Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:March 29th, 2008 19:51 EST
How's Your Trust Account Holding Up?

How's Your Trust Account Holding Up?

By Terry Sumerlin (Mentor/Columnist)

Behind my barber chair is a small, hinged door covering what was once a bin for soiled towels. It is no longer used for that purpose, but rather as a drop for change that is collected throughout the week. Thus, it has become a type of account into which regular deposits are made prior to taking the money to the bank across the street.

These deposits are never very significant. However, there is another type of account that is most significant, into which I make frequent deposits. These deposits go into a "trust account" with customers and staff.

From both the small change account and the trust account there can be withdrawals. However, there is a difference in the nature of the withdrawals. In the case of the monetary account, when money that is withdrawn is put back, the account returns to its former balance. With a trust account, depending on the nature of the withdrawal, it may take numerous deposits to again gain someone's confidence. In fact, with certain words or actions one can get permanently overdrawn.

Such was apparently the case with a lady I heard about while speaking in Las Vegas. According to her employer, she was part of his staff that he had taken to Las Vegas. She came to him asking that he buy her a plane ticket home.

"I don't understand," he said. "Didn't you have a roundtrip ticket?"

It was then she confided she'd gotten cash on her return flight, had gambled that away and had also lost $10,000 on her credit cards. She was considerably in the red! Assuming she had a spouse back home, and that he found out what happened, I would guess she was "big time" in the red in her trust account.

Similarly, in our own trust accounts we make withdrawals and deposits of all types and sizes, and with varying rewards or consequences. Let's take a look at a few ways to make deposits with customers and employees.

One of the best deposits into our trust account is a positive attitude. It seems people are naturally attracted to, and have confidence in optimistic, positive, upbeat individuals. Not many want to be around someone who acts like she was weaned on a dill pickle. Most would much rather be around someone who looks like she ate a banana sideways.

Folks also want to do business with and follow those with integrity. Back when roofs lacked the quality they have now, and when people set out tubs to catch rainwater that dripped through the roof, an expression developed. To describe a person of integrity, one would say, "If he tells you it's gonna rain, you can set the tubs out. It's gonna rain." Businesses today need such people, who will do what they say they will do, when they say they will do it and in the manner in which they say they will do it. Unfortunately, lacking in this sort of integrity, many are overdrawn in their trust accounts.

Another way to make deposits with others is through kind words of encouragement. Encouragement is so universally needed that we might suggest: If ever in doubt as to whether or not someone needs encouragement, just check to see if the person is breathing. If breathing, encouragement is needed. Yet, in spite of such, many make continued withdrawals from their accounts through criticizing others as if there is a reward for such. Then they wonder why they lose their followers.

BARBER-OSOPHY: Always strive to build a huge trust account through encouragement, integrity and a positive attitude.