我很快的發覺自己不必把客戶局限在現有的旅行社，很多人願意從事；所以我任他們為我們航空公司的旅行社。我甚至把芝加哥的「猶太肉販工會」當做旅行社。我們有一段航線是從芝加哥到邁阿密，很多猶太人飛去邁阿密；你無法想像「猶太肉販工會」賣了多少張去邁阿密的機票。另外一個不尋常的「旅行社」是殯儀館。我還為他們寫了標語 … 「要去任何地方嗎？」他們出售機票給客戶的外地親人。過了幾個月，公司要我去底特律開辦事處。
3. Don’t settle for less than the best you can do: Doing your best should be a habit… nothing unusual. Doing less than your best is a compromise with mediocrity. It’s an easy habit to fall into. Avoid it.
You are all blessed with a good education, a good moral foundation, a good spiritual foundation and parents that take their job in your life seriously. You’ve got all the tools to make important contributions to society if you’re motivated.
So who do you think is responsible for being sure that you are motivated and that you actually do the right things? Your parents? Your school? Your religious institutions? Or you? You, of course. While your parents, your school and your religious institutions have a responsibility to expose you to and help you adopt responsible values, in the end, it is up to you to feel, to think and to act. If you can’t manage yourself, your feelings, your thoughts and your motivation, no one can. So here are a few tips that will help you take control of yourself and launch you on the way to living a meaningful life.
• See the big picture every day. Set aside a few minutes every day for review. Think about how you have advanced along the path you set for yourself. Identify the distractions you could do without. Take a few minutes to plan tomorrow, especially focus on the most important things you need to accomplish. It’s a good idea to write notes or make a list of Things To Do. I do it all the time.
• Every day, think about how you can improve what you do. When I started in the airline business in Chicago, I was a telephone reservation operator. I had some ideas on how to increase sales so I asked my manager to put up a suggestion box. He did. And every day I put at least one suggestion into the suggestion box about how to improve sales. Most of the time, my suggestions were the only ones in the box. Some of the suggestions turned out to be good ideas that increased sales.
In a few months they promoted me to being a salesman selling travel agents on the idea of selling tickets on our airline. Within four months my travel agents were selling more tickets on our airline than all the other travel agents combined. I was able to do that because every day I forced myself to think about a way I could grow the business for the airline. I soon realized that I did not have to limit my clients to existing travel agents. A lot of people would like to be travel agents so I made them travel agents for our airline. I even made the Kosher Butcher’s Association of Chicago a travel agent. One of our routes was from Chicago to Miami, and a lot of Jewish people flew to Miami. You can’t believe how many tickets to Miami Kosher Butchers sold.
Another unusual “travel agent” was a mortuary. I even wrote a slogan for them…“Traveling anywhere?” They sold tickets to out of town family members of their clients. So, in a few more months they asked me to open an office in Detroit.
They gave me a check for $1,000 and told me to go to Detroit, open a bank account and then open an office. I did what I do. I started making lists of ways to grow the business. Every morning I wrote down five ideas. Some of them turned out to be very good ideas. In less than a year, our office in Detroit was selling more tickets from Detroit to Los Angeles than American Airlines and more tickets from Detroit to Miami than Eastern Airlines. So they asked me to become the regional manager for all the offices from Pittsburgh to Kansas City and from Milwaukee to St. Louis. A few years later I quit and went to work in another new industry, television. I kept on thinking of new ways to make business work and eventually helped create the pay television industry.
• Think about who you are and who you can be: Some people think we are what we eat. And I must admit that in some sense we can say our body is what we eat.
However, our personality, our values, our commitments, what we say and most of all, what we do, really defines who we are. Our genetic makeup, the love of our parents, the training in school and in church or temple, and the friends we keep all affect who we become. But the key player in all of this is you. You don’t get to decide if it rains, you get to decide how to feel about the rain and what to do about it. You can get into a funk and think about all the things the rain is preventing you from doing or you can celebrate the rain, dance in it and rejoice knowing that rain nurtures life all around you. Think good thoughts. Think about solutions, not problems; about contributing, not getting a free ride. Think about giving, not receiving.
• Establish goals: If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there… but you won’t know when you’ve arrived. Once you know where you are going, you have to figure out how to get there. The best way is to set interim goals called milestones. As you reach each milestone, you gain confidence in achieving your ultimate goal. As we have already seen, your confidence in yourself is very important.
By the way, sometimes it is difficult to define your goals succinctly. Sometimes you can discover a way to express your goals by identifying all the things you want to avoid.
As you mature, your goals will mature. That’s good. Life is not a single race to the finish line. There are lot’s of games along the way.
• Embrace change: Not long ago people relied on the fact that tomorrow would be just like yesterday. That time has passed. Everything is changing, even change is changing. It is changing at an increasing rate. So learn to deal with change. Learn to anticipate it, learn to use it, and learn to manage it.
• Take responsibility for your actions: Be responsible for what you do or don’t do. When things go wrong, try to determine the actual cause of the failure so that you can learn from the mistakes but also be ready to accept responsibility for your part in the process. The only people that don’t make mistakes are people that do nothing… and to me, that is the biggest mistake anyone can make.
4. You can be positive and wrong at the same time: I have been both positive and wrong at the same time, and I’m sure that I will do it again and again: Keep in mind that you can be both positive and wrong at the same time. That should not keep you from being positive and it certainly won’t keep you from being wrong. But it will nurture your skepticism. Don’t be afraid to question yourself and question your assumptions.
5. Respect difference: There is almost always more than one right way: When you have found a right way for yourself, that’s wonderful. When you begin to think it is the only right way for others, it’s terrible. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely wrong ways. And evil people do evil things. Sometimes, even good people do evil things. I’m not suggesting that we should accept evil or evil acts. But I am saying that it is difference that adds color to life and that we must respect difference not try to create uniformity.
America is sometimes thought of as a melting pot…I see it more as a mosaic, a lot of different pieces that go together to make a greater whole. Only so long as each piece maintains its unique characteristic will they form a larger and even more meaningful organization. What would the mosaic look like if all the pieces were the same? It would not be very interesting. This lesson should help you maintain your uniqueness, yet be a member of a group and still allow you to join with others in a larger context because of your differences not in spite of them.
6. Make trust a conscious decision: Almost everything we do in life involves trust. Some people trust everyone and everything until the trust is violated and some people don’t trust anyone or anything until trust is earned. Most people don’t think about trusting, they “feel” it. I believe that our instincts, feelings, typically serve us well, but they work better when aided by conscious thought.
Throughout life you will have partners… partners in marriage, partners in business and partners in friendship to name a few. Learn to be a good partner and to help your partners be good partners. I define a good partner as someone that watches out for me while I am watching out for them.
A relationship of mutual trust, mutual respect and mutual help brings partners together. When you start to focus on what you are getting out of the partnership and your partner does the same, you are pulled apart.
To be continued