What would you do with an extra 24 hours?

Today is February 29, a day that only occurs once every four years. It's an extra day. A full 24 hours.

As you go through your day today, look at each minute--each hour--as a gift. Will you use your extra day to take a chance? Make a difference? Create a memory? Change your life?

Time is something that seems to grow on trees when we're young. As we age, time becomes more precious. We complain that we don't have enough hours in the day; that time flies by too quickly.

Today, on this leap day, do something outstanding. Whether it's something personal or professional, don't let the this extra day slip away. Embrace it. Cherish it. Relish it. Rock it.

What will you do with your extra 24 hours?

Can you be humble one day a year?

humble: not proud or haughty; not arrogant or assertive  

Today is National Be Humble Day. A day for all of us to remember that we're not better than anyone else. A day to give credit to others.

You may think you rock; and maybe you do. But, chances are, you didn't get where you are today all by yourself. Others helped you by lending their support, money, connections, or resources.

We all have things we're good at and accomplishments we're proud of achieving. However, no one likes a braggart. Being humble is a trait that too few people possess.

For today, let us all remember to be humble. Don't be arrogant, don't try to get all the attention, don't feel that you've failed unless you've gotten the masses to recognize how great you are. Be humble. Be gracious. Then, just be.

Can losing business win new customers?

You're in business to make money, right? If you sell products, you want them out of your store and into your customers' hands. Money in the hand keeps your bottom line happy, right? But, how do you handle things when your customer wants to return something? Do you strike an attitude because you don't want to return the cash or go through the inconvenience of a return? Or, do you seize the opportunity to win over the customer for life?

This month, I was working on a project with a colleague and went to purchase some supplies. I bought eight, 10-count packages of DVD covers from Office Max (it was my first time there). Since we needed more than they had in stock, I ordered another 12 packs from the clerk.

The project I was working on took a quick turn and no sooner than I received a call indicating that the remaining DVD covers arrived from the Office Max warehouse, my partner decided to skip the DVD sleeves altogether. Now, ordinarily I have no qualms about returning unused merchandise, but I felt bad that they had shipped 12 more units to the store at my request. And, now, I was flaking out and I didn't need them. I was genuinely sorry and went back to the store prepared for the clerk to be annoyed with me.

After a minute with the cashier, he passed me off to someone else because his shift had ended. It was then that I had the pleasure of meeting Hernan, the store manager. I said, "I feel so bad that you guys went through the hassle of ordering these for me and shipping them here, and now I don't need them." Hernan's response? "Don't feel bad. Feel happy. It's a great day and we're all lucky to be alive." Wow. I was stunned.

Although the two returns took longer than I expected, I didn't mind in the least. Hernan was a pleasure to talk with and he was the nicest retail associate that I've ever met. As he scanned my 20 packets, he said hello to a customer walking by and asked him how his vacation was. The customer smiled and responded.

Hernan restored my faith in a lot of ways that day. There is still good customer service out there and, even in a big city like Los Angeles, there are folks who make a point to know their customers. From this point forward, I'm an Office Max fan and it's all due to Hernan.

Think you can't gain a loyal customer by losing a sale? Think again.
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