite a range of structures with the primary building having been built in 1967 and the newest structure, The Women's Center, having been built in 2013.
From a facilities management standpoint, which was one of my inquiries that led to the visit, it is amazing to think that they are able to keep things maintained and functioning with 2 full time maintenance staff (that's 6.5 buildings and 3.75 acres each) on buildings some of which are nearly half a century old.
As I walked with my tour guides I was humbled by their care, they knew names of guests at the facility as well as who had assisted them in reaching benchmarks/project around the campus. Everyone from volunteers that were assisting in the one of a kind gardens, employees working in various capacities, volunteers who were assisting in the kitchen and guest/members of the The Eugene Mission Life Change program who were in their final sessions of re-entering the public as productive members of society.
One important distinction that rattled my assumptions was that those who visit The Eugene Mission have to be sober, they are constantly testing and confirming the commitment to sobriety, as the team members noted, "You cannot begin to restore your life if you are addicted to substances." The organization remains firm in this commitment to restoration but have changed gears with regards to requiring guests to attend chapel, "No where in the Bible do we see that Jesus required the people He interacted with to listen to a message before they were fed." Faith remains a core of what inspires the staff to engage in their mission and they believe that the power of God's love is essential to long term change in the lives of those they serve, but this aspect is not forced upon anyone in their care.
On average The Eugene Mission serves nearly 400 people every day - men, women and children in our community that are in various stages of need. There is a significant number of those guests served by The Eugene Mission that have a very short stay with the organization as their lives have been suddenly impacted and they just need a little bit of help before they are back on their feet. The Eugene Mission partners with organizations such as Goodwill which brings in staff every Friday to assist with job training assistance as well as other community or government organizations who are following up with guests they are working with.
Many guests served by The Eugene Mission have problems related to mental health, substance abuse or other traumatic experiences that are holding them back from restoring their lives, the organization has 5 full time social service case workers that are laboring to assist these persons in finding resource to get their health and lives back on track. Every guest of The Eugene Mission assists with at least 1 hour of chores, is required to shower and is given clean pajamas as well as bedding which significantly assists with maintaining cleanliness throughout the campus.
In addition to the transitional services that we traditionally think of, The Eugene Mission facilitates a 12-18 month intensive Life Change program that takes men and women who are intentional about rebuilding their lives and further equips them to achieve this goal. Members of this program undergo case supervision, life and skills training and put many those skills to work by daily assisting with areas such as food services as well as work around campus.
The Eugene Mission is a wellness center for the homeless in our community. While this contingency of our local population may be misunderstood or even seen to be a detriment in many areas, I believe it is an important distinction to understand the standards, process and reach of The Eugene Mission in their goal of restoring lives in our area. In their own words, "The Eugene Mission’s ultimate goal is to provide holistic long-term solutions that lead to the wellness of its guests. We are positive but assertive with our guests, asking as much of them as they do of us. We arm them with the skills they need to move forward, while inspiring and motivating them to do so."
I thought I knew, but after taking the tour I am humbled and inspired by the reach of The Eugene Mission. I would encourage you and your family, or your friends or your organization to set aside 30 minutes and take the tour of The Eugene Mission.
Let us help you build and execute a plan for achieving success in your personal and professional development.
Jon Isaacson has a monthly feature column with Restoration & Remediation (R&R) Magazine titled The Intentional Restorer