We hear constantly on the news about another shooting, political uproar, or some other disaster. That’s why it’s so important to seek out the good in the world and pay attention to everyday interactions. We have the power to make our break someone’s day. As Mother Teresa said, “if you can’t feed a hundred people, feed just one.” People are hungry. Hungry for love. Mother Teresa observed a great poverty in our country. A poverty of love. In Mother Teresa’s words:
“The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God. “Mother Teresa
I believe customer service has a unique opportunity to feed those hungry for love. It provides the right circumstances for human connection. People need a product already, so one of the barriers to connection is broken down and the rest is a golden opportunity to get to know them.
My New Business
As you may or may not have seen on social media, I just started my Mary Kay business. I decided I wanted to start Mary Kay because I want to earn extra income and have more social time. What I didn’t realize, however, was the impact it would have on me.
At my first Mary Kay party, it was so exciting to be invited into someone’s home. I enjoyed going through my presentation, and afterward I chatted with the hostess. It was fun sharing tidbits about our life, and validating and complimenting each other. I felt more energized after this interaction than I have in a long time.
You see, I’ve struggled with self-doubt before embarking on this new business venture. The thoughts going through my mind have been:
- I’m going to be taking away time from my family.
- What if this is a mistake?
- What if no one buys anything?
- What if I’m not good at it?
What I have found, however, is that upon coming home from this interaction, I had more love and energy to give to my family. I also made my first sale, and I feel like I made a friend. I also discovered that I have what it takes.
The Human Connection
My favorite part of all of this, though, is the human connection. This takes me back to my Starbucks days where we were taught “we aren’t in the coffee business serving people, we are in the people business serving coffee.” This is completely inline with my values. I firmly believe in making everybody feel like a somebody. I will take that with me wherever I go.
As a stay-at-home mom, I could go through my whole day without interacting with everyone, especially since I am an efficient shopper, I don’t need to go to the store very often. This, however, leaves me feeling isolated and lonely. People used to depend on each other for SURVIVAL. You had to go barter in the marketplace. If you wanted bread, you went to the bakery, if you wanted meat, you went to the butcher, if you needed canned goods, you went to the grocer. This meant that you developed relationships with all of these people. You learned their name. You memorized what they ordered. You remember details about their life. We can’t discount the power of these kind of interactions, these human connections. They can truly make your day. Some people go through their whole day and their only interaction was with their Starbucks barista. I remember customers like this. That’s what made my role so important. It wasn’t about the sales primarily.. The sales were a byproduct of taking good care of other people.
I went to Walmart the other day to buy a printer. There was only one guy working in the electronics section, and he was undoubtedly underpaid and overworked but he was upbeat as can be, and he was so knowledgeable. He helped me find the exact printer I was looking for, one that would have the cheapest cartridges because that would be the part I would be replacing the most often. He even noticed my shirt, it said “Hello Neighbor” and it had an image of Mr. Rogers. He told me that Mr. Rogers replied to every letter ever written to him, which I did not know, and which also makes me love him more. He also said he was did terribly at interviews because he also sought to know the other person. Here’s the video he was referring to:
When he sold me my printer, I gave him a high five because he was just excellent in every way, and he cared about me getting what I needed.
Don’t Let Your Family Be an Excuse
Being there for our family is so important. As Mary Kay puts it, “God first, family second, career third”. And I couldn’t agree more. But most of us have gifts that can be used outside of the home that can bless others, and we ought not bury these gifts in the ground in the name of giving everything to our family. We need to shine a light for others. We can’t let our family be an excuse for us to hide our light. We may have times where the needs of our family are all-consuming, but that probably isn’t all the time. Check this video out: