A few times a year I get a phone call. It’s not something that’s penciled in, that I know is coming, but sure enough, every few months, the phone rings and it’s him. He’s a charming older gentleman who lives in a small, midwestern town. He’s made something of a name for himself though because when he calls me, he always orders a few hundred holiday lapel pins to commemorate whichever holiday is coming up next, and spends the next few weeks handing them out to friends and strangers alike. Anyone he meets he pulls one of these pins out of his pocket, hands it over with a smile, and moves on with his day.
It’s a really great idea, if you think about it. Pieces like holiday lapel pins are small, easy to keep stashed in your pocket-just in case!-and are inexpensive to boot. This particular gentleman tells me that he’s now known around town as the “Pin guy” and people start to smile as soon as they see him because they start to anticipate his small gift to them, which he inevitably produces.
It makes me think about what I do every day to make people around me smile. Clearly this guy has found a great nitch for himself. Holiday lapel pins are fun, festive, and totally gender neutral, and he knows it. So perhaps we should all take a moment and figure out what our nitch is. Maybe we should all be “Pin guys” and “gals”.