Allison, a mom of two toddlers, works for Trainertainment and recently wrote an excellent article for this very newsletter. (check it out here) She talked about the hassle of getting everyone in and out of cars, taking a change of clothes, and wanting to be in a clean, safe environment. Those are very important things to young moms.
Guess What? Those are very important things to old folks too.
Yours truly will be 55 this year.
(pause while I grab some kleenex)
Getting dressed, (and as Allison wisely pointed out) confirming you have a change of whatever garments you may need (none of your business), getting to the car, buckling up, DRIVING in traffic, getting out and walking in ANYWHERE, better be Clean, Comfortable and Inviting. We want fun too, but we want what I call, the CCI first.
If I walk in and there is litter, unrecognizable stuff on the floor or worse yet, a smell, strike one. If no one acknowledges or greets me, strike two. If staff act like I’m putting them out for being a customer, Strike three I’M OUT! Alison let us know Mom groups all over Facebook light up when there is a story-good or bad about a particular establishment. As a trainer and Facebook Manager for Trainertainment, believe me, I get my point across on social media as well. When I’m happy, okay when “we” (the collective “elderly”) are happy, we spend more, we come back more often, we tell our friends. (Take Note: When we are happy we tip BETTER)
And it is actually easy to make most of us happy.
(yes, like with every generation and age level, we have ours who cannot be made happy under any circumstance. Ignore it.)
For the rest of us. Try this. Seriously, just try it… Smile. Here is what the smile says to us. “WELCOME. We want you here. We know that because of you we have a job.” (We already know this, we just want you to know it too) So Smile and wipe down the tables. And if you smile while you wipe down the tables, not only will we notice, the BOSS will notice. If we notice, we tip better. (did I already say this?) And if I am happy I tell two people, they tell two people. Except in the case of Facebook, I tell 681 people and they tell, well you get the point. You might say don’t threaten me old lady, old people aren’t on Facebook. (LOL, SMH) Yes we are, and as a matter of fact, my boyfriend’s 91-year-old mother hopped on FB 2 months ago on her iPad and has begun to use a lot of !!!, LOL’s and words like “awesome”. We are on Facebook.
My generation has money to spend on CCI, so while I’m not in Depends yet (as far as you know) and I can still get myself to the car, buckle myself in and drive myself around, please make it worth my time, energy and money.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and all I have done for the past week or so is have a pity party that we won’t be celebrating the holidays with our family this year. No, they don’t have Thanksgiving in Indonesia; well at least it’s not a holiday for my husband or kids, and I have been told that Christmas just isn’t the same as back home. The holidays are my favorite time of year. There is something about the weather getting cooler, more time with my whole family, being in the kitchen all day cooking a turkey with all the trimmings, the sound of Christmas music and decorations going up at home and in the stores; you get the picture. But this year is different, we won’t be home for the holidays and I don’t even have an oven to cook a turkey in.
But this morning as I took my 1 ½ hour commute in a taxi home, I read a great blog from Bay Tek games about random acts of kindness and I looked out my window of the taxi and really thought, “Rosie, why are you having a pity party? You have so much to be thankful for. There are so many people around you that are struggling and have it much harder than you. There are about 9.8 million people here in Jakarta. The average monthly wage is about $350 a month, the people here do not have potable water and there are thousands of children and adults living on the street each day.”
We have only been in Jakarta for about six months now. I have always known how blessed we are, but this has been an even bigger eye opener for me. My husband has the opportunity of a lifetime to be the Dean of a new university, my children have grown so much attending a private school and we are getting to see parts of the world that most people couldn’t even imagine. So every day I am thankful for the opportunity to be in Jakarta. I am thankful that we have been so blessed to have a home, clothes, food and water. Thankful that I am surrounded by family and friends who have been so supportive while we have been gone. Thankful that we are from a country that we are given so much opportunity.
I am not a crier, but I tell you, I get so choked up around the holidays. I know it is a stressful time for so many people going from one house to another, and all the cooking, or trying to find that perfect gift. For me, it is all about being thankful for everything that we have and that we have the means to give to others. Since I was in college, I have volunteered and have done what I could do to give back to the community: tutoring inner city children, serving the homeless on Thanksgiving, Habitat for Humanity, visiting children’s hospitals, raising awareness about the Leukemia & Lymphoma society, and I have been even more fortunate to make it part of my career. While with the Isotopes I was able to be involved with and develop programs that gave back our community. At iTZ I implemented “iT’Z For A Good Cause” and we raised thousands of dollars for the Texas Children’s Hospital and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. TrainerTainment has sponsored and participated in events like Ballard vs. The Big C and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
A lot of times, I think we forget to be thankful; that we have one the greatest platforms and are able to give back, maybe not always in the form of money or items, but that we can give someone an experience. Maybe it’s just a day of forgetting all of their problems, to provide them with a day of fun. There are so many ways you can do it. Host a canned food drive, partner up with Meals on Wheels, open your center for a few hours for groups of kids who may not have a happy Thanksgiving or have a Christmas, host an Angel Tree, participate in Toy’s for Tots….I could go on and on. This year, my family and I have chosen to sponsor kids from an orphanage and an organization for kids that live on the streets. I challenge you to take a step back and think about not what we can do for ourselves, but what we can do for others and let’s do what we can to be thankful for everything we have this time of year.
We would love to hear from you. What are you most thankful for? Click here and share with us.
You’ve Got to Get Out of Your Head and Into Their Hearts. One of the most significant things I’ve learned as a business owner is that your team CANNOT read your mind.
As a business owner we have vision. We understand why we are willing to work until midnight and on weekends and holidays. It’s easy to overlook why you will risk it all. You believe that you are making a difference in the world.
Guy Kawasaki calls it “near obsession”.
We wonder why others might not see it as we do, and honestly, it is because you haven’t taken the time to get it out of your head and into the hearts of the people who serve the guests you are trying to take care of.
Help them understand why you do what you do. Tell them the story of why you are in business. Even if you are not the business owner you probably have a reason WHY you work for this company.
Tell your story. What do you stand for? Why do you show up every day? What do you mean to do?
I don’t care what job you have. If you don’t know why you are there… if you don’t know what difference you make in the world… if you don’t know that what you do matters… then you need to do something else. Remind your staff that they DO matter and they are part of your vision.
We just have this one life… this one chance. It needs to matter. Is what you do important? Do you matter? Does the world count on you showing up every day? We would love to hear from you. Click here and share with us on Facebook.
I was on a plane the other night waiting to be allowed to use my larger electronic device and I picked up the in-flight magazine. Morgan Freeman was on the cover. I so love him in anything that he does. I’d love to listen to him tell children’s stories some time. The article told of his longtime love of the small town in Mississippi where he grew up, and where he now lives again.
Years ago, a young middle school teacher in that small town went down to the water company where Morgan’s cousin worked and, on “a long shot request,” asked the cousin to ask Morgan to visit her class. She hoped for her students to learn that, despite the fact that their town was not the growing place it once had been, people from there could grow up and go on to achieve unbelievable success.
Morgan Freeman visited the class. While he was there, he talked to the children about the importance of goals and following your dreams – two of my favorite things. A few days later, he had an air conditioning unit installed in every classroom. Throughout the years, he’s given back to his community in many ways; from sponsoring the first integrated prom, to funding gymnastics programs for better health for the children.
The article brought tears to my eyes for a couple of reasons. It seems to me that he didn’t do it for the publicity – in truth that all happened years ago and I had never heard it before. He did it to make people’s lives better. He offered them comfort in the heat. He offered them an opportunity to set race aside, and a chance to have access to health programs they might never have had. To me, that’s so powerful and I admire his generosity.
But perhaps none of that would have happened without Glenna Callendar. Who? She was the teacher. She was the teacher who wanted to make her students’ lives better. She was the teacher who needed for her students to understand that they could follow their dreams, and that anything was possible. She was the teacher, who on a long shot, asked for help. To me, that’s every bit as powerful, maybe even more so because, really, what were the chances he would have come? What were the chances that IF he visited, he would develop a long time affection for the community and its school children?
In the end it didn’t matter what the odds were; what mattered is that she took the chance, and he responded kindly, and together they made a difference in many lives over the years. I admire that and it reminds me of how we’re in service to each other. This is a core value that I hold and part of the reason I choose to work with TrainerTainment. At our core, is that fundamental belief that we’re in service to our colleagues, families, clients, and our communities. So it makes me wonder what things we can do to spread that value. We recently participated in the Ballard vs the Big C Bowling Tournament in Dallas as a team. As you know cancer has touched our TrainerTainment family. We struck back at cancer by sponsoring a team and showing our support for the cause. During the holidays, lots of centers will partner with local food banks, Angel Tree Programs, Make a Wish and other organizations to spread good will. Others will do things on a smaller scale and host a Charity night where a portion of the proceeds are donated to a school or charity. And some simply choose families in their community to serve. There is so much opportunity out there to serve others. After reading that article, I feel inspired to take more chances in my own quest to make a difference in the world. I hope you will, too.
We would love to know what you have done in the past or ideas that you have for ways we can help others. If everyone did something, can you imagine the possibilities? That’s a world to be proud of.