Today’s Lesson: Lives and Safety Come Before Revenues

April 20, 1999 was seemingly like any other day. It was around noontime when I was taking care of some paperwork in my home office that I was suddenly interrupted by a telephone call from the president of a CCTV manufacturer client. The voice on the other end of the line said, “Hey Mike, your house is on CNN! Don’t you hear the helicopters?” I immediately looked outside and, sure enough, there were choppers hovering overhead. I proceeded to turn the TV on to CNN … and the rest is, tragically, history. You see, I lived across the street from Columbine High School.

Littleton, Colo., was not the place to expect violent crime to happen. But, all of a sudden, 30 people were presumed dead inside the school (15 lives were actually lost) and a large crowd was assembled outside the school. I had never seen so many people breaking down and crying, wondering if their child or neighbor was one of the victims.

As I stood there, I thought about working in the electronic security industry and wondered if I could have done something to help prevent the incident. I started thinking about all my visits to installing alarm companies, smiling as I remembered company owners proudly telling me how they prevented burglaries and fires and helped catch criminals. But my smile disappeared when I thought about other dealers who strictly viewed their companies as recurring revenue businesses.

I’m here to tell you, recurring revenue is the result of doing the right thing, many times, over and over again. I have witnessed individuals and companies going out of business because they lost sight of this fact. The bottom line is that we are in the life and safety business.

Nowhere is the protection of lives more critical than in our schools, where, unfortunately, it seems there are incidents occurring on a daily basis.Perhaps due to parents’ desire for material wealth, involvement has substantially declined in all phases of youth development. For whatever reason, drugs and neglected emotional and mental disorders seem to be more prevalent today, leading to outbursts of aggressive and violent behavior.

What can be done? For starters, there must be greater parental and community involvement to keep children safe in and around schools. Also, as a security dealer, I challenge you to volunteer and use your talents to install a system for a nonprofit organization in your own community. And, one day, you will be able to reflect back and smile

I’m here to tell you, recurring revenue is the result of doing the right thing, many times, over and over again.

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