It all began with a very strange phone call from a fellow from a small town just north of Grand Rapids. I can’t recall the fellow’s name or the little town involved but he invited me to a small, private party to give a little speech. He was willing to pay my full fee plus travel.
I don’t speak at a lot of small private parties. It is unusual for folks to be willing to pay a fat fee for after dinner conversation, at least in the circles in which I have traveled most of my life.
Anyway, this fellow offered a definite date and I had it open and so I agreed. He sent me an advance on my fee and I was all set. He said he’d like me to talk about my book Selling Lucky.
When I arrived at the party all of the guests treated me like I was at the very least the President of the United States or else The Pope or maybe a Guru, depending on your preference.
We had a terrific meal with the giant shrimp cocktail and the finest steaks and there was wine and cocktails, I had a diet coke.
As my host stood up to make a few remarks before my introduction I still had no idea what the meeting was all about. I figured it was a celebration of some sorts but my host had been rather elusive about the whole thing.
Finally after desert he stood up and thanked everyone for coming to the little gathering and then he proceeded to tell us about the celebration. It seems like the stock market had gone sour on our host about six months before, as it had on most of us gathered there.
Unfortunately at that same time his business had gone sour too and so had his personal life. His wife had announced that she had found a new lover and wanted a divorce.
Then our host confessed to all of us that he had decided to commit suicide one evening and he had a pistol loaded and was about to get on with it when he noticed a copy of my book Selling Lucky sitting on his coffee table.
A friend had given him a copy that he had purchased for him at a meeting where I had given a talk.
Well, the title intrigued him and the subtitle really enticed him. A Dynamic Guide To Greater Success And Happiness.
For some reason he could not explain he decided to look at the book before blowing his brains out. He read one chapter and then another.
Before he knew it he had read the whole book and by then he had decided that he was going to get up early the next morning and get on with the job of saving his business and improving his life.
Within six months his business was back in the black, he had recouped all of the money he had lost in the market and his wife had returned and begged his forgiveness. His life was better than ever. That is why he had the special gathering and he invited me to give a little talk because he felt that I had saved his life.
I gave one hell of a speech. I was truly inspired and I closed my speech, like I generally did with my poem titled Growth. It goes…
(c) Art Fettig
I don’t ever want to be what I want to be
There is always something out there yet for me
I get a kick from living in the here and now
Yet, I never want to feel I’ve learned the best way how
There is always one hill higher with a better view
Something waiting to be learned that I never knew
’til my life is over never fully fill my cup
Let me keep on growing Up! Up! Up!
And then I simply added, “The greatest untapped resource we have in this world is the human potential and the message I brought you this evening is so simple you could write it on your finger and I hope you do, and I hope you pass it on to everyone you meet. Here it is. “There is greatness in you.” I pointed to different individuals as I repeated it again and again. “There is greatness in you. There is greatness in you. There is greatness in you.
And you have been a great audience. Thank You.”
I walked over and sat down.
There was complete silence in that room. I swear a couple of minutes passed and there was absolute silence.
Finally our host stood up and began applauding and all of his guests joined him in a standing ovation.
What a wonderful compliment that silence was. It was golden.