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Chapter 7. The Listening Hand > SUCCESS CARD 33: Be Accepting

SUCCESS CARD 33: Be Accepting

True listening is listening without defensiveness or judgment. It is open and accepting. A good listener remains open not only to the ideas before him or her but also to the possibilities. If you're listening to the possibilities, your mind is open and creative. You're using your thinking time well because you're taking what's before you and moving it positively toward a goal you have.

“I listened like a shopkeeper.”

In the 70s, when I was a single flight attendant based in New York City, I always liked the people who were the local shop owners. My community was my butcher, my pharmacist, my cleaners; they were my family. It's strange that you would think of community in New York City, but I always did. I dreamed then that if I ever got married and settled down, I'd be a shop owner. As the years went by, flying on the planes, I started talking to passengers about what they did for a living. At the time I didn't even know what the word networking meant, but I guess I was a natural at it. I talked to everyone so that since 1976, I had collected the names of about 170 suppliers whom I had met. Years later, my dream came true. When I finally did open my shop, South & West, my first suppliers were none other than the people I had met in my life and on the plane. People do all kinds of things! People design dog bowls, fashion silver Milagros, votives, ornaments, books—they are so creative. When you're in retail, your suppliers really are an extension of your family. I even refer to my store as “she.” “She” has to take care of herself, and I take care of myself. We're family. I'm still flying four to five trips a month as a 25-year employee of the airline.

I'm stubborn. I would encourage people not to look back but to listen and dream. 'Your imagination is your only limitation'; that's what I believe.

Karen, mother, shop owner, and flight attendant



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