I wrote this post in 2011 - I still love the message.
I got to shop this weekend with 2 of 3 of my daughters, my oldest daughter Abigayle (16) and my youngest Elly Grace (9). While the main purpose of the little, retail therapy excursion was to enjoy some time together, Elly Grace couldn't help but be tempted by all that she wanted. I will admit, even at 9, the girl has style, and a great sense of taste! While I explained to her that this was NOT a buying trip, it was merely a fun girls day out, she really wasn't grasping the concept and the incessant "I want!" "Can I have?" "Mommy pleeeaaasse!!!" became a little too much. I attempted to explain to her the difference between need and want (as best I could in Charming Charlie's at Oak Brook Center surrounded by more temptation than a Super Bowl party spread two weeks into a diet). It calmed the nagging requests, but she really wasn't thrilled with learning the difference between the two, and honestly, I can relate. We want what we want...right? As I thought about what I was trying to teach Elly, it made to stop and realize that as adults, we don't necessarily have this lesson learned ourselves. I am not talking in the materialistic/economic perspective that permeates our American entitlement attitudes. What I thought about, was our relationships, our goals, and our business endeavors. Do you spend your time in those areas giving what you want, or being what you need? I have heard it said that in life we are more focused on "What are others being, doing, saying, asking, bringing, expecting, giving, taking, creating, experiencing" because others fulfill my wants. When in reality, we should be most concerned about "What am I being, doing, saying, asking, bringing, expecting, giving, taking, creating, experiencing" because I can fulfill my own needs. We should be what we want reciprocated to us. It is in being more concerned about your actions that you are allowed to truly control who you are and who you become. So, yeah, this may sound like a peculiar topic for a business newsletter, and perhaps it is, but I truly believe that it should translate into the workplace, into our relationships with customers, stakeholders, vendors and co-workers. I believe this could be a way of doing business, a mindset when meeting with others, a philosophy of our corporate cultures. As a new business, we are trying to find our economic foothold and in so doing, we are somewhat willing to do what it takes to get to the ultimate "positive cash flow" status. But we are not willing to do it by compromising "Who We Are And What We Become
." And so I ask you again... as a business professional, are you giving what you want, or being what you need? I wonder how those you serve would answer that question. The great news is, there is no time like the present.