I have a beautiful quotation printed on my business cards by a very wise woman, Peggy Tabor Millin. I want to be able to see it every day because I want to remind myself CONSTANTLY that every person that I meet, every person that I come into contact with, every person that I speak to (even over the phone) is significant, special and important. The quotation goes like this:
“We never touch people so lightly that we do not leave a trace” – Peggy Tabor Millin
How beautiful is that? The impact of this for me is to help me remember that the waiter who is serving me in the Mugg & Bean may currently be a student at Varsity or Tech (I’m giving my age away here), but in a few years time, he might be a manager in a company with decision-making capability over whether or not to use my services. He may own his own company and be looking for a marketing consultant, and might remember the conversation he had with this nice lady years ago while he was still a waiter and he might look me up on LinkedIn and recognise me because of my short blonde hair…
Let me illustrate this with a true example. My husband and I used to own an engineering business, and we hired a guy as a driver. Victor was a particularly fast and skillful driver as he had driven a taxi for some years to help pay his way through a year of Tech to get some electrical engineering under his belt. After a while, my husband pulled him across into the workshop and trained him up slowly on the electrical side. To cut a long story short, Vic is now working for a large multi-national who have sent him on all sorts of courses and qualifications, he drives a beautiful car and will be getting married within the next couple of months in Polokwane. He taught me to understand to enormous pressures that taxi drivers are under on the roads and the terrible conditions that they live under, working long hours, no physical exercise, poor nutrition and constant stress. He managed to break that cycle and create another life and future for himself.
I want you to look beyond the immediate reality of the people that you come across and see the potential. This person could one day recommend you or your services to someone, they could – in years to come – make or break you. Respect their future potential as well as their present being.