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Success Newsletters

Volume 3, Number 5 September-October, 2003 Issue

In This Edition
1. Excerpt from Success Is Not A Spectator Sport
2. Marcel the Bellman
4. Recommended Reading

The following is an excerpt from my upcoming book; Success is Not A Spectator Sport.

Success is about participating
The one thing I know for sure about success is that to achieve it you have to be a participant. You must be prepared to take action, be a player. Success is about being willing to take the journey, no matter where it might lead you. It involves being able to stay on course, to take the bumps, the knocks, the inevitable twists and turns that will come your way on your journey. Writer, Lynn Gerald said, “If the sun can shine after the darkest storm, so can we.”

Success is not a spectator sport
People who watch on the sidelines of life and wait for others to make things happen for them will never achieve what they are looking for. Success will not come to you; you have to hunt it down. You have to create the conditions, and design the plays and the purpose of what it is you want to achieve and become.

Become a risk taker: Get out of your comfort zone
Success means stretching your limits every time you are in the game. Are you prepared to go after what you want in life, to sacrifice and pay the price? This is one of the qualities that set apart the average individual from the world’s achievers and winners. You see, the average person is always worrying about the risks and the consequences involved in doing something different in order to achieve a better life. Successful people don’t worry about the risks involved. They jump right in and do whatever it takes. They are comfortable with who they are and realize there will be setbacks along the way, but that obstacles are just part of the journey.

There can be no success without setbacks. In fact, I believe that if you haven’t experienced enough setbacks, failure or rejection in your life, it usually means you have not been living life as it should be lived, taken enough risks, and ultimately have not been as successful as you could have been. This is an indication that you have lived passively on the sidelines as a spectator – instead of in the center of the action – as a player!

Every successful person from Henry Ford, to Oprah Winfrey, to Michael Jordan, to Elizabeth Taylor, to Donald Trump, will tell stories about risks they have taken and the failures they have experienced in order to achieve the success they came to enjoy. Thomas Watson Sr., founder of IBM said, “If you want to double your success rate, you must first be prepared to double your rate of failure.”

I believe you have to get uncomfortable before you can become comfortable with who you truly are and with what you truly want. Let me explain that statement. What I mean is that you have to be prepared to get out of your comfort zone, and for many people that involves change, and change makes some people feel uncomfortable. You have to be prepared for that level of discomfort.

I know that change is not easy. My personal experiences with change will testify to that. The one constant feature of change is that we can run from it, we can resist it, we can hide from it, but eventually it will find us. My personal philosophy is this: if we resist change we will fail. If we accept change we will survive, but for those who are prepared to embrace change, then I believe we will succeed.

Marcel the Bellman
My family and I recently visited the beautiful city of Ottawa, Canada. After a couple of wonderful days, we checked out of our busy downtown hotel. With seven pieces of luggage and two small children in tow, we called the front desk to have someone take our numerous bags down to our car. It seemed almost instantly after we got off the phone there was a knock on our door, and there was Marcel the Bellman, impeccably dressed with white gloves and a hat that my children took immediately to be a policeman’s. As he introduced himself to us with a beaming smile on his face, chaos loomed all around him with our kids running around the room playing and causing havoc; nothing seemed to faze him.

Marcel completely took over the situation, piling all our bags, strollers, playpen, etc. onto the cart he had with him and even entertaining our children in the elevator. This impressed us greatly. When we got downstairs, my wife, who had gone to get the car, had not arrived yet. Marcel unloaded the bags onto the sidewalk in front of the hotel, and in my opinion his work was done. I tipped him and thanked him for his service. As he left to serve the many other people needing his help, he said something about watching for the car, which I took no notice of at the time.

About five minutes later my wife arrived with the car. Now those of you who have traveled with children in a sedan know how much stuff you have to cart with you, and how strategically you have to place each item to get it into the trunk of a car. So, my wife and I first put our children safely in their car seats, and then started the intricate science of loading the car. Then, almost magically Marcel appeared, and again with that smile on his face, he proceeded to take charge of the situation, told me and my wife to relax and he would take care of everything, which he did!!
Take note here, I had already tipped Marcel, and he actually refused a further tip after he had loaded our luggage and paraphernalia into our car, so that was not the reason he came back to help us. I asked him why he did it, and here is what he told me: he has been proudly working for this hotel for 22 years and he takes great pride in his work. He looks upon everybody he serves like they were family, and thinks about how he might feel in the same situation. He also told me that although he works for a large international chain of hotels he treats the sign on the hotel above like it was his own hotel. As we left, he wished us a great trip, and said please come back and visit us again soon. You know, we probably will.

Marcel demonstrated so many qualities to me and I learned so many lessons from our encounter. I call it the WOW! factor.

Firstly it does not matter what you do for a living, what position you hold with a company or organization, take a pride in what it is you do and be the best you can be. In Marcel’s opinion, his work was not done until we were safely on our way.
Secondly, take interest in your customers. Marcel took the time to play with my kids, asked us where we were from, and if there was anything else he could do for us. He smiled, just a simple thing, it costs nothing, but means a lot to people, and today in my opinion is sadly lacking.

Thirdly, think about how you can create an extraordinary experience for someone. What separates good customer service and extraordinary service, is the service you are not obliged to give. That is what people value and remember the most, the little things. Marcel went above and beyond the service that was expected of him. Marcel did not have to come back a second time and help us, but he did it because he was a professional and he cared about what he did, the company he represented and the people he served.

On a final note, to end the story, Marcel asked me for my business card before he said his goodbyes to us. He told us he collects them. I gave him mine thinking nothing of it, but when we returned from our vacation there was a handwritten thank you card from guess who…Marcel. He again thanked us for staying at his hotel and for the opportunity for him to serve us and hoped we had a good and safe trip home,
Any organization that is blessed with a Marcel in their ranks has nothing to fear from the competition. He is a front line employee who does more to enhance the image for that hotel then any fancy brochure can do.

Ask Yourself:
Are you creating the WOW! factor experience for your customers and clients? Rest assured that if you are not, somebody in your competition is.

“When we have the courage to dream and the commitment to succeed a whole new world of opportunity opens up for us” Charles Marcus

“Our business in life is not to get ahead of others, but to get ahead of ourselves—- to break our own records, to outstrip our yesterday by our today” Stewart B. Johnson

“You can either step forward into growth or you can step back into safety” Abraham Maslow


The Leader’s Digest by Jim Clemmer
This book contains timeless principles for team and organization success. It contains wonderful content, a wealth of great quotations, anecdotes and insightful commentary. The book is also very well laid out and is a very easy read, and provides great insight into leadership today.

A Voice For The Child by Janusz Korczak
This is a small hardcover book with tremendous depth, heart and soul. A must read for anybody with kids. Janusz Korczak who has an incredibly brave and courageous story of his own, is, in my opinion, one of the world’s greatest authorities on children. During his lifetime he was renowned as a fighter for the rights of the child. Very inspiring and thought provoking.

Thinking For a Change by John Maxwell
John Maxwell is one of my favorite authors. His insights are always brilliant and well thought out. His latest book shows you how changing your thinking can change your life. Drawing on the words and deeds of many of the world’s greatest leaders and thinkers, this empowering book helps you assess your thinking style.

Permission is granted to reproduce this newsletter in whole or in part provided the following byline below appears along with the article and that a copy is sent to me after publication. Thank you: To check previous issues for publication, please go to and click on articles/newsletters.

Charles Marcus is an international motivational speaker. To subscribe to his FREE success newsletter, please send an email to An electronic copy will be sent out to you every month. For more information on how Charles, his book and his programs can benefit your organization or group, please call 905-847-2323. Toll-Free in North America at 1-800-837-0629, or visit his website:

Date Added: September 23, 2003 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Newsletters

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