"Say, do you publish biographies?" He asked.
As part of our career-coaching business, we began a small publishing company years ago, which led to one of the most heartwarming phone calls I ever received. The office was quiet, and that phone rang.
I answered it, “Hello.” No one responded. Again, “Hello.” Then I heard a muffled gentleman’s voice say, “Excuse me, sorry, I’m out of breath, let me sit down a moment.” Again a pause, then, “Say, do you publish biographies?” I explained we focus our publishing on career and business materials.
He responded, “Well, maybe you can still help. I’m looking to publish my autobiography; see I’m in my 80s, had a great life, did lots, and I want to tell others about what I did with my life. I have a great story to tell.” He was again out of breath. I gave him as much time as he needed. Then, I heard muffled crying. After a few moments, he found his composure and said, “All my friends are now gone, and they had such great lives with lots of stories to tell, and now no one will ever know. I want to publish my story so it, too, will not be lost.”
He had my complete attention. I stayed with him for quite a few moments longer and explained his publishing options. He said, “Thanks, thank you for listening. You are the first person who cared enough to listen to an old man.” We hung up as new friends. He had lived a meaningful life, and for those moments, I was an honored part of it.
Then several questions occurred to me:
• Someday, will I have a great story to tell about my life?
• Will I want to publish my memoirs?
• Am I living each day as a meaningful page in a book tomorrow?
I hope so, I truly do. How about you? You may want to begin this journey with this week’s career question: “If someday you would like to publish your life story, what should you do with your career?” As you ponder that question, keep in mind that a life really worth living begins with the belief that you can make a difference for others.
Just another phone call? No, I'm thinking someone other than that kind man was also talking to me. That conversation was among the most inspiring ever in my life - so far. More to come.
- Synko Associates, LLC