No. 261



We have an award winning little restaurant here in our community by the name of Stobys that is just down the street from the University Of Central Arkansas. One day a few weeks ago before meeting a friend for an early morning round of golf, I stopped by Stobys to have breakfast. After taking a seat in a booth, the waitress came over with the coffee pot and took my order.

Over the next several minutes I began to observe this waitress, whose name is Betty, as she was the only one there. Im here to tell you, this lady was good! The place was almost packed and she warmly greeted new people who came in the door while refilling coffee cups, taking orders and delivering food to others, seemingly all at the same time. The thing that impressed me was the fact that she had no wasted motion. We have all seen waitresses who make a dozen trips back and forth and while they get the job done, you could tell it was a struggle just to keep up. Not so with Betty. It was almost like she could do the job in her sleep.

When she returned a few minutes later with my check I asked her Did anyone ever tell you that you are a natural? Before she could answer I went on to say, I believe you have found your calling. At this point she said, Well, Ive been doing this for 23 years. When I was back a few days later and she had a little more time, we visited a few minutes and she told me that with her salary and tips, she made very good money.

Over the next few weeks as I thought about Betty and her career choice, it reminded me of a decision that I had made several years ago that eventually led to my becoming a syndicated columnist. When I became associated with the late Earl Nightingale back in 1970 to market his attitude motivational materials, many of my peers around the country made the decision to call on major corporations and large companies to sell their products and services. Of course the need to train and motivate business people was certainly there, however in most cases these other Nightingale distributors made the decision based on how much money they could earn.

Landing and working with large corporate accounts was certainly more profitable than what I was led to do. Not long after I got into the business I began to call on the schools around our state and later schools in other states as well. It was not too long before I began to work with administrators, teachers and students and while the schools were able to pay me for materials and doing workshops and seminars, it was no where near what others were earning who had chosen a different direction. In short, I loved working with educators and students so much that the money was secondary.

As a result I have never earned a lot of money but it has always been more than enough to meet our needs. While I didnt realize it at the time, like Betty, I had found my calling. Now, this brings me to the real reason for sharing this with you. If you are gainfully employed in some career or job, have you found your calling? Im sure you know that millions of people in this country hate their job and hate to go to work each day. Could it be that most of these people made the decision to do what they do for the wrong reason?

If I have hit too close to home, it might be well to remind you that money cannot be sought directly but must come as a result of providing a valuable product or service. Really and truly, being happy with ourselves and what we do is more important than the money. If we can have both, thats awfully hard to beat. Remember to save and invest some. (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)