Corporate lessons at the Breakfast table - FocusU

Corporate lessons at the Breakfast table

My job is such an interesting one because it affords me the opportunity to continuously travel and creates opportunities for me to observe individals all across the country. I recently had a particularly interesting trip that I won’t soon forget because of a chance meeting I had with a violinist. I was enjoying breakfast at the hotel restaurant when I noticed a beautiful tune. My eyes began to search for the source of this melody and then I noticed a lean feeble man playing the violin. With a sympathetic look at my face, I watched the rather old man standing throughout his performance, while everyone else around enjoyed their lavish breakfast, the violinist gone unnoticed by them.

violinist at hotel restaurant

It was such a delight seeing someone passionately doing his work and enjoying it, after all we don’t come across people like this every day. He finished his tune and everyone applauded. And then it struck me: when you do anything with passion you get noticed.


I resumed my breakfast since I had to leave shortly for my workshop. Suddenly a heard a soft voice from behind; “Sir, hope you are enjoying your breakfast. May I have a minute of yours?” I turned and saw the violinist standing. I said, “Yes sure, please let me know how can I help?” He replied, “My name is Swapan Sett, hope you liked the melody.” “Yes, we loved it,” I said. He continued, “If you liked the melody you can take it home. I have ten melodies on this CD which you would love to hear.” He handed me the CD, and I said “sure” and purchased it. He was happy and he moved on to the next person. This was my second lesson from my unsuspecting new teacher: there is no harm in asking. Asking begins the receiving process. When you become enterprising a whole world of opportunities open up.

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Soon I saw him moving from one table to the next selling his CD with a short elevator pitch. He got rejections from many, yet he proceeded on from table to table with enthusiasm, selling his work. He was like a go-getter of the hotel. From him I saw that success lies within rejections. If you want to double your success rate, triple your failure rate.

Finally he resumed back his gig again, playing a different melody, and everyone enjoyed it. People were coming and going and he was doing happily playing. Before leaving I thought of speaking with him to know more about his work. He shared with me that playing violin is only one of the things he does; he is also a professional sculptor and painter. He shared his story in brief and went ahead to other tables with his pitch. I was impressed. He had taught my final lesson: you are not your job. Don’t over identify with your role or title – you are much more than you think you are. When you explore yourself you begin to learn what you can really do.

With this I thanked him for the music and CD and left. Though I don’t know whether we will get a chance to meet again, he made an everlasting mark in my memory as someone who truly lives his passion.

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