The Green Sheet Online Edition
August 10, 2009 • Issue 09:08:01
As in work, so in life
||How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.|
– Annie Dillard
Many facets of life are within your control. If you're like most people, you surround yourself with possessions to ease your burdens, bring you joy or express your unique taste and style. But the framework within which everything - both tangible and abstract - operates is time. Time is uncontrollable, but the course of your life and how you make every moment count is completely in your control.
What if you were able to see into the future and found out that you were going to die in two weeks? How do you think you might react? Would such knowledge motivate you or fill you with a sense of dread? With such a short time left, what would you do in those few precious days?
If you truly thought about how finite life is, would you learn to live in the moment and squeeze every drop of life out of each encounter, no matter how routine? Do you think relationships would matter more to you? And if so, what would that mean for the people in your life?
It is difficult to speculate on the hypothetical, but in a practical sense there are two ways to go: You could fall into a depression and count the hours and minutes until your time is up - or you might be inspired to dash off and take that dream vacation or perhaps reconnect with old friends or distant relatives. You may decide to be philanthropic and devote your time and financial resources to a worthy cause.
But how does this relate to you as a payment professional? What could you do to leave a legacy to others in your professional sphere?
Two weeks notice
When merchant level salespeople (MLSs) give two weeks notice on the job, it's nothing like facing death, but it is a life change. Imagine you have given notice and are leaving your present employer on good terms. How should you spend your last days with the company, the one that has helped you learn and grow into an exceptional employee, salesperson and leader?
Would you be generous to your co-workers or would you distance yourself from them as your last day neared? What sort of parting message do you want to leave? To end your tenure on a positive note, here are some things you could do to give back to your colleagues:
- Brief your replacement on the contacts you've made that may still bear fruit. If no replacement is at hand, document your progress to date.
- Make sure your filing system, both paper and electronic, is in order.
- Document procedures instituted under your watch so that others can benefit from your efforts.
- Introduce your replacement to your most valued clients, making the transition easier for both the new hire and the clients. The next time those merchants meet other merchants who may need a new processor, you might get the referral.
- Add notes to contact information about merchants - birthdays, anniversaries, family members and personal quirks, and the special things you do for them.
- Be generous with words of encouragement to your co-workers, and offer to provide references or personal recommendations for those who excelled.
No more procrastination
On the personal side, don't ever be afraid to share your feelings, make amends where needed and reconnect with those you've lost touch with. If you knew you had a short time left on this earth, would you sweat the little things? Would you waste time with grudges and trivialities?
Maybe you have shied away from doing things that seem extravagant, or perhaps you've always put things off because you're too busy working. But what price can you put on seminal experiences? Are a few more dollars in the bank worth sacrificing things that could bring new meaning to your life and deepen relationships with those you care about?
You know better than anyone else what you want to experience before you die. Give yourself permission to pursue those goals now.
The trick is to accept the truth of mortality without becoming morbid - to remember that today will never come again, so it should be spent wisely.
Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.