Love. That's the scroll I'm on. Scroll? Oh yes. Two months ago I began reading the classic work, The Greatest Salesman in the World, by OG Mandino. Last year, my friend Carter Fowler told me about this book. He also told me that after reading the introductory chapter to the book, there are 12 scrolls. Each of the scrolls are about 5-8 pages. And yet, you are supposed to spend ONE MONTH on each scroll. You read each scroll three times a day; the first reading is after you rise; the second reading is after your midday meal; and the final scroll is before you retire for the night. And that last reading, you are supposed to read it out loud. It’s a wonderful meditation and you spend a month with it.
This month, I am on "the Scroll Marked II" (the 2nd scroll) and so I've been reading all about LOVE, for that is the theme of this scroll. Everything you do, you must do with love. Everyone you encounter, you must encounter with love, not just to them, but in your heart.
And then two things happened this week. On Thursday, I was having lunch with one of the top chefs in Guatemala, Jake. We'll just call him "Jake" because that is his first name and he owns a top restaurant here in Guatemala by that name, as well as a small chain of burgers and fries. Jake is American, grew up in New York, spent some time in Florida and Texas, and he came to Guatemala in the 1980s, where he has been ever since. He's probably around 70 but doesn't look his age.
As he was explaining to me his views on business and entrepreneurship, he said to me, "There's no difference between the giver and the receiver." Then he paused. This long pause made me really think deeply about that. I didn't know what he meant exactly so I said, "What do you mean?"
He said, there's a lot of people in business who are greedy. But he said you have to treat everything in your business with LOVE. He said I'm not in this for the money, but of course I like making money. I'm in this because I LOVE what I do. I treat my employees well. And I don't try to take advantage of people. He has witnessed too many that do.
He then recalled his early career in New York when he was just learning the art of becoming a chef. He then reminded me those who profit at another's expense or who hoard their wealth and use it in a greedy, selfish way - they will experience karma in one form or another. And he believes that those who treat others with love will also experience karma in a much better way. This is what he meant by there is no difference between a giver and a receiver. When we give - out of love - we also receive. He went on a little more about this, but I’m summarizing here.
I got home later that night and read Scroll II and came across these words, which I had already read three times a day for 25 days: "I will greet this day with love in my heart. And how will I confront each whom I meet? In only one way. In silence and to myself I will address him and say I Love You. Though spoken in silence these words will shine in my eyes, unwrinkle my brow, bring a smile to my lips, and echo in my voice; and his heart will be opened. And who is there who will say no to my goods when his heart feels my love?"
And then while I was reading, I stopped and I thought back to the conversation with Jake. "Love!" It's no wonder that guy is so successful in his business. He is living what Og Mandino is preaching! Perhaps this is a clue to being a great salesman.
Then, this morning, I was reviewing my latest podcast interview, which I recorded two weeks ago, with Dr. Tom Fame, who has traveled to Haiti over 50 times in the past 25 years, building schools, medical clinics, and a public health apparatus. I was putting together the article for it and as I was listening to it, some of the words from Dr. Fame jumped out at me. He was talking about how some people do these works of charity, including in places like Haiti. For many, it’s a one time thing or a project that ultimately isn’t sustainable for the long-term.
And then he added, “What has to motivate someone is love. It can’t be guilt, it can’t be some concept of ‘justice is a good thing so I’m going to be a justice warrior,’ you’ve got to really fall in love and if you love your children, you’ll do anything for them.”
WHOA. It's like Scroll II is really trying to speak to me. And when I stop and reflect on what I'm trying to do with Fearless Journeys, I think about what is really driving me. It is LOVE. The community is built on sharing and spreading knowledge and it is also built on mentoring others and helping them strive to be successful entrepreneurs, chart their course, and enrich their lives. I believe I am doing this out of LOVE. But also now I know that I really need to TEACH the wisdom in Scroll II and help aspiring entrepreneurs to approach their work with LOVE. That is what will ultimately guide them to success and fulfill them.
I can't wait to have Jake on a future episode of the Agents of Innovation podcast. I've already invited him to come speak to my students in my entrepreneurship / innovation course here in Guatemala City. I hope he can speak to my students and listeners more about how he puts LOVE into his work. We all must strive to, in our work, and in everything we do. We all must awake each day of our lives and live the constant refrain in Scroll II: “I will greet this day with love in my heart.”