The Referral of a Lifetime

It was another perfect morning at the California Coffee Café and Bistro as the regulars, including Susie McCumber, lined up for their morning cups of “the usual” before starting their day.

There was a monumental difference between the Susie McCumber of today and the Susie of six months prior. This Tuesday morning, like every Tuesday morning, Susie and her three team members were seated out front for their weekly meeting. She always used the table off to the side, the one with the oversized umbrella and beautiful view of the ocean. Her business had exploded, prompting the hiring of an additional commissioned salesperson, a customer service representative, and a personal assistant/administrative person. Susie had a relaxed air of confidence about her—not boastful, just confident.

Every month, every person in her company database received an outstanding monthly communication. These communications were so creative and impressive, Bennie started pinning them up on his bulletin board. Susie became well known for her flair for business referral thank-yous that were always offered in appropriate yet memorable ways. Susie had confirmed what Highground stated: she was a business-relational and developed her leadership strengths around that fact. She had a gift for articulating her business offerings and blossomed into one of the most productive presenters in her industry. She was truly free to be her authentic self, communicating from her third level, and her business showed the results.

Philip walked into the busy shop, grabbed a copy of the Wall Street Journal, and stood in line directly behind Susie. Tapping her on the shoulder, he said, “Good morning.” Glancing at the size of Susie’s team assembled for her meeting, he smiled. “It appears you got past your concern about people telling you no—since your growing team suggests you have gotten a lot of yeses.”

“It’s been a great experience, Philip. I’m the same person. I just got comfortable with my God-given gifts and learned to run with them—with a little help from my friends. I found with the momentum I built through the help of the system, I could really get past the tension of having to make a sale. You know what I mean—I could focus on my clients’ needs instead of mine. As soon as I started doing that consistently, putting the relationship first, invoking the golden rule daily, business started coming to me. That philosophy removed the dollar signs from my forehead. And you were a great resource.”

The phone behind the antique oak bar rang, and Bennie, who was standing shoulder to shoulder with his cashier and second barista and in the middle of preparing a double cappuccino, no whip, stopped, grabbed it, talked a second, and then turned and looked at Susie. “It’s for you.”

Susie was a bit surprised and frowned. After all, she hadn’t had her coffee yet. “Who is it?”

Bennie handed her the phone and returned to his coffee creation. “A friend of yours.”

“This is Susie,” she confidently said.

“Susie! Highground here. How are you? It’s been six months.”

His voice quickly elevated her spirit. “I’m just great, David. How are you? I’ve loved getting your postcards from all over. You’ve been on the move.”

“Just helping out a few friends. I’m back in town now. And I’ve been hearing good things about you. I just want to thank you for keeping your promise about staying the course. It sounds as if you are doing fabulously, and I’m really happy for you.”

“Oh, thank you. It has been fabulous. Absolutely! I can’t wait to tell you the whole story.”

“Well, I can’t wait to hear it. This brings me to why I called. I do have a favor to ask of you.”


“I have a new friend that needs some help, and I wanted to know if you could meet us at Bennie’s tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. and—”

“Talk about one of the principles and share where I was and where I am now? You bet. It would be my utter pleasure. I’ll be here.”

Susie handed the phone back to Bennie with one hand and took her hazelnut coffee with steamed milk from him with the other.

“Everything okay?” he asked, hanging up the phone.

“Better than okay,” she answered with a grateful shake of her head. “And all because of you.”

Susie took a few steps away and then stopped, turned back to Bennie, and said, “You know something, Bennie? He really was the referral of a lifetime.”

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