More people I respect
People I respect (who you are unlikely to have heard of)
Yes, you are unlikely to have heard of these people, but I have great respect for them. And reading these stories will give you more insight into who I am, and whether you’d like to do business with me.
There are many other people I respect, who I may add one day, but these will start the ball rolling…
Derek Meakin was described by Eddie Shah, the publisher of many very successful free newspapers in the UK, as “my inspiration”. Derek owned The Europress Group, a set of companies which published the first free newspaper in the UK, more than a dozen computer magazines, put on computer exhibitions, published software and more. He heard about me from a guy called Dave Carlos who was the editor of Home Computer Weekly at the time. Derek first got in contact with me, back in 1986 when I was 26, by ringing my home number.
He got my answering machine with a very silly message on it: with a high-pitched voice I sing songed, “Bonjour, zis is Ghisalaine, ze au pair girl of Christophe Payne [pronounced ‘pen’]. Chris eez out right now, so please leave a massage (sic) after ze tone.” …to which Derek responded in excellent French. (His wife, Lucie, is Swiss.) My zaniness didn’t put him off giving me a job as Reviews and Promotions Editor for 8 of his magazines.
I worked for Derek for 7 years. We shared an office for the first or so of those years. He taught me so very much about writing great copy and how to edit text to add more punch. After a few years, Derek, his son Meash and co-director David Hirst promoted me to Managing Director of their new offshoot software publishing company so I was then managing a team of 30 people. My team and I accomplished some great things in the time I was there, and I learned a lot about dealing with people. The tiny picture on the right of Derek is the only one I could find on the web. (Derek died on October 2010 before I got to show him what I’d written here. Thanks again for everything, Derek.) I wrote more about working with Derek here.
Patrick Antaki is the manager of the 5-star-plus Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort Hotel in Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates. Here’s a photo of me with him…
As the hotel is more than 2 hours from where all the ‘real action’ is, in Dubai, Patrick works very diligently to create somewhere that’s so special that people flock to experience the hotel’s magic. Patrick trains his staff to serve the residents’ every need. Nothing is too much trouble: if you are at one end of the beach and you ask a passing member of staff for, say, fresh beetroot juice mixed with banana (which, of course, is not on any menu at the hotel), the staff are trained to say, “No problem, sir (or madam) – it just may take a little time.” The front of house staff meet daily to discuss new arrivals and repeat guests, so they are able to greet people by their names as they arrive. The service is head and shoulders above anything we have found anywhere else, including the top-of-the-range hotels like the Atlantis Hotel and Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai, and the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong. The Al Aqah Beach Resort Hotel runs like clockwork, and the staff have extremely high regard for Patrick. The consequence of this supreme service is that we 4 Paynes – like many many other families, come back time and again. We have stayed at this hotel 16 times, mostly for 2 weeks at a time.
A few years ago I attended a ‘building wealth’-type seminar called Renegade Millionaire in Cleveland, USA, run by marketer extraordinaire Dan Kennedy. During that event he talked about giving 10% of his income away, and giving generous tips too. I’d heard this before, and not done anything about it. But Dan shared a few secrets about this strategy, and how to do it right, so that your generosity is repaid many times over by the universe. As a consequence I felt very inspired. The next morning a group of us attendees walked to a Bob Evans diner which was situated close to the hotel.
We got such fabulous service from a waitress called Dana Periandri that I asked her to sit down with me and tell me about her philosophy in life, what her dreams are, and so on. She told me she was saving up to go to college to learn to be a vet. We Brits aren’t the most generous of givers: many of my friends never tip after a meal out, or they give a couple of dollars. Not many give as much as 10%. To give more than 10% in the UK is virtually unheard of. So giving tips isn’t anywhere near a part of UK culture as it seems to be in the US. But inspired by Dan, I decided there and then to find a way to send her a $1,000 gift to go towards her fees. (I never said a word to her about this.)
The next day I flew back to England. Once back in the UK I wasn’t so keen to give her the money – some doubt crept in that I was doing the right thing. 🙂 But I had promised myself I’d give her $1,000. This was in the April, and by November I still hadn’t got round to getting the money over the ocean to her in Cleveland.
Then in the middle of November I flew back to Cleveland to spend a day consulting with Dan (worth every cent of the $7,800 I paid). I brought to the States with me $1,000 in $50 notes. The day after meeting with Dan I rang the Bob Evans diner where I had met Dana 7 months before. (This is the one where she works…)
I discovered that she had taken the day off. I spoke with her best friend there, and told her that I wanted to give Dana a $1,000 tip. (I was quite embarrassed as I explained my story to her.) Her friend told me she’d try to get hold of Dana. A few minutes Dana rang me back at the hotel. I told her what I wanted to do and I asked her if there was anything special about today (as I have a belief that life can be truly miraculous). She told me that that very morning she had gone to a local college to sign up for her veteriny course! What a miracle! I came off the phone and had a little cry.
I drove to her home and handed her the money. She said it was the happiest day of her life. What’s more she said something very interesting: “I deserve this.” How about that?
I included this story in my sales letter for my Effort-Free Life System CD set to show people that when…
• you’re in the right frame of mind
• appreciating and valuing yourself
• following your dream
…it is amazing what can happen to you.
This is what Dana was doing, and I respect her for that. She was an inspiration to me.
That sales letter has been mailed hundreds of thousands of times around the world, and I included the video footage of me handing over the $1,000 on a DVD which came with the Gold Edition of that course: it helps people see the kind of attitude that compels people to be supportive and generous.
Have you got a story like this that you can share with me? Have you been on the receiving end of a significant gift that you manifested through being a particular way?
Who do you respect?
What do you respect about them?
Do you see that personality trait in yourself too, and to the same degree? I’d love to know!