Even a broken clock is right two or three times a day

I am well on my way to reading one book every week  pursuant to my new year’s resolution. This week, I am exploring “The magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz. In one chapter he narrates a  story of an irate guest at a hotel who sent a telegram to reserve a room for a single occupant but who came to the hotel clerk requesting  hotel room with double occupancy. The customer insulted the clerk threatening to have him fired and questioned his intelligence. The young clerk apologized but declared that he was merely following instructions.

The author was next in line to deal with the clerk but was pleasantly surprised when the clerk greeted him warmly. The author told the clerk that he admired the way that he dealt with the previous customer. The clerk stated that he refused to be infuriated by a customer like that, he empathised with the man and supposed that he was having marital problems and that the man used him as a scapegoat to feel superior. The clerk added that “…underneath he is  probably a nice guy, most folks are…”

The author then suggested that we remember this statement the next time someone “declares war on us. He said the best way to deal with situations like this is to let the other person say their piece, then forget about it”.

We have nothing to lose by following this approach. Instead of responding to their insults , especially for those of us who work in the service industry, it is wise to hold our tongue. There is nothing to gain by charging with bitter words. The other person may in fact be experiencing some trying times and may simply want attention. Although you may find that your minimum wage does not pay you enough to take insults, I am sure by the following week that you will forget the exchange of words.

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Remember your training, follow the protocol then be emotional for a brief moment

Training has a major impact on our minds . A young man who was trained in the army will never be the same again. A student who receives training at Law School will analyze everything. Apart from preparing us for a career,training will impact the way that we interact with others. I saw the new Kingsman movie with my best friend and after Eggsy’s home was destroyed he became flustered. Merlin appeared and warned him to “…Remember his training,follow the doomsday protocol ,and then be emotional for a brief moment”. There was so much wisdom in that statement. It is easy to feel overwhelmed when we are faced with difficult times. We can let our emotions rule us, and not ‘feel’ to go to work. Everyone can see that we are upset or sad and this is where emotional intelligence skills are displayed. In this age of ‘unsocial media’ we may post a status or a video that we may soon regret. We have to remember our training. After that,there should be certain steps to take in the event of disappointment. This may include ‘plan B’ or it may include leaving an abusive relationship and returning to your family home. For a fleeting moment,shed a tear. Express your frustrations in a private corner and leave them there. Do not nurse the wounds from a past lover, do not nurture the hate. To do otherwise, is to plant the seeds of bitterness and resentment. This makes life appear grim and unbearable. 

Get rid of toxic people : Say NO to Narcissists 

People underestimate the importance of their backs. If you are having back pains you will have grave difficulty functioning. Your central nervous system consists of your brain and your spinal cord. Your spinal cord runs along your back. Spine injuries may render the victim cripple. I was watching the second installment of Independence Day (2016) and the alien invader was destroyed by shooting her in the back. One of the men who was fighting to save the World advised his comrades to aim for the alien’s back because that was her weakness. I took a moment to process this and I recalled that the human back is also a vulnerable area. We always lament when persons known to us say negative about us “behind our backs “. We become bitter when they “stab us in the back”, wouldn’t it hurt more to aim for our hearts ? I think not,because a broken heart can mend. But a broken back, will never be whole again. In this era of user friendly people ,we have to guard our backs. We have to watch our own backs because a friend,is a known enemy. 

Do not blow up too quickly: Enjoy the entrepreneurial ride

Do not expand to quickly, you may implode. I was contacted by a representative of a local telecommunications service  provider. He tried to convince me to advertise in  the local telephone directory. That way ,he said, I would attract new prospects. At the time I was discussing this proposition with a brilliant business professional. She asked me what I would do with all those incoming calls . She said that I may be overwhelmed and I agreed. The telephone directory also has an online version, the result is double exposure. I carefully considered the advice and I told the representative that I may contact him in the next 5 years.

I have been binge watching comedy series from the 80’s and 90’s. While watching an episode of “Sister,Sister” Lisa started a business, she made dresses and offered them for sale. Her first customer bought a dress and Lisa felt invincible. She started planning to attract new customers. She called the media houses and asked for quotations to place advertisements. She was advised by Ray that she should take it slowly and not expand too quickly. Lisa placed the advertisement and the same client came knocking on her door.Ray answered the door and gave the first customer a full cash refund and accepted the dress that she wanted to return. He hid the dress that was returned in order to protect Lisa’s feelings. Lisa was upset when she discovered the truth but she was determined to bring her dream to pass. She realised that she needed to conduct the business on a small scale then ,eventually she would expand.

I recalled a conversation with one of my clients , he indicated that equipment should not be purchased unless a contract was secured. He said that a business must be gradually expanded , creep then walk.

I want to appeal to you ,although you may be ambitious, life will knock your socks off. Be patient, trust the process. Do not take loans to acquire equipment if it seems that work is not forthcoming. The equipment has a minimum of 6 months warranty. In the event that you do not get any clients, you will not have cause to use the equipment and detect any flaws. The warranty may expire before you get a client. You will then have to pay to repair or replace the equipment. Should you decide to sell the equipment, you will lose money because of depreciation.

Remember success is 1% inspiration and 99% persistence , so please learn as much as you can, acquire contracts then expand,in that order.

About the Author:

A.Sydney is an attorney at law in Trinidad and Tobago. She specializes in AML/CFT//Tax Compliance, and provides Corporate Secretarial Services to local and international giants in various industries. Feel free to explore the website for her portfolio of companies and add her on social media:

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