I’m not quite sure how it happened, but we are only a week and change away from 2022. And while there seems to be plenty more to navigate regarding the health situation, and the socio-economic and political climates, I find it remarkable that the calendar year 2021 is on the cusp of ending.

And this has me thinking about how we typically do endings. It’s a pretty “meaty” topic, but over all there’s a tendency to allow endings to just happen. Things end. And we can’t control that.

True — but we can control the way we show up in the ending. And so there are two elements in particular that I want to share this morning.

And I invite you to listen from a place of business owner, networker, and leader.

The first key piece that I’ll offer around endings is to, “always leave them better.” Whether the deal is closed and over, whether you’ve worked together for an hour or a year, whether it’s a long term client, a new client, a prospective client, or just another human you meet along the way, have an impact. Know your impact!

And make sure it’s a positive one. Have integrity, and if the client is moving on — or the prospect passes on the opportunity — you show up with class and dignity, and rather than focusing on what’s being “lost,” be grateful for what you had.

Put the effort forth to end on a high note. It’s the right thing to do. And remember, modeling that kind of character can make an impression which might lead to a referral. So it’s good for your karma *and* your business. And it will create a momentum for you to carry into the next relationship or endeavor.

The other thing I want to remind you of today is to always be sure and make an ask.

It could be at the end of a meeting, in a breakout room, during a 121, a potential referral conversation, a connection call, or in your commercial. Opportunity is everywhere, especially in this community. Ask for something — for yourself, or perhaps about what you can do for the other person, entity, community or organization.

Hockey Hall of Famer, the great Wayne Gretzky famously said, “You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.”

You can have an incredibly impactful conversation. But if you don’t actually ask for the sale, or the hire, or the referral, they may just walk away feeling good. Thinking you’re nice, or special.

This is not to say that every commercial must have an ask. Sometimes we just want to educate, or share or provide value. But then put the ask in an email. Or bring it to the 121.

My late grandfather used to say, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” I say, don’t be afraid to squeak.

Just like a nice business suit or professional outfit has you carry yourself a certain way, this goes for behavioral attire as well.

We need to end powerfully on both ends. When we first meet our clients. And when we ultimately part ways.

Be intentional in your asks up front, and make sure you choose what’s written on that final page.

And may all of your endings lead to new and wonderful beginnings.

I’ve got some special things brewing in the new year. But until then…

Go get em! Go out with a bang.

Leave ‘em better than you found em.

Happy Holidays, Happy New Year!

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