We all know money doesn’t buy happiness, although most of us still want to give it a shot. Just think about all the wealthy rock stars, actors and athletes over your lifetime that have ended up turning to drugs, alcohol and large numbers of marriages; hard to count them on both hands. They had dreams; they worked hard and paid the price, finally sticking it out long enough to fulfill their dreams. But when they got to the top, they still weren’t happy.
As opposed to them, Art Williams wants to help us understand in this chapter that crusaders tend to have the highest quality of life in addition to achieving their financial dreams. Here are a couple reasons for this:
Crusaders add meaning to life – People need to be a part of something bigger than them and need to be active participants in some great event. Life is always richer when it reaches beyond your own doorstep.
Crusaders die hard – People on a crusade have an edge in life. They have inner strength and toughness that can’t be manufactured any other way. A dream backed up by a crusade is virtually an unstoppable combination. A crusade is a cause that’s bigger than you are and has an impact that reaches beyond your own wants and needs.
A good example of this principle in the business world was Henry Ford. During his lifetime automobiles were a luxury and only available to the rich. His crusade was to produce them cheaply enough so that every American family could own one. Today, most American families have two.
A powerful non-business example of a crusader was a middle aged woman in Montgomery, AL. who decided that having to give up her seat on the bus, just because she was black, was unfair. So she took a stand for the equality of all people and every one of us today realizes the impact that Rosa Parks’ stand for human rights had in changing the course of history.
Hopefully your company is continually looking for crusaders to recruit as future employees, because crusaders stand for something. They believe honesty and integrity are priorities. It’s just not good enough to take a job simply because it’s a good money making opportunity. You must be willing to want to really serve your customers and provide them honest advice for the problems they encounter that your company addresses.
After you complete your diagnosis, if they don’t need your service or product, you must tell them. Even when it means “no sale” you must put them ahead of your selfish desires. Consider that you can achieve anything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they need and want…as long as you make sure you help them get theirs first. That philosophy must drive you from the time you wake up in the morning until you go horizontal at night.
Steve Bartkowski, an Atlanta Falcons quarterback from 1975-1985 once said, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” You must have a crusade to always do what’s right for your customers and prospects, regardless what you sell or service.
Sometimes when you stand strong like this and take an unwavering position, you become controversial, and it’s not unusual for you to endure shots from competitors every day. These critics would love to work for a company with name recognition and a reputation like yours, but rather than do that, they just snipe from the sidelines. It’s similar to what happened in the old western movies; as the wagon train would slowly come through the town, the dogs would keep barking and yapping. But the wagon train continued on without paying any attention to them or the noise they made.
But in business today the only way not to be controversial is to settle for being average and ordinary, but that should be the last thing anybody would want to be labeled.
Once you find your personal crusade, you will never be the same again, because it will be much more than a job. Sure, you will work hard, but you won’t mind since the cause is bigger than you. Discouragement will certainly occur, but when it does, just go talk to a satisfied customer and listen to their positive feelings about what you did for them and how it improved their life. That will pump you up and get you ready to head back into the battle once again.
I (Doug) have heard Art say so many times that the best part about a crusade is that it motivates you to reach higher and farther. It makes you get out of bed in the morning and go when you really would rather just sleep in.
Now I’ll admit that I don’t know anybody who grew up playing the role of a helpful business crusader because that was their mission in life. Most of us played cowboys and Indians. But I do know there are thousands of people who have come to find a workplace with a cause worth fighting for, and as a result of helping by being crusaders, they have done very well financially for their families, too.
How about weighing and Speak Your Mind below, telling us your thoughts about Art’s philosophy on being a crusader in your vocation.
©2013 Robinson Training Solutions, LLC