A man with vision is seldom swayed by tragedy or opinion.
Christmas Eve found me in a strange place this year. While most people were spending time with family and doing that last minute gift shopping that I have come to know so well, I was on a small hill in Donnelsville, Ohio.
It was the local cemetery.
A small graveyard hidden away on a quiet back road for a tiny village. Last I checked the population was about 300 people. That cemetery has a single road going up one side of the hill, and coming down the other.
It is…a special place to me.
I have two uncles buried here.
One of them was buried the year after I was born. He died of a supposed drug overdose. My family took stones from the local Donnelsville creek and handmade his tombstone out of them. It is a unique thing in that place. When it came time to choose a middle name for me, my mother chose his name.
I did not know him.
The other uncle has a newer tombstone, only a year and a half old. I watched his slow 10 month decline, from a strong energetic soul to lying in a hospital bed holding on for dear life, unable to speak.
The effects of cancer.
He is the reason I am here on this Christmas Eve.
This man was not just my uncle. Only 10 years my senior, he was also one of my best friends.
He taught me a lot.
He was not the kind of teacher that you might expect. He liked to laugh and work on cars. He quoted Napolean Dynomite and was passionate about fantasy football.
He taught through action.
He was the kind of person that was fun to be around, that people gravitated towards, and he had the amazing ability to treat everyone as though they were his best friend.
I stopped playing fantasy football after he died.
At his funeral there were hundreds of people. They could not all fit into the small church. It was a sad day.
He was a die-hard Chicago Bears fan. On his tombstone they had the words “Da Bears” engraved.
He never took himself too seriously.
And why was I at this quite little forlorn graveyard on Christmas Eve, a day where by all rights I should be celebrating with my family?
I was here to wish my friend, who I dearly missed, a Merry Christmas. I was here to reflect on this past year and to gather strength for 2016.
I don’t quite fit into the IM space. I have been criticized for how I talk and how I dress (too redneck, too poor). I have been criticized for giving away too much information and undercharging for my products. I have been called a swindle, a cheat and a conman. My own family has laughed at my ideas.
…and all of these things I brush off like dust on my shoulder. A man with vision is seldom swayed by tragedy or opinion.
Telling you about my Christmas Eve, let’s you into my life a little bit. I give you a part of who I am, and what I am about. I am telling you these things because I want to prove a point.
There is always a give and a take.
If you want to be successful in marketing your products or other peoples products, I have found that giving comes before taking. It is the cost of doing business.
Do you have to let people into your personal life like me? No, I have found that education also works well, however if you combine education AND story, that is the most effective.
So as you head into your new year, I know you have big goals. I know that you feel like maybe this is your year to make it happen.
I believe you. This IS your year to make it happen.
Don’t be afraid to give a little of yourself. Don’t be afraid to teach for free. Define yourself as someone who has something to sell, but also as someone who is here to help regardless of the sale.
This has worked for me.
I hope the new year brings you everything you hope for!
My name’s Kam, some people call me ZeroFatz, and that’s all I’ve got for now!