Welcome to the seventy-ninth edition of “In-Touch”. As always, I would love to continue the conversation so please hit reply and let me know what you think.
Story of the Week: "A Happy Reunion"
At the start of this year, one of the biggest players in the local construction industry asked me to train its management team. Having accepted the opportunity, I soon found myself working on some preliminary interviews, including one with the company’s acknowledged ‘star player’. When the conference room door opened and he entered, my face lit up with surprise and elation.
I had first met Raj Bharara in 2011 when he was working at a 5-star hotel in Paphos and I was conducting a staff training session there. He made such a positive impression on me that, in my notes that day, I wrote: “This young man has a bright future and will go far!”
On seeing him again 13 years later, I was lost for words – something that rarely happens to me – and so he spoke first: “Michael, you changed my life.”
As you can imagine, after hearing that, I found it even harder to express my feelings! But what did he mean?
On 4 April 2011, I had shared with Raj and his colleagues a powerful quotation from a bestselling book entitled “Life is Tremendous” by the businessman and author Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones: "You'll be the same person five years from now as you are today except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read."
Raj not only heard this but really took it to heart and, having made it his personal mission to grow, he committed to making daily mental push-ups by devouring books. As a result, he was soon leaving a lasting, positive impression on everyone he met.
Charlie Jones’ words and my notes turned out to be truly prophetic. Raj is currently the Business Development Manager of a prestigious company and, thanks to the way he leads his team, he has become indispensable to the owner.
His positive attitude is infectious but he is the first to admit that such an attitude alone is no guarantee of success in today’s highly competitive world and, especially, in the real estate sector that he has chosen to work in. Having regained my ability to speak (!), I asked Raj what he felt set him apart from others in the industry.
“I live by a golden rule,” he told me. “It’s this: If I'm not sleeping, I will always answer my phone." This commitment to accommodating clients – who usually come from abroad to invest in land and buildings – over weekends and holidays certainly puts him in a league of his own. While others use the ‘it’s the weekend’ excuse, Raj and his team are sealing deals, making the Monday morning calls from their competitors seem like too little, too late.
Having started out as a young trainee with a promising future and becoming a key player in a major industry, Raj is living proof that success comes through being dedicated, demonstrating a positive attitude, and going the extra mile for prospects and customers alike.
And here's my 2024 note: “This (still) young man is destined for even bigger things!”
Here's to more unexpected reunions, bright futures and incredible journeys along the way.
Words of Wisdom
“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”
A Question to Ponder, dear friend.
“Is there one book that has changed your life?”
Hit reply and let me know.