My Favorite Quote

By Lawrence G. Chester


One of my first jobs was working at a Public Utility. My boss was an engineer, Bryon Kustka. He was a really good manager. But, since he was an engineer, I thought that there was little he could say to guide me in my career.

One day he told me something that has stuck with me for the past 45+ years

“Never tell anybody your problems. Half the people couldn’t care less, the other half will be glad you got what you had coming.“

Funny, right? It also rings true. But the most important thing for me was how to apply this to my work.

A few years earlier, I had worked at Mutual of Omaha. My boss was the Vice President of Sales, Scotty Crozier. When you passed Scotty in the hall, and asked him how he was doing, he always responded, “Absolutely Great!!” wearing the biggest, broadest smile you could imagine. I can still see it.

These two people had a great impact on me. They both taught me how important attitude is. It is your attitude that will drive your relationship with everyone you work with.

You meet up with a prospect, he or she is going to ask you how business is going. You say that you just lost a sale to a competitor, your best salesman left to go to work for someone else, your customers aren’t paying their bills, and the marketing company you’re working with isn’t listening to you. Do you really think that a new prospect wanted to hear that? How is that prospect going to feel about giving you his business? If you’re not successful with your existing clientele, why should that person give you his work?

I’m not saying that you should lie and make up positive stories to tell the world. What you need to do is have a positive attitude. Nobody wants to hear your woes, except for the bartender at the corner pub. Everyone has problems of their own.

People do business with People, not companies. Everyone wants to hear a cheery voice on the other end of the phone. Good news about your business, someone’s family, the vacation they just took. Think about yourself. You decide to get together with someone. Is it someone with a bright smile, a laugh in their voice and a quick joke, or the next door neighbor that’s been sucking lemons all week?

The same is true in business. Are you the grumpy boss that growls at everyone who walks by? Are you the customer that is always complaining about the product you just received? If you’ve been carrying that chip on your shoulder, I’m sure it’s getting heavy. And it will become the attitude you carry all day, every day. That’s not a good thing. Be the smiley face that everyone wants to smile back at. Be the cheery voice that wishes everyone a wonderful morning.

First of all, if you truly feel this way, I guarantee that it will make you more successful. But more than that, life is going to be a lot more fun with a smile on your face. People will be glad to see you coming, instead of running the other way. Because if all you do is complain, someone out there “will be glad you got what you had coming.”