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Today's Marketing Cookie - Helping Others
"Fish and visitors smell in three days."
Today's fortune came from Jacquelyn Shannonhouse in Oklahoma City, OK. Jacquelyn is a Marketing Director at VI Marketing and Branding and the President of the Oklahoma City Chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA). She is a master in her craft, a marketing leader in her community, and you should follow her on Twitter:@Just_Jacq
Today's Marketing Cookie is about helping others.
At the most basic level, this fortune is telling us that one should try to avoid the smell of three-day-old fish. They're really stinky. I agree. Then the fortune compares stinky fish to the times when house guests outstay their welcome. That seems a bit harsh, but I will agree that a visitor is no longer a guest if they stay too long... regardless of how they smell.
I was homeless from the age of 17 until I was 20. When the college closed for the summer, spring break or other various holidays, I had no where to go. While I was fortunate enough to never be forced to live under a bridge, or wander the streets, I did live out of my car a couple of times. Have you ever lived out of a car for a week or so? It isn't easy. However, I remember thanking God that a friend of our family had given me that car.
Last month, I had a chance to see the couple who given me that Volkswagen Rabbit. You wouldn't imagine how touched they were to hear me tell them how grateful I was to have it. With tears in her eye, she sold me that the car had been her son's, who had fallen ill and passed away. Her pain was visible as she told me about outliving her son and was so grateful she was to learn that his car had provided me with shelter when I needed it most. This was one of those special moments in life when you get to let people know how impactful their generosity has been on your life. I encourage you to say thank you to someone who has helped you... it may just be the thing they've been needing to hear.
I apologize for digressing away from my story.
As a result of having no place to call home, I was lucky to have friends who invited me to come and stay with their family whenever school closed down. So, I've been a prolonged house guest before. One family in particular, invited me to stay in their home for an entire summer. Words cannot express how generous and gracious they were to me. Years later, I had the chance to pay it forward and provide someone with a place to stay for a few months. I can say, that inviting a homeless person to stay in your home can make an enormous difference in their life... and in yours.
You may not have an old car to give away or be ready to open your home. However, as marketing professionals and business owners, we can offer to help someone refine their resume, help them make connections, and hopefully find the job of their dreams. We could offer some internships, not to have a corporate slave who just fetches coffee for us, but rather to give someone a chance to gain some real-world experience and increase their value in the marketplace. I promise that if you help someone in need, one day they may come back just to say, "Thank you" ...and it could be at a time when you needed to hear it most.