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Do You React or Respond?

Let me tell you a story.

Yesterday I drove two hours to meet with the owner of a midsize electronics company located outside the historic Gettysburg battlefields.   We had made the appointment before Thanksgiving (I immediately had sent a note with the appointment date and time) and sent a confirming email the day before.  I was prepared and looking forward to the appointment.  I even arrived 45 minutes ahead of schedule.  I couldn't quite pinpoint the building so I called from my car and asked for specifics.  The young lady on the end of the line asked me who I was going to meet with and when I told her I heard her gasp: "He 's not here today.  I'll call him right now and see if he's coming in."


Five minutes later  the owner called and apologized profusely (I thought he might even start to cry).   After hanging up I sat there in my car with my chin on my chest beginning to feel a little angry.  I had done everything right - by the book - and I'd gotten stood up!  And then I thought of something I had heard Zig Zigler once say: "Do you react or respond?"

The scenery on the  ride up had been interesting and scenic.  Not only that, I had spotted two good sized looking businesses.  I began to wonder, "How many salespeople actually  drive up here to find business?" Today no one expects a salesman to just drive up and stop in without an appointment but that is exactly what I intended to do on my drive back to Baltimore; just stop in and see what's going on.  I discovered one midsized graphic design company and one very large world wide light rail brake company.  I actually got to meet people and collect names and numbers.  I was amazed at how energized I felt.  It was fun just walk into a company on a reconnaissance mission,  talk to the receptionist, get a feel for the place and collect information.  These are two businesses I never would have called on if I had not made the appointment with the electronics business owner.

Zig, where ever you are, thanks for the reminder: Do you react or respond - your choice.


  1. Because of posts like this I surf the internet and when I found you, the time I felt I was wasting, just turned my thoughts around and now I am thinking I invested my time in something really interesting.

  2. Great topic slow and purposefully is a great way to think of it!

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