What I Learned from My 97 Year Old Grandmother

My 97 year old grandmother passed away this week and I would like to dedicate my blog to her. This one’s for you Grandma Mary! Actually she was my husband’s grandmother but it didn’t take long for her to become my grandmother too. I only knew her for 16 years but she was an amazing person with a heart of gold and I wanted to share some of the amazing things about her and how she motivates me to work hard and be the best I can be. She was a very independent woman. She was smart, a hard worker, resilient, thankful, a faithful believer and one of the strongest women I know. Grandma Mary was born in 1918. It’s hard to imagine what it was like to born that long ago. What a life she lived. When she was born there were cars but most people didn’t have them yet; people still used telegrams to communicate; there were telephones but if people had them they had party lines; there were no televisions and of course no cell phones or computers. She lived through so much history as the world evolved, some good, some not so good. She lived through the Great Depression, World War II, the Civil Rights Movement,  the assassination of President Kennedy and Martin Luther King, the rise of the computer and the internet, 9/11, more wars, the administration of the first American black president and so much more. She saw so much change in her lifetime and seemed to live in the moment so gracefully. Grandma Mary kept me connected to what it was like to live a simple life, be happy with what you have but also be determined to do what she wanted at the same time. While our family tried over and over to convince her to move into a “retirement community” to make life easier for her, she would have nothing to do with it. She lived alone in a lovely home on a beautiful lake in Michigan and she wasn’t about to give up her independence and comfort to live in a place that wasn’t her own. She was dedicated to her family, her church, and her community.  She was a great cook and an even better baker.  She made everything from scratch; homemade pie, homemade bread and so many different kinds of cookies. Her homemade egg bread was my favorite. I watched her over and over again hoping to get the sense of how she did it with such ease, even in her 90’s, but it never really came to me. We even made a video of her making bread so I could do it at my house. I have to say I tried a few times, but didn’t master it. I have added making her egg bread to my bucket list and hope we get to master it like she did someday soon. She had a hard life growing up but she was so thankful for her life that you would never know how hard she had it as a young person. I think that’s what I loved most about her. Her philosophy of life was that everything would work out in the end, so do what you’re supposed to do to make what you want happen and everything will work out just like it should. It reminds me of a quote I saw recently, “Life has a funny way of working out, just when you start to think it never will”. I take that to mean, stay motivated and keep on working towards your goal because all that you do today helps get you to your goal. So as a recruiter or sales person, the no’s that we’re hearing today, mean we just need to keep calling until we get a YES. No matter what situation you find yourself in today, whether you’re killing your quota or not making quota, whether you just found your dream job or you’re looking for a new job, take a moment to be thankful,  believe in yourself, know that every day brings a new tomorrow and focus on how you can make today be a better day than yesterday.  


Keenan is A Sales Guy Inc’s CEO/President and Chief Antagonist. He’s been selling something to someone for his entire life. He’s been teaching and coaching almost as long. With over 20 years of sales experience, which he’ll tell you he doesn’t give a shit about, Keenan has been influencing, learning from and shaping the world of sales for a long time. Finder of the elephant in the room, Keenan calls it as he sees it and lets nothing or no one go unnoticed.