A Personal Reflection on Life and Loss
Life has its ups and downs.
We can all rejoice about the good things we have experienced in life. As a kid, you may have done special things in sports or celebrated academic accomplishments. We’ve had memorable vacations, apreciated the simple beauty of sunsets or sunrises, delighted in the accomplishment of our children. We have enjoyed some success, however we choose to define the term.
Life is filled with blessings. Life is also filled with challenges.
We have all experienced some sort of personal or business loss. It could be the illness or the death of those we love. I've lost both of my parents, and throughout life have endured the passing of pets who have had a meaningful place in our lives. I write this reflecting in the sudden loss of my family's precious miniature dachshund, Spud. I know many of you have lost pets and can relate to this pain.
Little Spud was one of my family's coolest dogs, with an amazing personality. He also was a troublemaker who loved getting into the trash. As a 10-year-old dog, he still made messes in the house. But we loved him anyway. He brought life to our family. Spud also played a role in business promotions and product review videos, like this one for Jetline.
When he came down with “immune mediated hemolytic anemia” and declined rapidly, we were stunned. This is a blood disorder where the blood cells fight against each other—it’s a bad situation. We could have put Spud through blood transfusions to buy time. Due to his quickly deteriorating condition, however, we felt the right thing to do was to let him go. It was a tough day and, like most of life’s challenges, we got through it. There of course will be more challenges ahead. That’s life.
On this difficult day, where we unexpectedly needed to make this quick and hard decision, I went back to work. In addition to publishing the PPAI-award-winning FreePromoTips.com industry resource program, and launching the exciting new SuccessFit 4 Life! health and wellness program, I have a distributor business.
Getting back to the office, I heard from a nonprofit client that needed mugs. The people from this organization previously chose to buy these from Discount Mugs because of its cheap price. My suggestion was to get them from Discount Mugs, but they came to me because now Discount Mugs is out of stock.
In the past, this organization has approached us to provide other ideas for its fundraising events. After coming up with an idea that would meet its needs, it returned to us, having sourced them online for a less expensive price, and asked us to meet that price. What we do needs to make good business sense and, typically in these cases, I may choose to reduce the price, but will never match low-ball pricing like this. I thought we were going to move ahead, but we didn't. Perhaps the organization decided to go with another item, or just chose to get it somewhere else. That was lost business.
Through the years I have helped this nonprofit organization with a custom product it couldn’t just buy online and other items at a very low margin to support it. I believe in the good work they do. My wife and I are also key volunteers at its events.
Most of you will appreciate that I did “lovingly” suggest that it ask if Discount Mugs would like to do something to support the organization.
I understand and respect its focus to be wise stewards of its money. In its zeal, however, it didn't realize that it have taken advantage of our relationship. After some thought, I contacted the organization and had a great discussion. There is a mutual respect here and they appreciated that I reached out to it. The organization likes working with a seasoned professional like me. Not only will we get the job done right—I care about the organization.
We discussed how to make the business relationship work in consideration of very real budget constraints. I made the suggestion that we work with the available budget for the project. This way, we can determine together if it makes sense for us to do the job, or if the better choice is just going for price elsewhere and pray that it goes well.
In loss can come gain. Here our relationship was strengthened and we have a path that makes sense to follow as we move forward. In a perfect world, this is how all business relationships should work.
On the same day we lost Spud, I heard from another client whose business I also lost, but for a completely different reason. I went into his shocking story in a commentary shared by PromoKitchen. If you are interested in learning what happened, it's a fascinating read.
The owner of this large, successful business called our company by mistake, but we had a nice conversation. I’ve had a long friendship with him and he updated me on his situation. Unfortunately, he won’t be buying anything from me or donating any money to charities because of the position he has been put in by circumstances beyond his control.
This is a loss not only for me, but also for other businesses he wants to buy from and charities he wants to support.
Life is full of gains and losses, victories and defeats. Things we can control and things we can’t. For me, my faith guides me along life’s journey. However we choose to cope with challenges, having a positive attitude and counting our blessings is always beneficial as we move through life. Make it a great day!
Jeff Solomon, MAS, is affiliated with a Top 10 distributor company and also publishes FreePromoTips.com, a popular industry resource. The PPAI-award-winning FreePromoTips.com website and twice-a-month e-newsletters are packed with beneficial information. You can opt in to receive these informative twice-a-month e-newsletters here! Check out what’s new in the GP2: Good Products-Good Prices section of the site. Take advantage of free, end-user-safe product videos you can share from the YourPromotionSolution.com website. You can stay connected to FreePromoTips on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or me personally on LinkedIn, my personal Twitter account and my Instagram account. Follow my occasional live broadcasts on Periscope: @JeffSolomonMAS