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Recently, I had the good fortune to attend a conference where a gentleman and his wife shared their personal story about forgiveness in their business and personal lives. It was an unforgettable story that hit home.
Defining the Successful Entrepreneur
Chuck Sandstrom was by all accounts a successful entrepreneur. He and his wife were well-respected members of a flourishing business community. They had it all. Mind you, they worked for what they accomplished. None of it was handed to them.
All was well until one seemingly ordinary day in 2009 when Chuck visited one of his rental properties. He was nearly beaten to death. His assailant had a history of troubles and this day was no different. Unfortunately for Chuck, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Chuck’s injuries put him in a coma for several months. Subsequently, he spent several years in physical and occupational therapy and suffered financial ruin.
Chuck Sandstorm stood before our group to share how much he has personally gained from the ordeal. Please understand, it wasn’t our sympathy he was seeking. He wanted to share with us how empowering it is to forgive. Chuck’s assailant is serving a sentence in Federal Prison and left two young boys at home. Chuck told us that by reaching out to help his assailant’s two boys, healing and forgiveness took root in he and his wife.
Growing a Business Can Hurt
Honestly, as I listened to his story, I couldn’t help but to be humbled by this man of courage and kindness. I recalled the times when others hurt me as I pursued growing a business. Yes, it has happened. People I trusted have hurt me. And I’m willing to bet it has happened to you too. However nothing I have ever experienced is even close to the depth of pain, injury, and suffering that Sandstorm endured. And he forgave.
A wise friend of mine told me that while an offender may seek forgiveness, it is those who forgive that benefit most. He also suggested that waiting for the offender to ask for forgiveness is not necessary. If you saw the smile on Chuck’s face as he shared his story with our group, you would agree.
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