Friday, 14 April 2006

Walk Your Talk

At a seminar I attended recently I sat next to a woman who kept shaking a bottle of diet coke and then allowing some of the gas to escape before she drank. The hissing sound was somewhat distracting. During the intermission the woman handed me her business card and said:

“If you want to become a millionaire within 2-3 years, give me a call. I’m working for this fantastic wellness company. It’s a great opportunity.”

Now her pitch didn’t exactly excite me. I get offers every other day from individuals who claim I can make millions promoting their products. Also, while I’m interested in making money, I’m not interested in making money for the sake of it. I didn’t want to sound critical yet I couldn’t help but ask:

“If you’re in the wellness industry, why are you drinking diet coke?”

She explained that she was in a hurry to get to the venue and the shop or kiosk she stopped at only had diet coke. I wasn’t convinced.

“Surely they had bottled water?”

She explained that she only drank a certain brand of water and that she was shaking the bottle to get rid of the carbon dioxide. I replied:

“The carbon dioxide is the least of your worries.”

I personally don’t drink diet coke or any fizzy drinks apart from drinks such as Amé or Aqua Libra, but if someone wants to drink fizzy drinks that’s their choice. The reason I commented on her choice was because I considered her behaviour to be incongruent to the lifestyle she was selling.

This story reminds me of another story a friend told me. He was on holiday on the French Riveria and on a particularly hot summers day he was in a chic boutique when an elegantly dressed woman walked in with her well-groomed dog. The shop assistant, seeing that the dog looked thirsty, brought the dog a bowl of water upon which the woman remarked:

“Oh, he won’t drink tap water. He only drinks Evian.”

And, sure enough, the dog refused to drink the water!

Now, if a dog can have such discerning taste surely we can too. I expect someone in the wellness industry to embody a wellness philosophy. I don’t expect perfection but I do expect high standards. Although I was interested in the company she was part of, I selected someone else to introduce me to its business opportunities.

Whatever you do, it’s important to walk your talk. If you are a shining example for the products, services or lifestyle you are selling then half your work is done.

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