Years ago I was involved in a group called College Bound. The purpose of the group was to help African American Men take their education to the next level after High School. I was lucky enough to have a partner in the process who was and is a very successful business man. Together, we created a list of rules and regulations.
On the first meeting we had the young men read over the rules. They were allowed to think about the group for one week to determine if they wanted to join. One of the rules was attendance. If anyone had a legitimate reason for not showing up on a Tuesday Evening, they were to personally follow up with Mr. Jim Walker or myself prior to the absence.
The group was successful. This was not because of Jim and me; it was because of the young men who took to heart our advice and followed through on their promises.
Some Tuesday nights were rather fun. On one evening, we had an entire class devoted to budgeting and life-style. We prepared work sheets and all of our young men had to write down what bills they thought they would incur after they left college. I will never forget one of our group members explaining that he wanted to live a very simple life. He decided that he wanted a small house, an older used car and he would go to the library to rent movies and books. We asked him what would happen if he met the future love of his life. He stated without hesitation that he would take her to the park on a picnic, take her for walks and spend time with her and her family. You know, he might have been the smartest young man in the group. Another time, one of the young men’s parents called me at work and said I needed to call an individual who worked with the Rams Football Team. She excitedly mentioned, “Kirsten call this number and tell them we need twenty tickets. Just do it now.” I contacted the individual explained our group and we were lucky enough to receive the tickets. I cannot even tell you how much fun we all had at the game.
Hard Work – Yet Boring
Some Tuesday nights were rather boring. We were fortunate to have a seasoned ACT Instructor come in and work with our team (yawn). We also had evenings were we simply talked about what was going on with everyone in school and elsewhere. There were many evenings were I was bone tired and felt like skipping but I did not because my young men did not need to see that example. The nicest thing about this group was the fact everyone seemed to show up.
Showing Up – Very Important
One day, on a Wednesday, after the group I was not feeling well. I started to come down with a cold and I was a little depressed. For some reason, I heard Jim Walker’s saying in my mind, “Half of success is showing up for work!” I proceeded to work. An amazing thing happened that day. I received a call from a former prospect that selected another product and vendor. After returning the call, I found that their selected vendor did not live up to their promises. The prospect asked if our proposal for software and services had changed. The proposal was over a year old. I simply said, “If you sign this today, I’ll honor that price.” The contract was signed and we still support this very good client in their daily operations. All I can say is thank goodness I showed up to work.