Speaker, Author, Consultant, Fraud Examiner

More often, we don’t have such an obvious heads up for when we can make a difference or impact someone else’s life.

A typical warm greeting can turn into a much needed respite to a recipient. A smile and a hug could make another’s day. A truly mindless gesture on a giver could mean a lifesaving gift to the heart of the other.

We so often plow through our day without giving it much thought. I try to be kind to everyone I meet, known and unknown. I love talking with people I don’t know and hearing their story. I have kept a list of the countries my taxi cab drivers were from for years. And, I have heard some very interesting political viewpoints from them, as well as some heart wrenching stories of war-torn countries and loved ones lost or left behind. Each of those encounters has made me grateful for who I am and where I live, and grateful they are in a much better situation, as well.

I had close friends visiting from out of town recently. We were doing a trip over to a Fort Worth restaurant known for their amazing margaritas and decided to call an Uber for the ride. Sandra soon picked us up and we were on our way!

“Well, hi Sandra. How long have you been driving for Uber? Where are you from? How long have you been in town? Where do you live then? Seriously – why did you move to Grand Prairie when you could have lived in Arlington?” [Local friends will laugh] “Why did you move to Texas? What do you want to do?”

As I am typing all the questions we asked, I would now like to apologize to all the prior cab drivers that have picked me up. But I do have an insatiable amount of curiosity and truly do believe everyone has a cool story.

Sandra has a cool story. The ride to Fort Worth was not nearly long enough but long enough to know that Sandra and I would meet again, as I gave her my card and instructed to her to call me soon! And she did.

Sandra received her Masters in Accounting then worked for the Nigerian government doing fraud audits. She is studying to sit for her CPA exam and she got excited when she heard what I did for work. Now, to be honest, not too many people get excited when they find out what I do for work. They are intrigued. They are curious. They may even be a little scared. But few are excited.

I recognized that smile – Sandra is a geek like me.

This was confirmed yesterday over coffee at Starbucks.

Born in Nigeria, but raised in the United States, she is exceptionally bright, has a thirst for learning and is strategizing her future. We covered a variety of topics in the two hours we met.

Right now, she is looking for a full time job in accounting. She had a really great interview with a company she was truly interested in but we brainstormed ideas as a backup in case.

Her husband is a builder in Nigeria who is now working on some major projects. He sounds amazing and I can’t wait to meet his someday!  She is an honest, hard-worker, who blessed my day by sharing her life.

The time flew by and when we got up to leave, we felt the Starbuck’s portrait on the wall said it all!

And to think I might have missed an opportunity to know Sandra if we had not asked all those thousands of questions while Ubering. Neither Sandra nor myself believes our encounter was by chance.

Because, did I mention, Sandra really does have a cool story AND is a really cool person!

Now that’s my kind of investing!