We were walking through the streets of Rome. It was about 8am in the morning, and the city was just waking up. I was there with a couple of good friends and this was one of my few and far-between holiday trips where I can actually get some time away from work to wind down and rejuvenate.
Don’t get me wrong here. I really do love my work. It is my passion – what I get to do for the John Maxwell Team and Empowered Living. I feel so fortunate to be able to do work that is in alignment with the purpose that God has placed within me – to be an agent of change in this world and to help others discover the infinite potential with which each one of us has been gifted.
But having some down time is good for everyone.
So, we were in Rome, my two friends and I, and we were wandering through the city streets as the shops were opening and as the many street vendors of Rome were setting up their carts and stalls. We were approaching one such vendor, and his cart was piled high and seemingly precariously with hundreds of hats – all different styles, colors, materials. Quite impressive really. My one friend started slowing down to take a closer look. I could tell she was interested in seeing if she could find one that she liked.
As all good street vendors do, he immediately engaged us in conversation, asking what we were looking for. My friend said she was just looking, and we asked the price of a hat.
“40 euro for those ones that you’re looking at…. but over here, I have some for only 30 euro,” he said, as he tried to direct our attention to his cheaper wares.
“Oh no, it’s not really about the price,” I told him. “We’ll just see if she finds one that she likes.”
Immediately the vendor responded, “Oh okay, you can have the expensive ones for only 30 euro…”
I laughed. He obviously didn’t believe me. “No, no, really. The price doesn’t matter.”
By this point, she was started to lose interest, not finding what she was looking for. Again, the street vendor could read the signs as all those who are experienced in this trade can. “Okay, I’ll give you one for only 25 euro… but that’s my lowest.” He knew when he was about to lose a prospect.
She looked up. “I’m just not finding one that I really love… that’s all.”
His response: “Fine, 20 euro! But that’s it. I can’t go lower, I’ll lose money on it.”
We were laughing. Really truly, this was not about money. You know, I’ve made a commitment in my life. I don’t want to beat people up on their price. You tell me your price, and if I want what you have for that price, I’ll go for it. Otherwise, no problem. But I’m not going to ask you to lower your price or try to drive a hard bargain.
It goes back to this principle of the impression of increase. This is a principle that I first learned about in the classic personal development work by Wallace D. Wattles, The Science of Getting Rich, and it resonated deeply with me.
In all of my dealings, in all business transactions, in all relationships, I want to leave the other person with the impression of increase. Building them up, not tearing them down. Conveying the feeling that there is more than enough to go around. Because I truly believe there is.
This street vendor just didn’t get it. And I’m sure he’s used to tourists driving hard bargains with him all day long, and I’m sure he sells those hats for 20 euro all day long, but that’s not how I do things. He named his price, and if we were going to buy a hat, I was going to pay him what he asked. I don’t ever want to risk a person feeling lesser, devalued, or under-appreciated.
All of a sudden, my friend found one that she liked. She tried it on. She started asking those telling questions: “What do you think? Does it look good? Do you like it?” Our vendor was standing by exclaiming his approval.
“Ok, let’s get it,” she said. I pulled out a 50 euro note from my wallet and handed it to the vendor. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a 20 euro note and a 10 euro note, extending his arm to hand me the change.
I looked at him, and reached forward, delicately removing only the 10 from his grasp. “No, it’s okay, I told you, it’s not about the money. You told me 40, I’ll pay you 40.”
As I took the 10 out of his hand, he looked baffled yet pleased. Obviously not the kind of encounter he’s used to.
The truth is, there is more than enough to go around. And I’ve learned that as I live from this knowingness, from this awareness that God has created an abundance within this universe, and that he has placed within each of us the creative ability to tap into that abundance, and to live from a place of fullness, it frees me to extend the expression of abundance of all that I have received from God towards others, seeking to leave each person with an impression of increase, whether that be financially, emotionally, intellectually, or spiritually. There are many ways to impress increase upon others.
How are you expressing the impression of increase to those in your life? I encourage you to give it some thought.
I believe in you and I believe in your dream!!
Hold Your Image!!