Sunday, August 15, 2010

You Don't Know Schmitt

This weekend I had the pleasure of spending 3 days on Smith Lake with a very special group of friends.  The circuitous county roads that led us to our lake house gave us a great glimpse at life in the area.  There was  everything from multi-million dollar lake-front homes to single-wide trailers; well-manicured lawns & boat docks to comfortably small country abodes. Most of the roads we drove on were neither lined nor labeled properly.  The important thing is that we all eventually arrived at our weekend respite excited for the adventures that lay ahead.

My hope and optimism going into the long weekend was captured in one place alone: The Future Home of Schmitt's Goat Farm.    You don't know this man named Schmitt, but here's what we do know.  Schmitt is impressive.  He's got a dream.  He knows where he's going in life.  And he wants you to know too.  Schmitt is living his dream out loud;  all of the capital letters on his sign tell me so.

Schmitt is a purposeful man.   He is both careful and determined. He chooses his words with great reflection. The period after every word on his sign tells me he has thought about this goat farm long and hard.  Schmitt chose to stake his claim in Arley, Alabama, and anyone else even thinking about a goat farm within a 100-mile radius had better reconsider. 

But even with careful inspection, we still don't know Schmitt.  There's quotations around "Goat Farm."  Are we really talking goats, or are you up to something else, Mr. Schmitt?  Are you a sarcastic man?  What is it that you want us to infer from this supposed "Goat Farm" you've begun?  Maybe its some kind of inside joke.

The humor therein makes me think of all of the inside jokes found among a tight circle of friends.  If you weren't there, then its tough to infer what really happened from a humorous remark. Maybe that sly reference you overheard meant something else altogether.  If you have to ask, you probably don't want to know. If you don't know what I'm talking about, then you don't know Schmitt.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Go-Giver's Law of Receptivity: The Final Law in the Go-Giver Series

"The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving."

Wrapped into the final Go-Giver Law is an assurance that the effort put into giving will-and should- translate into an opportunity to receive.  It is OK to receive benefit from others since that receiving is the result of another's effort to be giving.   After all, we're all in this together on some level, aren't we?

Receptivity requires both diligence and faith that others will come through for you.  Sometimes that faith is affirmed, and sometimes its not.  In my role in outside sales, I've been stood up a fair number of times by prospects.  In fact it even happened this week.  Sure, there was a minor annoyance that my time wasn't being used effectively.  I just had to remind myself that scheduling conflicts and forgotten appointments happen. 

For me, The Law of Receptivity is about maintaining a positive attitude and marching into the next meeting open to a new opportunity;  not stewing over the last missed meeting.  This week, The Law of Receptivity paid off.  There's a spark in the air when you have a great meeting with a new contact and ideas start flowing freely.  The energy is almost palpable, and an hour passes in what seems like minutes.

On Friday I met with a wonderful woman from a university and the partnership opportunities for our organizations were spot on.   We both left the meeting super-charged with optimism and excitement for our upcoming work together.    But that meeting went well because I cast off the disappointment of earlier days and came to the table with an open mind, ready to receive.

Yes, I'll reschedule that missed appointment.  I'm sure it will work out just fine.