Let me tell you a story that I hope will inspire small business people and anyone who finds this story most interesting. If youve read my Bio, I’ve made a few lucky breaks in my life. Luck is when preparedness meets opportunity (along with your Vision). If you havent yet, click the tab at the top of my site “About Chris Voss” and you can see my Vision has made its own way.
I’ll never forget a point in my young life where I was down to my last $20. I saw a guy sitting beside a 7-11, living out of a shopping cart. I was moved to help him. He impressed me because homeless though he was, he was tentatively reading the paper very smartly. I thought this is a guy whos down on his luck or his choices. His cart was filled with the basics to live a simple life. I watched him read the paper for a bit and remembered something Tony Robbins had taught me, that sometimes THE MOST IMPORTANT TIME TO GIVE IS WHEN YOU ALMOST HAVE NOTHING BUT YOURSELF TO GIVE. Sometimes when you have nothing, that is the most important time to give back. Its a lesson I follow like a religion that in my most darkest moments it is the most important time to give more than I can and to release myself unto the universe. I gave him $15 bucks asking his reassurance he would spend it on food and he was very happy. He was so kind, nice and grateful, I felt so ashamed walking back to my car that I could not give him more. I’ll never forget that feeling. I literally had $5.00 left to my name with no more income in sight and needed gas to get me home, I had NO idea where my next dollar was coming from. I cannot tell you how good I felt giving him almost my last penny. It was a release. I let go to the universe and I really didnt care. He set the bar at being far worse off than I. I remember thinking one thing, in all my worst suffering I still had more than he, a car a place to sleep in a home at night. After that, suddenly that night income came out of nowhere almost immediately that which I needed to succeed. Over and over I revisiting that 7-11 seeking to help him, I never saw him again. I stopped and looked there over and over for years, making excuses to drive by hoping to give him the money I couldnt give at the time. At that corner I stop and always scan for him, even now, wondering where he wandered off to in that Las Vegas heat.
You know the hardest thing to do when you start a small business, is to motivate yourself to work for yourself. After the birth of one of my most successful companies, at the moment we touched a small profitability, I committed to monthly giving away 5% of the revenues to a Childrens Hospital’s Child Abuse Ward. This Hospital Ward was involved in protecting and securing the worst child abuse cases. I had personal reasons to be vested to do this interest. Much of its work was not only healing a beaten child but working with Child Services to fighting to protect it from returning to a bad environment. I’m very passionate about protecting beings that cannot protect themselves. Much to the chagrin of my business partner, who didnt see my vision on how important it is to give, at the time it was an issue. In the end I prevailed as CEO.
I’d started a few small companies before, but this one started a trend of a 22 company empire where I hit home run after home run in profitable companies I vested us in. Where 99% of business’s fail I started profitable companies time and time again in a row. While one can say my visions where in line, we always gave to something bigger than ourselves. I’d like to think that was our true success. Donating to charities has been a big part of my business’. A life worth living is a life worth giving. I really believe that has made a difference and has driven me harder to succeed. My point is that giving and having a commitment to get up everyday thinking about someone other than ourselves, I sincerely believe, was a integral key to my success with our companies.
My grandfather taught me an important lesson in this movie about selflessness. There is one key moment in this part of the film.
I would recommend something like this to many small business’. You will wake everyday, realizing its not about you and I believe you work harder for something bigger than yourself. Sometimes you work a little harder when its not about you. Now I get that people work for their families, but the world is bigger than that. Its only when you give to someone you will never know or gain from that I believe you truly live, outside and beyond yourself.
If you get a chance give to the ASPCA or a charity of your choice. My fav is the ASPCA. Sometimes its best to protect those with no voice, but all heart. Remember the vision, that a life WORTH living, is a life WORTH giving. Work for a life bigger than your own, that someone may say that you passed this way and that they might remember the impact of your name… We are here as caretakers…let us be good Stewards… Give and enrich your life by giving to others. I do believe the strong are blessed to be mantled with the ability to protect the helpless. I’m not sure what the universe is about but I know that when I give and care about others, somehow I get a return. Thankfully that return helps keep me giving it back to the people that need it, more. Ask yourself often, what is my Legacy, my impact that keeps on giving to the world and how can I build more of it. My job is to help people with their dreams and help them fulfill them.
Someday, My goal is to make a fortune so large I can give to millions of people. I’ve made fortunes already. But I can affect change in my little corner for now.
Make the world a better place by what you give, more than take and you will be successful. No matter how small your corner of the world, effect positive change and influence and you will impact your world in a way in which will inevitably return to you. Shine On.
Chris N. Voss
ps: If you get a chance learn the story about the Secret Santa of St. Louis its an amazing story. Be a secret Santa. Click here for the link.