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 February 17, 2009

Today: A valuable lesson from a Salvation Army cadet.

“Hi,” boomed the happy voice of a 25 ish woman, her warm smile beaming head to toe from her 4 foot, 8 inch small body.

It was Christmas time and this young lady, Michelle Josephson and a little boy were bell ringers at a Salvation Army collection station outside a busy grocery store. But Michelle rang no bell nor did she even ask for money.

“Good morning” or “Merry Christmas,” came from her lips and as she looked people glowingly in the eye, her eyes locking into theirs. It was almost as if she could see into their hearts.

She bubbled over with love for them, her warmth never leaving even when she got the occasional cold shoulder from an aloof passerby.

Yet in the 10 minutes I watched her, person after person dropped money in the collection plate at a pace like nothing else I had ever seen. Some came back to give more.

People who moments earlier had been stressfully rushing from place to place suddenly wanted to stop and chat with Michelle, or just spend an instant in the glow of her smile.

“How do you greet people so warmly,” I asked “I’m just a very happy person,” Michelle answered with a sparkle in her eyes.

“How long have you been with the Salvation Army?” I inquired. “I’ve been with the Salvation Army since 2002,” she answered, “and I’m in training to become an officer.”

As I looked at this energetic elf of a lady, I nearly hugged her as a father would his daughter and was pleased to make a contribution.

“Thank you,” she responded emphasizing each word slowly and practically hugging me with her smile. “Have a Merry Christmas.”

What a valuable lesson she offers to each of us. Most people want to feel a sense of warmth and caring from others.

That need for warmth and caring is so great, it permeates their very being. Yet seldom do others satisfy it. But when someone does, even for an instant from a person they’ve never met, it brings out a joy most people can’t explain. It’s a spontaneous blissful reaction.

Imagine how popular you could become if you often greeted people with a big smile and exuded sincere good wishes for them. Even now as I share this with you, thinking of this young woman’s cheerfulness causes me to beam with joy and perhaps it touches your heart as well.

Success Tip of the Week: Try it. Greet the next person you see with a big sincere smile and see if you don’t receive an uplifting reception in return.

In the next KazanToday: For a man down on his luck, the “impossible dream” came true.

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!