by Scott West
Once in a while, we as coaches get to share our own experiences with ADP. I’m fortunate enough to be here today and talk about what ADP meant to me. I graduated from the program in November 2004. My wife used to kid me about ‘living life through rose colored glasses’ but face it – life can be pretty good. A friend of mine once offered to write my bio. After talking about my career, State Farm heritage, and family, she ended it with “…and Scott is a tireless fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.” The mission of the foundation is to grant a child their own “Perfect Day.” We actually have it in our power and have the ability to do just that by granting a wish for a child’s perfect day. And here we are- talking all about our own perfect day.
The perfect day is unique to everyone- it could be waking up on a beautiful morning and having a cup of coffee overlooking a sunrise on a lake or taking a day to yourself to enjoy life. It could be the vision of going to the office, meeting your clients and closing each and every sale, or having your team filter out all the problem clients and getting to leave for the afternoon to play a round of golf. It could be driving your motorcycle through the beauty of the day. Bottom line is that Perfect Days ARE out there- and they’re ours to find, discover, and honestly- CREATE for ourselves. We deserve it. This is one of those experiences we’re actually ENTITLED to.
I’m not sure I fully recognized what the “Perfect Day” was all about until I reflected back at my own lessons learned while I was at ADP. At graduation I realized that I may have been the luckiest and perhaps undeserving man on earth because I had experienced more perfect days in my life than anyone could possibly deserve. I looked back at no more than the month we were in and found that there were so so many perfect days.
On November 3rd and 4th, I drove to State College Pennsylvania having been invited to share. It was a 6-hour drive and, after taking a short cut to avoid traffic, I shortened the trip to only 11 hours!! I’m a man who was previously terrified of public speaking, but I was given the opportunity to speak about something so dear to me- my life as a State Farm Agent. I met 80 State Farm Agents, made 80 new friends, and stay in touch with so many of them to this day. Talk about a perfect day- I was fortunate enough to have TWO of them- back to back.
A week later, I returned to New Jersey. I attended a meeting where there were more than 1,000 State Farm agents and employees meeting under a massive tent outside our operations center. An announcement was made that State Farm was no longer leaving New Jersey. This is a job that I love more than any job that I could ever have- and that job was saved. Talk about a perfect day? I’d been given another one.
And here I was- reflecting back while attending my ADP graduation. The lessons learned about the 80 and the 20- not truly believing that I was able to spend so much of my time in a 95/5 mode. I was spending time with 30 of the greatest friends I would ever meet and make in my life. We held our graduation dinner at the Pyramid Club in downtown Philadelphia. Looking outside the windows from the 40th floor – the lights shined on City Hall and the rest of the city – an incredibly beautiful sight. The music was playing – the wine was flowing- and they even had a cigar bar. Talk about a perfect day– and how wonderful it was to be given yet another one.
I returned home the next day, and my 14-year-old daughter Jenna ran to the door with smiles and a hug. Later that night. my wife and I went to Plaza Lanes where we bowl together and at the end of the early league we compete in – my son walked in. I hadn’t seen him yet due to his college classes and my work schedule. He came up to me and he too gave me a hug and a kiss. Here was my 19-year-old son, unafraid to show and share his love and once again- the recognition how wonderful life is. As I left the lanes, (Ryan bowled in a later league), a friend stopped me and said, “Has anybody EVER told you that you have the greatest kid in the world?” I smiled with a tremendous pride and swelling love and knew that I was able to see that once again- I’d been given another perfect day.
The following night my son was killed in an automobile accident.
The PERFECT DAYS and memories of every incredible moment I ever shared with Ryan are the only reason I’m able to survive. We’re all capable of having and recognizing our perfect days. FIND your perfect days. CREATE THEM. CHERISH THEM. Don’t ever let someone like me stand in front of you and tell you that life is too short- because it is.