It takes courage to grow your business; to make changes, to make progress. It also takes courage to get back in the saddle once you’ve been bucked off. But what if you weren’t really bucked off, but rather thrown from your pickup as an 18-year-old with your entire life in front of you. You’re in Wyoming, look down at your map, and after your truck stops rolling, you are setting in the ditch, next to the fence post you were thrown into that broke your back. You can’t feel your legs, and when other drivers stop to offer help you ask to borrow a phone to call your dad.
That is just the beginning of a true story of courage, and the real-life account of Amberley Snyder, this year’s keynote speaker at the BioZyme Dealer Retreat. Amberley retold of that fateful January day in 2010 when her life was literally turned upside down. The Utah State FFA officer had big plans to attend college in Oklahoma on a rodeo scholarship. She’d been a barrel racer since a very young age, and she and her horses always had a special bond. Then, she heard the words that she’d never walk again.
As in a successful business, drive, courage and goals kept Amberley focused. Her first three goals: walk, ride, rodeo. In just 18 months after that fateful day, she was back on her horse. She has successfully competed at rodeos and she is still determined with the grace of God, continued therapy and modern medicine she will walk again someday.
Amberley shared 5 important lessons with the dealers at Dealer Retreat that can be applied to both life and business.
“We don’t always get to choose what we draw out of the bag, but we do get to choose how we handle what we draw,” Amberley told the crowd as she asked three volunteers to come on stage with her and “draw” from a bag she had with her. One rugged dealer from Wyoming drew a silky, pink scarf and modeled that accessory like he sold scarves instead of VitaFerm for a living. Another drew a wooden chicken and strutted like a chicken; the third drew out a sweet Snickers candy bar and took a big bite out of it. Perhaps if each had drawn the different object out, they would have handled things differently. But life is about making the right choices for us and our businesses.
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help or accept help.” We all are better when we accept the help from those who offer it. If we can’t do something or don’t know the answer, asking doesn’t mean defeat, it just means you want to be better.
“Don’t compare your challenges or accomplishments to someone else’s.” It’s easy to fall into the comparison trap. But don’t. Think you’re having a bad day? Someone else is likely having a worse day. Everyone is fighting some kind of battle. Did you just make the biggest sale ever? Good for you! Celebrate, but stay humble.
“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” Amberley knew her attitude would help determine if she would ride or rodeo again. Having a positive attitude in a negative situation made all the difference. The same can be said in business and offering the best customer service. You can have the best products on the market, but if you have a poor attitude, you probably won’t see customers lined up at your door.
“There is no future in giving up.” If you are reading this newsletter, you likely aren’t a quitter. Neither is Amberley, the only paralyzed barrel racer and break away roper on the professional circuit. Are your sales not quite what you expected this month? Have the courage to make a change. Get out and meet some new potential customers. Support the local fair. Whatever you do, never, ever give up.