Love is the Answer
I had a great mom.
She always used to say, “No Matter the Question, Love is the Answer.” This maxim weaves itself through all facets of life—from personal to vocational to emotional and beyond.
My mom didn’t just repeat the saying, she embodied it. Among other things, she encouraged me to draw – something I did tirelessly. I used to love to draw trees. Not just “sort of” draw trees–I used to draw every branch, every leaf and detail.
Later when I went to school, I saw how the other children drew trees: a simple trunk drawn with two lines and a poofy cloud to represent the leaves – something that could be drawn in a few seconds.
Somehow, after seeing the other children draw trees, I decided that the detailed trees I drew weren’t good enough. I stopped drawing the detailed trees that I used to and started to draw trees like the other children.
I found out later that when my mother saw this, she cried.
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Fast forward a few years: I was eight-years-old. After attending one of my Little League games, my mother suddenly had a very severe headache. She complained that it was “worse than childbirth.”
“I love you,” I said to my mom just before my father took her to the hospital. She never came back. I remember praying so hard that God would spare my mother’s life. However, two days later, I watched as my mother, who had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, was taken off life support.
Why did my mom die? I have asked this question many times. Could it truly be that my mom was right? That no matter the question, love really is the answer?
My mom’s influence, even though she passed away decades ago, is stronger now.
No matter what the question, love is the answer. In life. In families. Even in business. You may think this is trite, oversimplified or even a bit ridiculous. However, let me demonstrate how love is the answer even in business.
I was sitting face-to-face with a high-level director of a sizeable organization in New York. He told me that I was the only salesperson that he had let into his office regarding the product that I was selling. I was surprised. I knew competition was fierce in this particular market. He then told me that the reason that he had let me present to him was because I was “nice” to his secretary. Think about that – he didn’t say it was because I was a great salesperson or had a brilliant marketing approach. He didn’t say it was because the company I was with had a great website or that our online media or social media presence and marketing was outstanding. He said that I got the appointment with him because I was “nice” to his secretary.
What had happened was this: After speaking to the secretary and asking for an appointment with her boss, I wrote an email in which I had sincerely complimented her to her boss. I had chosen to do something nice, to love, the secretary, whether or not she gave me the appointment. When I complimented the secretary to her boss, I truly wanted to help her with something that was important to her – her career. The fact that I got the appointment with the decision maker was simply a byproduct of choosing to love.
How do you get an appointment with the decision maker? Love is the answer.
So, a common business question: How do you get an appointment with the decision maker?
Love is the answer.
Love melts defenses. When you choose to truly care about the person, he or she will sense it. If you are trying to manipulate, they will sense it. You have to be genuinely interested in helping the other person. Be brave enough to love. Every person you meet has good days and bad days, disappointments and excitements, and wants to be recognized and acknowledged–just like you. Be willing to do something to truly help others, whether or not they help you.
Though my mother passed away nearly three decades ago, her message, that love is the answer, influences me with more strength now than ever. When approached about writing an article about how love melts defenses as it relates to business, I knew I had a choice. I could write a sterile article with bland and typical statistics on how customer appreciation retains customers and increases sales, or I could write the way I truly see things. I realize that this may not be your typical business article. However, because of my mother’s love, I am going to draw trees, and write articles, the way I see them.
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