Institute for Charitable Giving

You Work Hard

You work hard, think big, listen carefully. Ben Feldman says there are only three things that count in being successful. He should know!
There are more than 1600 life insurance companies in America. Ben Feldman, by himself, has written more insurance than a thousand of those companies.

He has been the leading salesman for the New York Life for more than two decades. And he has done it all in East Liverpool, a little town on the Ohio River. And not one of the most vibrant cities in the nation.
What he says is at the very core for all of us in fundraising. His three secrets for success are: work hard, think big, and listen very well.
Let’s just take one of those— think big. What I want you to do is to step out of the box. Reach out.
Aerodynamically, the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly. But the bumblebee doesn’t know it. So it goes on flying anyway.
You don’t know what can’t be done. You think big.
I love the story of the Bishop of Seville who said to his congregation in the early 1500s: “Let us build a cathedral so beautiful and so great that those who follow us will think us mad for having made the attempt.” And that beautiful cathedral still stands 500 years later.
They believe in the credo of the big, hairy, audacious dream. The word “impossible” is not in their vocabulary.
I am one with Wernher von Braun, who said: “If all possible objections must first be overcome, nothing will ever be attempted.” The great fundraisers, they go for it. They seek and they secure.


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