“Passion is our fuel.”
Today I sat down to write this message, and I was stuck. This happens to me from time to time. They call it writer’s block. It’s when a writer sits down to write and can’t think of anything to write. Usually though, for me at least, as soon as I do think of something, everything starts to flow, and that happened today.
During my writer’s block, I kept saying to myself, “Passion, passion, passion. What should I write about?” I repeated this for at least ten minutes, and then by just saying the word “passion,” it made me start to think of passionate people, and I immediately thought of someone who exemplifies the word. His name is Nicolas Navarro. He is a passionate person, and today I choose to write about him.
Nicolas Navarro (Nick) is our customer service manager here at TLCHQ, but he didn’t start out there. About eight years ago, Nick started in our shipping department. He was just a teenager, and I wasn’t even sure if he would be with us long, but he kept showing up every day with passion.
I noticed two things early on with Nick. One was that he got along with everyone and seemed to always have a great attitude. The second was that he always showed up. He was very dependable, and he was one of those guys you just knew would always do what was asked of him without much supervision.
After a few months, I noticed that Nick seemed pretty passionate about building boxes. He would get them taped and ready for everyone who was working the pick-and-pack lines. He would stack them up high, and he was fast, but he also seemed passionate about it. The passion part caught my attention. I mean, this kid actually looked like he was passionate about making boxes all day. It was pretty cool but intriguing, too.
Day after day, week after week, the passion and great attitude remained. It was a pleasure to see. This also reminded me of something that I have learned in life, and that is the fact that “how you do anything is how you do everything.” I know and believe this, and I knew that if Nick was willing to make boxes perfectly, efficiently, and passionately, he would probably be great at anything.
And so, two years later, after watching Nick passionately make boxes all day and being intrigued by it, I decided to take a leap of faith. I approached Nick and asked him a question. I simply asked, “Nick, do you just want to do boxes every day, or do you want to do more?”
He didn’t answer right away. Instead, he looked at me and said, “What do you mean?” I clarified and said, “Do you want to build boxes every day, or would you rather grow within the company and do something more important?” He sort of looked at me and said, “I mean, I guess. Maybe?” I could tell he wasn’t really sure what I meant.
Then I just told him what I really felt. I said, “Nick, you are a good kid who is dependable. You’re a hard worker, and you have a great attitude. I believe in you, and I think if you worked in customer service, you could really grow fast, make more money, and become a valuable asset here at TLC. You could really help us help more people.”
I can’t remember his exact response after that question, but it was close to this: “But who’s going to build the boxes?” He was interested, but he was still passionate about those boxes! I reminded him that we could train someone to build the boxes, and he didn’t need to worry about that anymore. I am smiling remembering that day. He was innocent and had no idea about his potential. But I saw it and felt it.
A couple of weeks later, he started a new path. He quickly became a dependable CS agent, and at a young age, he became one of the better ones pretty quickly. He kept working hard and became a team leader, shift supervisor, assistant manager, and eventually manager of a customer service department that grew to almost 100 team members.
This was all accomplished by the young boy with the smile who built boxes every day and didn’t know his own potential. It was a pleasure to see him grow up and grow personally over the last several years. His passion for TLC also had him called upon to be a trainer, a show host, a major help during our events, and many other countless roles.
I am very proud of Nick, and although I will take credit for starting him on his growth path, I can’t take credit for what he has become. That is all Nick. He worked hard, stayed positive, and, most importantly, remained passionate along the way.
You might be thinking to yourself right now that if Nick has worked for TLC for eight years, what is making me write about him now? Well, it’s because this week, after eight years, Nicolas Navarro’s passion has led him in a new direction. This, unfortunately, is Nick’s last week here at TLC. I, along with many, will miss him dearly.
What I’ve failed to mention is that Nick is also passionate about cars, and he is passionate about sales. So what would a guy who is passionate about cars and sales do next? You see, it’s time for Nick to take his own leap of faith. He has decided to follow his passion and sell cars.
This time next week, he will undoubtedly have made his first sale, and his new career will be in full swing. I am sure he will also become a top salesperson eventually. Ultimately, I see him becoming a sales manager. He is a leader. I see that in him, and I know his new bosses will see that, too.
It’s not easy for me or for many of us here to imagine a TLC without Nick Navarro, but we will slowly adapt. We will miss his smile, his attitude, his weather reports, and his clever humor. One thing that will remain is the passion he transferred to the many he touched while he was here. His legacy will remain through them.
Thank you, Nick, for the memories, and thank you for being the passionate person you are. I am proud of you, and I’m happy to say that TLC and I have both been part of your life story.
The good news is that we don’t have to say goodbye to Nick! We can just say good luck instead. He is still going to live locally, and he will be selling cars locally as well.
I mean, he could ghost us. That’s always a possibility. But eventually, we might need a new (FORD) car or truck, so I don’t think he will do that!
Today, Nick Navarro, we salute you and thank you for being part of our lives for the last eight years. Thank you for giving it your all every day. We will miss you and never forget our time with you. We wish you all the best. I pray God continues to bless you and give you the courage to take those leaps of faith in life. We can learn a lot from you.