Success Stories By Dick Kazan - Valuable lessons on how to succeed in business and in life
Entertaining and compelling real-life stories with valuable
lessons on how to succeed in business and in life.
The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on September 22, 2008

Today: A simple and easy way you could become much more popular.

When Cissy Komp passed away her funeral service overflowed with mourners. The parking lot filled up quickly and the valets had to direct traffic elsewhere, as large numbers of people kept coming.

The auditorium became standing room only and the crowd was directed into an adjoining room to see the closed circuit television broadcast showing the service.

Cissy was no celebrity. She was not a rock star, nor was she a big-time politician, or the head of a large company. How did this soft spoken lady become so popular?

The answer is very simple. She did what you and I could do; she took a sincere interest in others.

Cissy would learn people’s names which is something few of us do. Then she’d ask them about themselves, and listen carefully to their replies. This approach made each person feel important, feel special.

During the funeral service, one of Cissy’s daughters illustrated the point with a story. Once when she and Cissy were at the UCLA Medical Center because Cissy was seriously ill, Cissy spoke to a head nurse.

Rather than talk about herself, which Cissy had every reason to do, instead she asked this nurse her name, and then in stages, asked about her career, her family and her interests. With such an attentive listener as Cissy, this nurse like most people was delighted to discuss her life.

Later, when they didn’t have the medicine Cissy needed, even though it was after 6 pm, and that nurse was off-duty, she looked all over UCLA to find that medication for Cissy.

Cissy and her husband Tom became my wife Anne’s and my neighbors after they moved in to our condominium complex last year. She quickly got to know the names of others, including the head of maintenance, Jose Oropeza who she regularly engaged in conversation.

That day among the chapel crowd attending her service was Jose, who took part of the afternoon off so he could be there.

You may be thinking Cissy’s approach is easy for an outgoing person, but that’s not you. It wasn’t Cissy either, for she was soft-spoken. Try her method and you’ll be surprised at how well it works.

Introduce yourself with a smile. If you feel awkward or tongue tied in conversations, you’ll find it’s not a problem as you’ll have little to say other than, “That’s interesting. Please tell me more.” And people will happily do so as you become someone they look forward to being with.

After all, how could people not enjoy your company when you take such a thoughtful interest in them, something most of mankind deeply desires and too few receive.

Success Tip of the Week: Even if you are shy try it by selecting someone that appears as hesitant as you. You’ll soon discover how simple and easy it really is as you become much more popular.

In the next KazanToday: A one-legged baseball pitcher who attained his impossible dream when he made it all the way to the major leagues.

Home       Archives
Many of these short, inspirational success stories are about people from all walks of life who overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to achieve remarkable results. These stories contain practical advice and a recipe for success for each of these renowned individuals. Some of their stories may help you to avoid some of the costly and time consuming mistakes that many of us make in life and at work. Learn from some of history's greatest winners on how to become a winner yourself, no matter what the obstacle, and no matter how daunting the task before you may seem. Good luck!