Thursday, June 7, 2012

The No Limits Story of Mary Lawrence

Mary Lawrence was no stranger to tragedy. For five years after her husband’s death she wandered through life with no real direction. Then late one night, a driver ran a stop sign and what had been two cars was a mass of twisted rubble.

When one of the paramedics found her broken body, he said, “Get the others. This one’s gone.”  But she wasn’t and her spirit was uninjured.  On the way back to town, an amazed medic had discovered she had a pulse!  At the hospital the doctor said she wouldn’t live through the night. She did.

She spent the next year in the hospital. Her teeth and facial bones wired together. Later they performed fifteen root canals. They explained they had to do two facial reconstruction surgeries where no anesthesia could be used. Her response!  “Let’s get started.”

A year later, she was released. Her doctor told her to go home and “take it easy.” You don’t say that to “No Limits” people unless you get out of the way first!

When she went shopping, her face still swollen, she would see people she knew were friends. She couldn’t remember their names because of the permanent brain damage. They didn’t recognize her and turned their heads rather than look at her.  She said that really hurt.

Her memory was so bad she concentrated on each word of a sentence so she wouldn’t forget what she had said at the beginning. She discovered that getting a California real estate license was very difficult because of the memory work. Typically, she said that’s what she’d do.

She would read each page of that thick real estate manual fifty to sixty times until it was engrained. She passed the full day test the first time!

Mary went to work for one broker who terminated her after a month because she was slow in memorizing the inventory. At the second company, it was the same scenario.

An hour after the second termination my phone rang. This very determined voice said, “I’m Mary Lawrence and I want to work for you.”

She was in our three-week training program a few days later. After she graduated I placed her in one of my offices. WOW! Her sales were incredible.

A year later at our annual banquet I announced her name from the stage as one of our ten Outstanding First Year Salespeople. She came up on the stage. As I handed her the plaque, she leaned over and whispered in my ear, “Save me a place.  I’ll be back up here next year.”  As I watched her walk away, I thought, she means that.

The very next morning Mary bought a long pink dress to wear one year later. She hung it up in the very center of her closet to remind herself daily of her goal.

The next year I stand on that Grand Ballroom stage of the Disneyland Hotel. I tell the back-story that she had finally told me only a month before. At the end of this triumphant story I announce that she is #1 out of our 700 salespeople in listings taken, listings sold, sales and gross commission. “Ladies and gentlemen, Mary Lawrence.”

Mary, a true “no limits” champion floats across the dance floor in the beautiful long pink gown that had acted as her daily inspiration. To add to this triumphant moment, the band is playing “The Impossible Dream” and several hundred people rise in a roaring, standing ovation. Not a dry eye in the audience!

She stands in the spotlight at center stage of the Disneyland Hotel. I move toward her with the large Number One trophy. She turns, looks me in the eye and says, “I told you I’d be back!”

Point to Ponder:
Adversity sometimes strips a person only to discover the person.

Higher up and farther on!