My daughter who is 10 asked me if Santa Claus is real? Before I answered the question I was curious as to why she was asking. Well, a classmate (a year older) told her Santa didn't exist. My next question to her was "do you want the truth?" She assured me that she really wanted to know if Santa was real.
I explained that while there is not a man in a red suit steering a sleigh and distributing gifts across the world that the spirit of Christmas is REAL. It's a special time celebrated around the world that gives hope and happiness to many. The season also gives us reassurance that "believing" crosses all aspects of our lives including business.
But when it comes to our businesses what are we believing in and how are we showing it? Is there an initiative that is done because it's the right thing to do but your margins aren't necessarily the company standard? Or, are you doing pro bono work offering your services to a group within your community that needs your services?
I have a dear friend who has inspired me to believe even when it's not Christmas! He has run successful businesses over his career; and, he knows how to creatively put things together and get things done. He spearheaded an idea that would give back to the community in a big way. Jerid O'Connell led the charge to create the trail through the H. Smith Richardson Wildlife Preserve in Westport identifying and organizing volunteers and local environmental nonprofits. (http://www.westport-news.com/news/article/EPA-grant-to-help-restore-coastal-forest-in-12397970.php) The project was based on cleaning up, clearing out and getting scores of businesses to participate from the donation of new trees to organic juices.
As I was looking out over the field of new trees I thought this is my friend, his family's and the community's legacy. The trail will be shared with so many generations and will exist long after each era is gone.
Believing in something bigger than ourselves drives us to be better and do better. It also challenges us to make a difference wherever we decide to invest our time and talent.
And, while my daughter didn't take the truth very well about Santa she made the ultimate decision to still believe...I hope you still believe in something too...
Sonya Ruff Jarvis, is the Managing Member of Jarvis Consultants and Founder of the eRetailer Summit. Sonya has extensive experience in creating original innovative solutions to overcome major business challenges. Sonya has spent most of her career visiting headquarters across global industries and has built strong business relationships across diverse brands.
Sonya has a M.B.A. in Marketing. She is married and has a daughter and they live in Fairfield County Connecticut.