It Is Never Too Late

Something sad happened—my 94-year-old father died. Something wonderful happened too—he taught me a final lesson.

When Dad first moved into the nursing home, I was troubled. I pictured long lonely days ahead for him. But I soon realized I was wrong. He spent time with the other residents and took a particular interest in the lives of the staff. They’d come in and ask him if they could do something for him and before they knew it—with his quirky sense of humor—he was giving them advise—whether they wanted it our not. He thanked them for their care, told them to take care of themselves and to keep looking up.

The day my father died, I stood in his small room with my brothers and sister. The sun shone in the window and cascaded across his bed. The chaplain was there to say a few words before the funeral home picked up the body and ready it for burial.

As we stood waiting for the small bedside service to begin, a group of strangers gathered and easily filled his room. The crowd continued through the corridor and down the hallway. They began to share.

“You know, I always thought I was his favorite,” one said. “He treated me as if I was the most important person in the world. The more I got to know him, I realized, Roger treated everyone that way.”When Dad moved into that nursing home, his life wasn’t over, as I had feared. He embraced the change. He cared for the staff, just as much as they cared for him. This was clear by the long line of visitors with tears in their eyes that came to say goodbye to their friend Roger. It’s never to late to finalize your brand. Thanks for the lesson Dad. Now, that’s strong personal branding.

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