Click the link above for any date, or click
to email us.
Last year's Pay It
Want to lose weight without eating less or exercising
more? Eat dinner at least 4 hours before bedtime. The closer to
bedtime you eat, the more likely you are to pack on pounds.
On 11/16/04, I was awakened in the
middle of the night at the Holiday Inn in Holyoke, Massachusetts
by 21 words.
I remembered that the tune for the Beatles’
"Yesterday" came to Paul McCartney while he was asleep, and
figured I should write the words down.
I didn’t know what
to do with them, but knew they were inspired by a young woman
who attended my seminar that day. She had basically sacrificed
her youth to raise her sister’s three kids after she went to
On 6/6/05, those words appeared as the first
quote in the first issue of this newsletter:
describe 90 percent of the people I meet - Selfish, Selfish,
Selfish. I thank God for the other 10 percent.”
changed “Selfish, Selfish, Selfish” to “Selfish, Lazy and
I’m a Christian. (If it “offends” you that
I mention my faith, click the Unsubscribe link at the bottom.
Seriously. Click it. If you’re one of those people who preaches
diversity and inclusion but then cries fowl the minute someone
expresses values different than yours, you’re a big, fat
hypocrite and I don’t want you as a subscriber).
Christian, I believe the purpose of my life is to serve God, and
that He wants us to do that by serving others. While I’ve never
sacrificed as much as the woman in Massachusetts, I serve a lot
For example, I publish the world’s largest
Job Board for chamber of commerce executives
(www.glennshepardjobs.com), and people from California to New
York have found jobs on it. The first one got a 78% pay
increase. I do this as a way of giving back to an industry that
has helped my business so much.
We charge nothing for it,
but it costs me about $20,000 a year to provide. Yet it’s
amazing how many people who find jobs on it never send a thank
you note, or ask what they can do to give back. About half don’t
even return my calls or respond to my emails after they get the
new job. (Until they get fired and need another job. Then they
want to be my best friend).
I’ve also coached over 300
speakers and authors. Several have made thousands of dollars as
a direct result, and the only thing I’ve ever asked is that they
pay it forward by helping someone else and sharing the story
with me. All 300+ have promised to do so, but not one has ever
kept their promise.
I’ve given away a GMC van, a Jaguar,
and a Land Rover to people in need, but have never received a
thank you note from any of the recipients.
All of this
leaves a bad taste in my mouth and I have to try hard not to be
bitter. A friend suggested that if doing for others leaves me
feeling so bad, I should quit doing it.
But it feels good
to help people – especially when you encounter the 10% who
actually appreciate it.
And here’s why I gave up M&Ms on
I believe birthdays are the one day of the
year everyone is entitled to be self-centered (because it’s YOUR
day). For years, we had subscribers send M&M’s on my birthday.
It was a challenge to see how many I could get.
But on my
51st birthday in 2014, I began asking people to perform a random
act of kindness for a stranger they’ll never see again.
wasn’t trying to be altruistic. To the contrary, I was being a
I already have everything I need.
(My beautiful bride tried to give me a 50th anniversary Corvette
for my 50th birthday in 2013, but I wouldn’t accept it because I
didn’t need another car.)
And I’ve done just about
everything there is to do on birthdays, from cruises to racing a
red Ferrari and a yellow Lamborghini though the dessert to
sky-jumping off of the Las Vegas Stratosphere.
wanted – all I wanted – for my 51st birthday in 2014 was for
people to Pay It Forward.
And it was the most awesome
birthday ever. We received emails from people telling us how
much fun they had doing it, and how good it made them feel. And
how their kids picked up on it, and how it became an incredible
And THAT made me feel good – really,
really good. So shoot me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think it’s
unreasonable to want to feel good on your birthday.
that’s how the new tradition of Pay It Forward Birthdays was
born in 2014, and will continue until the day
I now begin each birthday by giving an envelope of
cash in the amount of the birthday number to a McDonald’s
manager to pay for the meals of people behind me.
year we took a birthday cake to the Nashville Fire Department
with the words “Thank You!” on it. (That was also a little
self-serving. I got to have a birthday cake, but didn’t gain all
the weight I would have if a cake had stayed in our kitchen for
the next week).
And it keeps growing.
If you love
to help others but don’t love birthdays, I challenge you to
adopt the Pay It Forward Birthday idea. I guarantee it’ll be the
best birthday present you ever got, and you’ll actually look
forward to birthdays again.
To Your Success,
In case you missed the memo, I turn
53 on October 20. If you’d like to participate in my Pay it
Forward Birthday celebration, do something for a total stranger
and tell us about it at
Click here to
comment on this issue >>