When I was in college, the mail used to come and was sorted and stored in a giant bank of mail slots. Everyone would walk in this small room, which also housed a bank of washers and dryers, and survey the mail slots to see if there was anything in the slot purposefully marked with their name.
I remember the smell of fabric softener and the way the warm humidity from the dryers curled the letters. I also remember the joy of getting mail. The much anticipated bit of mail from home or a girlfriend made you feel like you were on top of the world, or at least climbing that way.
Today, e-mail, bills and junk mail have robbed me of the joy of getting mail. Even so, the real lesson wasn’t in getting the mail, it was in why you got the mail, and that lesson hasn’t changed. You get mail when you send it. If you don’t send any, you don’t get any.
Back then, when there wasn’t an outpouring of bills and junk mail, it was all about those precious deliveries of caring messages. And, back then as it is today, you have to send mail to get it. I watch my kids’ faces light up when the mailbox has letters carefully addressed to them wishing them happiness or inviting them to a friend’s party. They love it, and I find myself wishing the bad-news box was filled with better news for me. It’s then I remember you have to send letters to get them.
You have to call people to get them to call you. You have to go places to meet new people. You have to meet new people to get new sales. As my dad always said, “They aren’t always going to knock on your door, you’ve got to knock on theirs.” Opportunity only knocks if you let it know where you are. Does opportunity know where to find you? If not, maybe it’s time to let it know where you are.