I have a friend named Richard Allen. I got to know him and his beautiful wife, Caleigh, when my sister and I visited with them in Rome, Italy. They were missionaries there for a couple of years and did many amazing things. Richard partially funded their relocation to Italy selling t-shirts that read “Do Smart People Things”.
That’s an unusual sentiment for such an encouraging guy, so I had to ask about it. He worked in an alternative school before his missionary days; advising wayward youth to walk the straight line and make something of their life. This phrase became his motto in answering many questions or life choices he heard in his time such as “I’m going to a party tonight.” or “How can I make a lot of money when I grow up?”. This is the phrase that came out of his mouth again and again. So, of course, I had to have a t-shirt.
That t-shirt has started some interesting conversations since I’ve owned it. And honestly, it’s been a good reminder for me as well. If I want to achieve amazing results like some of our great thinkers of this age, it all starts with doing smart people things. Work hard. Ask for help. Give back.
Is it that easy? I recently asked a friend of mine that is an inspiration to me how can I follow in her footsteps. And she essentially said the same thing. “Start small.” You don’t have to give a million dollars away to be a philanthropist. You don’t have to be the owner of a Fortune 100 company to implement best practices into your organization. Wherever you are, start there – and do smart people things.
P.S. Richard has NO IDEA I’m writing this. He occasionally will offer this shirt up for reprints- I’ll connect you if you need one.