As a feed salesman, I need an opening line whenever I call on my customers and prospects. I need something that will open the door to them and help build a relationship. People do business with people not entities. So as I made my rounds last week, my opening line was something like, “Ready for the New Year? Do you have any resolutions?” Most would shrug their shoulders and say something like “same ole same ole”, however occasionally you would come across someone with a resolution of losing weight, keep better records or go some place with the family.
But then I ran into Bud Wilson. His response made me stop and think. The exchange went something like this:
“Hello Bud. Ready for the New Year?” I asked.
“Do I have options?” he asked with a grin.
I laughed and then ask, “got any new plans for this year?”
“Yes” he said rather matter-of-factly. “I plan to hug the kids more often, tell the wife I love her everyday, talk to my folks at least once a week and make sure that I say thanks to everyone that helps me with some aspect of my business.”
Well now I was sort of taken aback with his statement, so I probed a little deeper. “ Will you explain your reasoning on this?”
He explained, “ Suppose I had been a wealthy businessman with offices on the 110th floor of the World Trade Towers in January 2001 and my resolution had been to retire December 31, 2001? Or what if in 2002 I had resolved to take a vacation in May of 2002 and had been driving on Interstate 40 through Webber Falls that morning of May, 26th? Or by a quirk of chance in 2003 I had been walking through a farmers market in Santa Monica when Russell Weller drove into it? Or what if I had planned a Christmas vacation in Sri Lanka for 2004? In any of those cases, my life would have been lost.”
“Well that’s true, “ I conceded, “but a guy can’t go through life worried every minute.”
“Very true!” Bud concluded, “but, I want people remembering me for what I am, not what I want to become or what I plan to do. While it is true you can’t go around worried about life, you should at least leave the major things, such as family, knowing that they were your primary agenda.”
What Bud said stuck with me the rest of the day and I guess still does. He was right. What are your resolutions for the next year?