“Someone asked me, ‘What does it mean to be unforgettable?’ and I answered,
‘Being unforgettable means having an absence that is felt just as much
as your presence.” ~ C. Joybell C.
My cellphone rang a mile before the end of “the good service area” on the winding, mountain road. I debated whether to pick it up and have to rush to explain I’d be losing whoever it was in a minute. Something told me to grab it.
“Susie, this is Matt, and I’m calling from Quebec. A friend of mine gave me your name and number and suggested I call you. Is now a good time?”
“Hi, Matt!” I said. “I’m in a dodgy cell service area. Give me five minutes, and I call you right back.”
I pulled off the road, grabbed a pen and my pocket journal, and called Matt. He answered before I even heard the phone ring. We chatted for a minute or two, and I asked how I could help.
“I think my business partner is stealing from the company,” said Matt. “Well, actually, I know he is.”
Matt went on to explain the altered invoices he had found, the questionable deposits, the missing cash, and on and on.
“I feel so sick to my stomach,” he said. “This is going to end a friendship I have had for over 20 years. It’s going to throw everything into question, most notably the future of my business. I don’t even know where to start.”
I Never Forgot You
I stayed on the phone with Matt and helped him figure out a strategy for how to handle everything he was facing, including the very first call to make after he and I hung up. He felt much more calm and ready to deal with the multiple layers of mess by our call’s end.
“How can I ever thank you?” Matt asked. “I mean other than your fee, which I’ll send immediately.”
“You just did!” I answered. “I’m so glad I could help you. You’ll get through this just fine. Try not to make it mean anything personal. Just deal with each step.”
That was over 4 years ago.
Matt called me earlier this week. When I picked up the phone, he didn’t introduce himself, but as soon as he spoke, I knew who it was.
“I never forgot you,” said Matt.
“Matt!” I yelled. “How are you?”
“Much, much better since we last spoke,” he laughed. “I’ve got something really fun I want your help with. I’ve got a feeling you are going to absolutely love this. Got a minute?”
Matt explained that his enterprise was expanding rapidly, and he wanted me to coach his growing team and him. He wanted the entire organization to reclaim its creative fire, as well as learn new ways to leverage individual and collective strengths.
The Ace In Our Back Pocket
Matt was right. I was incredibly excited to learn more and get started. This project was precisely in the nexus of what I deemed to be my ideal work + clients.
As entrepreneurs and creators, we often get all tangled up in trying to find the right wizardry for increasing our platforms and reach with the perfect marketing formulas. We fret over social media posts, fuss over posting compelling photos and videos, strive to craft messaging that resonates with our ideal clients, and on and on.
Of course, each of those is important.
But we tend to forget the ace in our back pocket is us. Our powers of observation, our compassion, our empathy, our expertise, our years of experience, our well-honed craft. In rushed moments or out of fatigue, we can easily tear the fabric that connects us with our market.
One hurried email that comes across as curt or one sharp tone during a call can erase us from memory.
But kindness, love, and genuine listening…deeply and honestly conveyed and combined with fierce excellence and greatness…are indelible etchings in neural pathways, tucked inside the mind and heart we’ve helped to bring into coherence with our creativity.
When we work on our proficiency and on opening ourselves up so that we can give it all, our efforts vibrate in concert with those we want to reach most. Our words and our art become technicolor bands of light traveling back and forth along the wiring coursing through the bodies of our clients, audience, readers, patrons.
Little packages of unforgettable electricity.