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The Funeral Procession

Updated: Feb 11

I'm not sure if many of you know my history, but I used to be a commodity broker, I was also a high school football coach. One day I left work headed for football practice. I would take the train from the city to my car, and then drive from the parking lot at the train station to football practice. One day, the traffic was horrendous, and I was in a rush. I was like, oh my god, I can't believe his traffic. I don't know how long this is going to take. I wasn't even thinking if it was an accident and if someone was hurt, or anything like that, I was just thinking about myself. That's another story within itself of my mindset at the time. But I finally got to where the traffic problem was. And what it was it was a funeral procession. I looked at the car and it was the hearse carrying the body, one limousine, and one other car. I felt really bad because I was so angry at being late and what's going on. And I can't believe that I'm late. But then I started to think when I saw the funeral procession. I said, oh my God, no one's at this person's funeral and I thought to myself, when I pass away, how many people will be at my funeral procession? How many people in my impact that are going to care that Eric Reyes passed away? Thinking about this person with one car behind the limousine, I thought to myself, did this person not impact that many people, or was it something else? But it had me thinking I was a little selfish also. I said I want to impact so many people, that my funeral procession will be a mile long. And the only way for me to do that is by impacting others. And like I said, it's kind of selfish. But it was something that I was thinking. And that put me on this trajectory of trying to help and impact as many people as I can. So, I started to think how do I impact others? Well, the first thing was to start with myself. At that time, like I said, I was thinking only about myself. I was thinking, oh, is there an accident, and this is this is going to set me back if this is going to make me late. I should have been thinking, I hope no one's hurt. I hope that if someone if something happens to someone, maybe I can help them. So, my own mindset was changing. I also had to find out what makes me happy because I can't help others. If I'm not happy. So first, you have to start with yourself. You have to find your joy. You need to be happy with yourself. You have to be happy, being alone. You don't have to be where you want to be. You don't have to be at that perfect job. You can be at a job that you really don't like but you need to be happy with yourself and with your trajectory in life. The second thing was that you have to donate and when I say donate, I don't mean you have to donate money. Look if you do have the money. That's great, donate what you can. But what I was thinking of is donate your time. At that time, I was at high school coach, so I was donating my time. But prior to that, I donated my time without getting paid, I volunteered to coach. So, donate your time, either volunteering for something, Habitat for Humanity's or even mentoring. So, there's so many people out there looking for someone to look up to his big brother and big sister, your company might even have something where they volunteer, they help others and you can help to, it could even be just lending an ear to someone who needs someone to just listen to them and listen to their problems. So, donate that year, or that time. Or if you have that money but donate, give of yourself. And in that alone, it goes miles. The third thing is to lead a life as an example to others. The best way to impact others is to show them through your actions and your words, leading a life worth following quick story was I finished college, and I had a friend of mine who moved to Florida, and he didn't finish college. And he ended up getting his degree. And he called me up one day and said, you know, I got my degree because I saw you get yours. And I thought to myself that if Eric could do it, and he did it part time and full time, I can do it. And he did it taking the class here and the class there. And eventually he got his degree. So just leading a life as an example to others, you impact more people than you then you realize. Fourth thing is built relations, you know, become a friend, again, become a mentor, build relations, have friends that you can count on, that will have their ear for you. And that they know that you'll be open, you'll be there for them to give them advice, or to lead them in a direction where they never thought of build those relations. Now, what does this have to do with business? It has everything to do with business. If you look at all those four steps to lead, and to impact your employees, you need to become the leader that you want them to follow. So, you start with yourself. You need to listen and care for your direct reports and help them to achieve their goals. Also, to the people above you by helping them to achieve their goals. You achieve yours. Be that leader that they would follow and bend over backwards to help us succeed. And as Benjamin Franklin said, No one cares what you know, until they know how much you care. So put yourself out there. Let your employees let your direct reports. Let the person that you report to let them know that you're there for them. And take your eye away from yourself and toward them. And in turn, they will help you keep pushing forward, they will try everything possible to move you forward. So again, start with yourself. donate your time, lead a life that is an example to others and build those strong, long lasting relations. listeners. This is a short one. But I hope this helps you. I hope this motivates you to take your eye off yourself. Move forward. Because as I hope that my funeral procession is a mile long. I hope that people are looking at you saying that they will go and follow you and help you the way you help them.

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