My Dose Of Humble Pie In Life and Business...

It is that time of year when we all begin to reflect on this past year and drum up our strategies for 2016. As I look around me in this Christmas Season, disheveled shoppers scrambling to buy that 'perfect gift', get the 'best' parking spot, buy the most extravagant dress for the cocktail party in the office... Carolers stand beside the Salvation Army Kettles imploring passersby's to pull out a crisp bill to place in the donation kitty... I reflect back to a time in my life, probably the most important conversation of my life, and I smile.... This is something which I feel compelled to share with you.

Thirty years ago, I lost my Father, who had always wanted to visit his ancestral country of India. I was 18 years old and losing my Dad was a difficult time in my life- he was my ardent fan and supporter. He was a devout Hindu; thus it seemed appropriate and significant to take my Father's ashes to India and spread them in the Ganges River.

As an 18 year old gal coming from Canada, of course it made absolute sense to take every designer outfit and high-heeled shoe I owned to India. Perhaps, I would become India's 'fashionista', when actually, India would become a life changing event that has transformed the type of person I am and colored how I run my company.

Bombay is the 'city that never sleeps' and one evening whilst chatting with some newly made friends as we sat on the rocks at Nariman Point, a small meager, poor tiny old man would alter who I was completely. Enthralled in conversation, I could hear this annoying man singing 'Bajans' as he approached the hill outside our hotel; a 5 star hotel (I should add).

I glanced up to see this frail man whose legs were the size of my arms climbing up the small hill. He was happily pulling his cart and singing songs, without a care in the world. This was 2 AM and he appeared to be carrying something in his cart- for God's sake, it was bananas! I ushered to my friends that we needed to help this poor helpless feeble man. I ran to him and attempted to help him pull this cart up the hill; knowing full well that he would probably collapse by its sheer weight!

He stopped and placed the cart on the ground and began to speak to me in Hindi; which I had a basic understanding of. He shook his head and smiled at me, "Do not feel sorry for me child" he said. I implored him to take the help and he continued to shake his head. "I am lucky young child; do not feel sorry for me"! "I have a cart, and I can sell these bananas to get money to feed my family". Shaking his head and using his hands to demonstrate, "Feel sorry and help the man who does not have a cart or bananas and cannot feed his family". He touched my head and uttered a sentence in Hindi "Have a good life child- be thank full", and he gave me a banana. This conversation changed my life; I was a spoiled young girl who was so fortunate to have so much. I never understood the power of someone's voice and wisdom. I suppose that you can call this an epiphany, or a bit of wisdom that I would use and carry with me throughout my life.

When at 29, Multiple Sclerosis became a key player in my life. An inevitable career change has created a company and business that is necessary, and I remain in a league that is not overcrowded yet. Inclusion for all has become my mantra; which I share globally. All the time that my company has success, I remember my fortune. This Christmas Season, I ask you to create your own epiphany, give from your heart, and not just your pocketbook. Take the time to ask a senior to share their stories with you, kneel down and speak with a child...

Be thankful and humbled in your business life, and always remember your fortunes. Remember that you are blessed and always share your 'bananas'...

Merry Christmas...