When I “went out on a limb” and joined my good friend Larry in this venture, I had no idea where it was going to take me. That’s a tough thing to admit, since I was a man entering into my late thirties, and it seemed somewhat irresponsible. As a result of that leap, I have had so many great experiences and so many random encounters that I have to believe it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. One of those random encounters occurred today.
I received a call from Martha at the FedEx welcome team today thanking me for signing up for a small business account. She gave me a little information on all the features and benefits available to us and then wanted to confirm some information to send a more detailed email.
Martha: “Is your name Matthew Ulm?”
Martha: “And your company is FortySixTEEN Studios.”
Me: (Politely) “FortySixTen.”
Martha: (In a great old lady voice) “Oh, my! I’m so sorry. My mind just did that automatically.”
Me: (Again, Politely) “No problem. It’s happened before.”
Martha: “And you’re located on Fantastic Road?”
Me: (Still Polite) “Fantastic Drive.”
Martha: (Even better old lady voice) “I’m just batting 1000 today, aren’t I?”
Me: (Amused) “Between my last name, my company name, and where I live, there are many obstacles to overcome in just getting my basic info down.”
Martha: “Thank you for that. I’ll send that email to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Me: “That would be great.”
Martha: “So what is it that your company does?”
This last question is what really makes our day here at the Studios – ESPECIALLY since she didn’t get our name right. At this point I was able to tell her that the FortySixTen in our name is for Psalm 46:10, that we’re a faith based company and that we provide services in marketing, web development, and video production. This little bit of information has never failed to bring about a wonderful conversation.
Over the next ten minutes I was able to tell Martha about the christian films that I’ve made, how we’re working with the church in my hometown on our first documentary film, and how I get to work with the most awesome people everyday that are committed to serving others. Martha told me all about her church, what they were doing in their community, and how she and her daughter (who both work in the same FedEx office) served and loved on their team members. She said that, as an old person (her words, not mine) she often felt disheartened by how people put themselves first with no regard to others. It did her heart good to know that Christians were out there, hitting the streets, and that we were committed to capturing that and sharing it. It was an extraordinarily gratifying phone call with someone that works for a very large corporation and, luckily for us, these are not isolated incidents.
As a Christian company run by Christians, we don’t limit our client base to people that agree with our faith choice, nor do we rub it in people’s faces, but it is essential to who we are and how we comport ourselves. Whether people agree or disagree with our beliefs, I believe that it makes them better clients because they know that we are going to act morally and ethically in our business relationships because we want to be more than just a media agency. Through our business we want to be the hands and feet of Christ and we are firm in that commitment.
With all that in mind the takeaway here is that I love my job. It has it’s moments of stress, to be sure, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Whether it’s working with good friends or having a conversation with a stranger, I never know what each day will bring. I am blessed that my work at FortySixTen affords me the opportunity to serve others and, quite often, put a smile on the face of a stranger and give them hope.