A life lesson from a cab driver?

Wall mural with quotes
Some things are hard to decipher, Dave’s message was not


He had no money when he arrived in 1973, just a piece of paper (a passport-like travel document). No relatives, no friends, didn’t speak English.

What got our conversation started was him asking me what I do for a living. Professional speaker, here yesterday to teach Creativity and Innovation at Corporate College to the regional business community.

He has always been self-employed. Gas stations, shipping, transportation, etc. But in 2008, the EPA fined him $400,000. He went to get a loan from his long-time banker. The banker’s hands were tied. It was 2008 and the world’s economic walls were crumbling.

Eventually he paid an environmental lawyer $40,000 and then paid the EPA $10k instead of $400k.

In this same time period, he discovered his wife was seeing someone else. They divorced.

He thinks people who complain about trivial things are a joke.

Shared a smile, thanked him and told him it was a great blessing to meet him.

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By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.


  1. This post reinforced for me that everyone has a story to tell. I know how much Disney focuses on telling a story to engulf their guests in their surroundings, temporarily leaving their own story. As someone that has led a hospital in a cultrual transformation (working with the Disney Institute), I would often rehearse with my staff that the patients and guests that are here a writing their story of their experience. When they go home, will you be in their story? What story will they tell? Being a great leader is ensuring that your employees have a common purpose while performing their tasks professionally, skillfully and flawlessly. When you leave this world, what stories will people tell about you?

  2. David, great illustration applied to a big corporate healthcare culture (or any company culture).

    We get the choice everyday to go through the motions or strive to be remarkable.

    The choice is obvious when compared against the type of service we hope for ourselves and those we love. A no-brainer actually.

    Is it hard work? of course.

    Difficulties come in all shapes and sizes.

    Why not make them colorful? 🙂

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