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Paying It Forward

Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make you feel like a success: winning a new client, or helping a stranger?

Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make you feel like a success.

This week I had the opportunity to pitch my first customer in a whole new vertical for us and was noticeably taken back with the level of excitement on both sides of the table.  The meeting was one that I had prepared for over several days, and even caught the early, early train into Penn Station just for that extra bit of insurance.

Well the clock ticks, the client loves it and sends me off three hours later with an approved statement of work.   Now what?   You got it - Grab a quick bite to eat and get back on that train...  As usual, the Italian in me orders too much food and I'm staring at an untouched fast food burger.   Am I going to drag it on the LIRR and smell like a human French fry in a suit?   Nope.   But I felt strange throwing it away too.   My mom says there are people starving in faraway countries.

Turns out, there are people starving here to.  Now I've also heard that you should give your donations to well-known charities because you know a big percentage gets to the people who need it, while beggars will likely use money to buy alcohol & drugs.  I even believed it, but today I'm not so sure they're all bad.

That burger, a simple $2 double cheese burger transformed a frail looking gentleman who looked to be in his mid-forties, with gray hair and tattered clothes turn into a child on Christmas morning.   He appreciated the simple gift as if it were a bar of gold with the biggest smile and high pitch inflection in his voice.  He thanked me, not the way he thanked the person ahead of me who gave him a penny - but he really thanked me.  

Looking back, I don't know who really got the bigger gift.   Winning a client's trust was amazing, but when I look back my achievement for the day - it was that very moment he smiled – not the client. 

He received a cheap meal, but I got a memory that will warm my heart for years and years to come. 

After being devastated by 9/11, power outages and now hurricanes - Let’s come together and do something nice for our neighbors.  It doesn't need to cost you big money, but the payback is immense!

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