Way back when I was in my first “real” job out of college, a quirky fellow came into my life. He was from India, tall and lanky. There was little hair on his head, and he used what I could only surmise was black shoe polish to try to cover up the loss. His clothes were plain and rumpled, his belt was worn, and when he crossed one knee over the other, you could see holes in his shoes. He seemed not to care.
This unlikely-looking man was the guru for Holiday Inns in Memphis—a brilliant consultant hired to guide this company into the success they are still enjoying.
For some reason, he decided to take this backwoods Tennessee boy under his wing. Whether it was potential or pity he saw, I’ll never know, but I am forever grateful.
Whenever he was in town to meet with the bigwigs, he made sure to scout me out. He took me under his wing and encouraged me to further educate myself. He recommended that I join Toastmasters to learn much-needed speaking skills. He pushed me to read, read, read. He took time to mail articles and ideas that he thought would be to my benefit.
Maurice Macarenas wasn’t in business for the money, though I’m sure he made plenty; he was in the business of changing lives. Without his interest and encouragement, I’m not sure that I wouldn’t still be hidden away in some cubicle pushing a pencil. Instead, because of his impact, I decided that I, too, would become a consultant and strive to make a difference for others.
Per his example, I have mentored many young men through their choices and career paths and watched them gain the confidence to move on to bigger and better things.
Always keep your eyes open for someone who might just need a bit of a push and someone who genuinely cares. It may not be in business, it could be the kid next door shooting basketballs by himself. Everyone needs someone to listen, encourage, and make them feel important.
Would I have been able to do what I never dreamed I could do without him? Perhaps. But I am convinced that what he did for me was invaluable. Maurice Macarenas’ friendship and mentorship forever changed the course of my life. Who’s life can you change?
CEO, MasterThink, Inc.