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A Strange Encounter

By Michael Zipursky

It was Saturday afternoon. I had just left the liquor store with a box of wine when something unexpected happened.

Earlier that morning, I was spending time with my daughter.

We had breakfast together and then went to the park to play. Daddy-daughter time while my wife was at the spa.

I drove back to the house and put my daughter down for a nap. She fell asleep in the car before we even got home.

My wife walked in the door not long after. So I decided to pay the largest liquor store in our area a visit and replenish the house with some wine..

While standing at the cashier, I noticed a man across the store.

He didn’t notice me, but as I walked out of the store, I saw him again.

It had just begun to rain. The man looked at me and asked “Are you going near Elizabeth street?”

“I don’t know where Elizabeth street is, never heard of it” I thought to myself.

“No, sorry” I responded.

He was in his 50’s — but his appearance made him look closer to 70.

I loaded the box of wine into my trunk, pushed the button for automatic close, and opened the driver side door.

I turned the engine on. The music from my phone started pouring out of the Bose sound system.

For some reason, I was still thinking about that man.

I looked over to find him, rethinking my answer. “I’ll just give him a ride if it’s not too far,”

But he was gone.

There one minute and gone the next.

As I drove out of the parking lot and headed to cross the main street…I spotted him.

He had stopped to put his bags down. He had heavy cans in one bag, and his liquor and groceries in the other. He was forced to juggle his umbrella.

I crossed the street, pulled up beside and called out to him. He looked over.

“Where is Elizabeth street?” I asked.

“Just over there, a few blocks.”

“Okay, get in, I’ll take you.”

As he got closer to the car, I noticed he had deep scars on his right hand.

He looked more disheveled than I remembered. He also seemed a bit confused that I had stopped to pick him up.

Yet, I felt confused…

When was the last time you picked up a stranger?

Living in a large city…I can’t remember the last time I did.

We’re all busy.

We all go about our days jumping from one to-do to the next.

Now, here I was, offering a ride to someone I don’t know, taking them to someplace I’d never heard of.

But I wanted to help.

He got into my car and guided me a few blocks forward and then into an alley.

As we drove, he thanked me profusely. He told me about his deep faith, his disability, and how grateful he was.

He offered to pay me. I told him that wasn’t necessary.

“Bless you sir” he said, thanking me a final time as he got his bags from my car.

I drove off with an unshakable feeling of gratitude myself.

While I had helped him, he had given me something just as valuable, if not more…

A glow of happiness.

I realized that this was the perfect example of what I value most — what drives our business and everything we do at Consulting Success®.

After growing multiple businesses, selling businesses, and generating millions of dollars…

…what matters most to me, far more than money or a transaction, is meaning.

A deep sense of making a difference. Of helping and serving other people.

As a consultant,  this is one of the mindsets of success.

When you focus on truly helping and supporting your clients, you create stronger relationships.

You create and deliver more value.

Your client’s business and situation improves.

As a result, your own business and situation do too.

That’s what drives me.

Now it’s your turn…

What drives you?

What gives you a deep sense of meaning and fulfillment?

I wish you a terrific day!


6 thoughts on “A Strange Encounter

  1. One of the things my wife asks me repeatedly is the reason that moves us in the world. She wonders why we could be happy anyway. Is buying a car or an apartment the source of our happiness? Your story has te answer.

    • Messias your wife is a smart lady. I often consider the same question and glad that this experience resonated with you as well.

  2. Christine says:

    Sweet story. I, too, took a forlorn-looking stranger from a CVS to a bank once and he, too, offered to pay me, which broke my heart. Totally think/feel along those lines as well, Michael.

    • I’m glad you feel the same way Christine! I’ve always found helping people without any expectation of something in return creates a feeling of warmth and happiness.

    • Happy that it resonates with you as well Scott. Thanks for letting me know.

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