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Letters from Vietnam – Part 9
Or should it be: Lessons from Vietnam?
As my trip through Vietnam draws to an end now I have still two ideas I want to share with you here – and many more once we meet face-to-face again in due course. This post is about “How to be a ‘WOW’ person” and I would very much like you to apply the lesson learnt to your business.
I am just back from a boat trip in Halong Bay followed by a few days of mountain trekking through the North of Vietnam. If I had to describe my experiences with just one word it would be “WOW”! I’ve seen a world of wonders and I feel deeply grateful for all the beauty that crossed my way.
However, such trips are not hassle-free. There are delays, traffic jams, street hawkers, scams, power cuts, dirt, air pollution and too much litter lying around everywhere. And if you invest a bit of effort and hike to a local village off the beaten tracks you can have a glimps of an understanding what it means to feed and shelter a family with just two or three dollars of income per day. Not everything I saw is for the faint-hearted. But still, wherever I went there was beauty.
Interesting enough not everybody sees that beauty. I shared experiences with co-travelers and although we were in the same place at the same time the descriptions and reflections on what we saw couldn’t have been more diverse. Let me give you just one example.
There is beauty everywhere – If you decide so
I stayed overnight on a junk boat in Halong Bay. The cabins on the boat were surprisingly comfy but the main lights under the ceiling did not shine very brightly. There where two married couples with whom I had dinner after we had taken over our cabins. One couple agreed on the “fact” that the light in the cabins was rather dull. The other couple added with a smile that they think the light was pretty romantic. I am sure that you have experienced something similar as well: Two people (or couples) meet one setting and one says “It’s awful!” while the other one says “It’s awesome!” To no surprise it turned out during the evening that the first couple was rather dull, while the second couple was pretty romantic. Realisations like this always make my day because they manifest one of my core convictions: The recognition of our environment is a mere reflection of what we are insight. If we look at the world through dull goggles we see a dull world. If we look through romantic goggles we see a romantic world. And it is us and only us who select our goggles.
In conclusion, on this trip not everybody was as “wowed” as I was. This is probably because I am convinced that I am a “WOW” person. I assume that the word that springs to mind when those other people think of themselves is not necessarily “WOW”. Guess who’s having a better time? And what do you think of yourself when you think of yourself?
Are you a “WOW” person?
Do you think “WOW” when your name comes up?
The outer world has nothing to do with our inner feelings. People who blame others to make them feel miserable only lie to themselves. They hand over the responsibility of their own life’s quality to other people. They stop being in charge, they refuse to control their lives, and ultimately they see themselves as victims. It is important to understand that this is a choice. People chose to hand over the quality and outcome of their lives to others who very often couldn’t care less.
I implore you: Don’t chose to be a victim. Instead be the “WOW” person. Be the “WOW” person that others want to hire or want to do business with. It’s a choice. Always chose “WOW”.
Application of the lesson learnt to your business
There is a very easy way to be the “WOW” person everybody is looking for.
Always under-promise and over-deliver.
The unions would argue over that, wouldn’t they? But guess who has more happy clients, returning customers, loyal employees, or promoting bosses? The one who says: “Sorry, it’s 5PM. I have to head home to watch American Idol!” or the one who says: “If you have a problem, hand it over to me. I will take care of it. And I will not only do my job. When you receive the solution by me you will not only be content with my delivery, you will say ‘WOW! – that’s far more and way better than I was hoping for.’ Because I have decided to be a ‘WOW’ person.”
And now go back to your business and WOW somebody. Is your boss expecting that report tomorrow? Try to hand it in today. Do you have to make ten calls today? Stretch a little bit and make eleven. Don’t be afraid that your boss (or your clients) will put pressure on you and expect even more of you tomorrow. If you are a “WOW” person you’ll soon have “WOW” clients, “WOW” colleagues, and even a “WOW” boss.
Because only “WOW” people understand the true meaning of win-win situations.
And now go, and “WOW” somebody.