The other day, as I was doing a few Christmas errands, I drove past a poignant scene.
There was a gentleman, about my age, directing two young men who were hoisted up on a lift, hanging a paper sign over an already existing, faded and broken sign. I could tell the new sign was hand-painted, but it looked professional and sharp in the afternoon light. As I watched them hang their new sign, I could see other changes to the property as well. The trim on the building was freshly painted a bright, cheerful red, and someone had then painted words using stencils in crisp white: OIL CHANGE, TUNE-UPS, BRAKES, TRANSMISSIONS. It was the absolute earnestness of the scene that got me.
Here was a man, who had seemingly just bought a failed auto repair shop, and with a little paint and a lot of hope he was making the shop his own, starting over, and giving it a go. I imagined all his hopes and dreams and savings tied up in that little shop. I imagined that when he went home for dinner that night, he told his wife with both excitement and guarded optimism about how good the new sign looked and how this was just the beginning of many good things in their life. I imagined her smiling at him encouragingly and then biting her bottom lip when he wasn’t looking. I imagined them in bed, whispering about their plans, sharing their worries and concerns, and daring to dream of success.
And perhaps it’s just this special time of year, or the fact that Judy Garland was singing the sentimental “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” over my radio, but I was struck by the tenderness of this little human drama. And in how many other towns across this nation, this same scene was unfolding for someone else.
It was easy for me to imagine, I suppose, because I have done the same thing myself–had an idea, invested my life and my savings, had hundreds of just such conversations with my wife, and dreamed of good things to come. And they have.
I feel so blessed to be able to interact and work with brilliant companies and incredible leaders, to do the work I love, for people who are striving to make a difference and to achieve lofty goals. I imagine each of you in your own work, metaphorically, hanging out your own signs and I consider it a deep privilege to be a part of your success and your earnest endeavoring. At this time of year, when we remember our blessings, here at Quma we count the chance we’ve had to work and teach and learn with each of you among our greatest ones. We are grateful for the trust you put in us to train and inspire your teams, your leaders, and your front-line workers.
As I watched this not-so-young man, unveil his hopes and dreams and step onto the precipice of his new business adventure, I thought there was a message for all of us in his bravery:
Hope for better things.
Believe in your dreams.
See success as the inevitable outcome of your efforts.
All of us here at Quma wish you and yours the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of holidays. May your celebrations be merry and bright, and all your dreams come true.
I am interested in your thoughts.