The Heartbeat of Connection: Lessons from a Simple Hello

The Heartbeat of Connection: Lessons from a Simple Hello

A Chance Encounter That Changed Everything ❤️


The Random Connection

I’ve been waiting to share my story, giving Lee’s friends and family space to share theirs first. Now, I’m ready.

It all started when I noticed a woman wearing a shirt that had hearts on it at the Podfest Multimedia Expo. I’m a sucker for anything with hearts, so I just had to compliment her. That’s how I randomly met Margie. Unlike the rest of us podcasting enthusiasts, she was not there for the event itself but waiting for her brother, Lee, to arrive.

The Heart’s Revelation

Margie revealed that this 10th Podfest would be Lee’s last. I was so confused at first, but then she explained – Lee was saying goodbye. He was fighting a tough battle with illness and wanted to see his Podfest family one last time before…

This revelation struck a profound chord. Despite being strangers, Margie and I formed an immediate bond in that moment amidst the busy conference lobby. It was as if our hearts recognized each other, united by a deeper understanding of life’s fragility and the desire for connection.

An Unexpected Gift of Human Connection

Without hesitation, I sat down next to Margie on the couch where she waited anxiously for Lee’s arrival. An unspoken connection formed between us in that moment of vulnerability and anticipation. I didn’t need to pry or offer advice – my presence alone became an unexpected gift, allowing Margie to share her stories and feelings freely.

The Power of Presence

As we sat together, the weight of the moment was palpable. Margie’s openness to a stranger’s company during such an emotional time was humbling. In retrospect, I realize this chance to simply show up, be present without judgment or agenda, was an extraordinary gift that changed my perspective forever.

I ended up staying with Margie for a while until Lee finally arrived. Listening to her heartwarming stories as we waited together, I was moved by the growing anticipation. I felt grateful to be at the right place at the right time, ready to offer a hug or listening ear when needed most.

A Life Well-Lived

When Lee arrived, the mix of joy and profound sadness was unforgettable. He had no idea his sister was surprising him. As I witnessed their emotional reunion and the outpouring of love and connection from the Podfest community, I saw the indisputable impact of a life well-lived. Lee’s arrival taught me invaluable lessons about our shared humanity and the connections that truly define us.

Despite his brave battle, Lee brought a warmth and radiance into the room, reminding everyone of the preciousness of time and the importance of making every moment count. His spirit, undimmed even as he faced life’s ultimate challenge, was a lesson of resilience and love. The beating heart, even in its final moments, has the power to inspire and uplift all those around it.

A Lasting Legacy

Sadly, Lee passed away shortly after the event. But his legacy lives on, not just in the memories of those who knew him, but in the broader narrative of how we connect with each other. Lee’s story, and the simple act of reaching out that led me to it, is a powerful reminder of the profound impact even a brief connection can have.

A simple hello, fueled by the heart’s desire for connection, truly can bridge worlds, illuminate lives, and create lasting ripples of understanding. It’s a small gesture that carries the power of a thousand heartbeats, resonating with the potential to bring us together in shared humanity and love.


Lessons of the Heart

This chance encounter with Margie and Lee left an indelible mark on my soul. It was a gift that keeps on giving, reminding me of the power in living openly, loving freely, and connecting wholeheartedly with others. Here are some of the profound lessons I took away:

  • Follow your heart’s curiosity – whether it’s a pattern that catches your eye or an instinct to reach out, trust that inner voice and act on it.
  • Be present for others, offering your undivided attention as the greatest gift you can give.
  • Cherish life’s fragility. Every moment is precious – embrace opportunities to truly connect.
  • Let your spirit inspire like Lee’s did, as a means of hope and strength even in adversity.
  • Create a legacy of love. The heartbeats we share can ripple outward in powerful ways.
  • Show up wholeheartedly, free of judgments and personal agendas. Your presence alone is an act of love.
  • Say hello. Reach out. Simple acts of kindness and openness can enrich lives in extraordinary ways.

The Heartbeat and Connections Continue

The legacy of Lee, and the lesson of that fateful encounter at Podfest, continue to inspire and challenge me daily. It was a profound call to embrace the heartfelt connections that remind us of our core humanity – our need for love, belonging, and understanding.

As I move forward, I carry the message of Lee’s life and this chance encounter that changed everything. I strive to be quicker to love, slower to judge, and always ready to extend the hand of friendship. The heartbeat of connection, after all, is the most powerful force we have.

I feel incredibly lucky and grateful to have crossed paths with Margie and Lee, if only briefly. Their story was an unexpected gift that has helped me realize – a simple hello can enrich your day or someone else’s life in ways you’d never imagine.

Thank you, Podfest community, for allowing me to be part of this special moment. And thank you to everyone who, through simple acts of kindness and connection, makes this world a little brighter, warmer, and more infinitely connected. Let’s keep the heartbeat of connection alive, one hello at a time. 💖


If you like my article, read another inspirational story. Click here. And, tell me yours. 

Customer Experience Quotes Of The Day

Customer Experience Quotes Of The Day

Sometimes the best business and life lessons come from short simple quotes. You’ll often see me posting on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter to get my readers thinking in new ways and ultimately taking action.

As my website says, we need to be DOING CX RIGHT, not just TALKING! In case you’ve missed my social media customer experience quotes of the day, I’m adding them here too as they never get old. In fact, learning is an ongoing practice.

I encourage you to elevate your skills by reading my blog, listening to podcasts, getting CX certified, and talking to me about differentiating your brand based on proven tactics. There’s no need to guess. I’ll show you the way.

CX Quotes of the day:Actively listen and respond to customers. Don't sound like a robot or reading from a script.
CX Quotes of the day: The first step to exceeding you're customer's expectations is to know those expectations.
CX Quotes of the day: The most common way people give up power is thinking they don't have any.
cx quotes of the day: what you do today can impact your tomorrows
CX Quote of the day: Ask customers for feedback. Voice of customer can be your game changer when done right.
When employees feel engaged, brands come alive. They walk the talk & customers see & feel it!
CX Quote of the day by Stacy Sherman
Don't let fear of responses be a reason you don't ask employees and customers for feedback
Recruit & hire customer centric individuals to achieve your cx mission. It's all about people.
Stacy Sherman- DoingCXRight Quote of the day "Surround yourself around authentic people. Hire and retain them. Attitude Is Contagious"

10 Effective Ways To Make Big & Small Changes In Life

10 Effective Ways To Make Big & Small Changes In Life

Article Originally Published in Forbes, 3/2020.

Have you ever done something so drastically different that you surprised yourself and others?  That describes me, and I’ve learned a lot about habits and leadership from an experience. I’m sharing my story to inspire and motivate you to create positive changes by DOING, not talking about your goals. Doing creates confidence and ultimately greater happiness. The more satisfied we feel, the better we can contribute at work and at home. 

My journey began on December 23, 2019. While eating dinner with my family, I turned on a Netflix documentary called What the Health. I was fascinated by the show that I watched The Game Changers right after that. I was intrigued by the stories of those who had switched to a plant-based diet and no longer suffered from stomachaches, which I’ve endured since childhood. So, I decided to begin my own experiment having never made such a drastic change before. Within a few weeks, I felt positive impacts from my new whole foods lifestyle.

While I enjoyed my food journey for many months, it slowly ended as vegan life became too hard to keep up when my college kids returned home due to Covid19. I’ve maintained healthy habits and most importantly, proved to myself that I can do anything I put my mind to. You can too.

Whether you are facing a big change (like working from home during a pandemic) or a small change (like starting an exercise routine), your mental mindset matters a lot.


How To Make Changes For Personal & Professional Growth:


1. Just do it.

Don’t hem and haw when faced with change. As Nike says, just do it. Hesitation often leads to doing things the same old way and expecting a different result. Make the decision to start. If you’re unhappy, then give yourself permission to modify or stop what you’re doing without any guilt. There’s no one right or wrong way to do anything. Make your own path and do so with purpose.

2. There will be a lot of naysayers. Tune out the noise.

Everyone has opinions, and they often don’t hold back. That’s OK, but surround yourself with like-minded people. It makes the journey more enjoyable.

3. Look for opportunities that support your change.

I didn’t realize how many plant-based food options there would be in restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, etc. Even fast food and chain restaurants are catering to vegetarians and vegans. Starbucks recently announced that it’s adding oat milk to its menu in 1,300 stores.

As I discussed in a recent article, personalizing the customer experience is a smart business strategy to differentiate your brand. In the context of change, this also reinforces my point. When you commit yourself to making a change and keep your eyes open, you’ll see many opportunities all around you.

4. Small changes often have big impacts.

I’ve found that when we overthink or overcomplicate a task, it leads to accomplishing nothing. So, break down tasks in the pursuit of change. Remember that every action counts. If you only have 30 minutes to exercise instead of your usual hour, for example, commit to it for half an hour rather than pushing it off for another day — or never.

5. Be the master of your own fate.

There’s an inspiring line in the poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley: “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” I first heard this quote in the movie Invictus, which my friend had recommended to me and I now recommend to others.

You control your destiny. The choices you make today impact tomorrow. Build your self-confidence and believe you can make positive changes. That’s when you will do the unimaginable. Morgan Freeman talks about this in more detail.

6. Be mindful — and reap the positive benefits.

Since switching my food choices, I am more mindful when shopping, cooking and eating. I now read labels, which I had never done before. I’m tasting so many new foods and trying restaurants I’d never had thought about. My diet requires me to get more creative, and that makes life more fun. So slow down and enjoy the little things about the change you’re making. I’ve found that being mindful about positive change amplifies happiness.

7. Find (and maintain) a support network.

When making a change, communicate to your friends and family that you need their support. Leverage communities on Facebook, Instagram, and other social platforms — there is so much knowledge-sharing to go around. Find a partner and hold each other accountable.

8. Move forward from fear.

With any new habit, it’s normal to feel doubtful and fearful of the unknown. Recognize that it’s OK to feel that way but move forward without letting it hold you back. You’ll be glad you did. If you need inspiration, I recommend reading Feel the Fear…and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.

9. Recognize that change is not easy, but self-control is empowering.

Conquering anything challenging, whether it’s a new diet or exercise plan, or a new job or project can feel overwhelming when you first get started. Practice does make perfect and becomes rewarding. Be intentional and focused on your purpose by reminding yourself of the “why” behind the change every day.

10. Everyone has stories. Listen and adapt to what works for you.

As human beings, we’re all experiencing life in different ways. Take the time to ask questions and share your experience. Read books. Listen to podcasts and TEDx Talks. You may be surprised when something you already know resonates in a whole new way. Epiphanies happen when least expected.

What changes have you made and how has it affected your perspective? Which tip above resonates with you most, and what would you add to the list?

How To Achieve Success Despite Triumphs & Struggles

How To Achieve Success Despite Triumphs & Struggles

Stacy Sherman joins Carolyn Kiel, Host of Beyond 6 Seconds, featuring extraordinary stories from everyday people about achieving success despite challenges along the journey. I’m honored to join her podcast to discuss important topics that can inspire others to achieve more happiness and success at work and at home.


During the episode, you’ll hear us talk about:

  • How to conquer challenges and achieve success even when it feels like you’re going against gravity.
  • How to amplify your voice about topics you are passionate about and remove fears so you can get started.
  • How to balance work, family, friends, and hobbies. Hint: it requires being intentional about time management.
  • How writing with authenticity builds credibility. It’s my formula for achieving success as a blogger and woman in Corporate America.
  • And much more

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