Tim Smith was tired of waking up to the same old news every morning. His alarm clock spewed out the latest from a local radio station-- financial woes, unemployment rates, murders and more. On April 1, 2008, he had enough. He walked away from 20 years in the mortgage business and started Smile Therapy.
Every morning, Tim compiles and sends out a positive email to his subscribers. For just five dollars a month, Tim delivers a dose of smile therapy to set the tone for the day. "Smile Therapy is a big task," said Tim. "I was tired of all the negative news, so I decided to be something good and positive in the face of people every morning. It's a needed service. It's fun to give people good news that the media doesn't report."
On his website, Tim explains his purpose in life:
I've always enjoyed helping people. I want to have fun with life. I like to work hard and, I like making people smile. Add to that, when all is said and done, I'd like to leave this world a little better place than when I arrived. As my best friend once said, "If you're going to join us, bring something to the table."
The Syracuse, New York native is an avid reader, especially of self-help books. Tim estimated that he has read over 1,000 books since graduating from the University of Massachusetts. Zig Ziglar. Og Mandino. Dale Carnegie. Coach John Wooden. He credits the pages of many as his mentors, but especially his parents and his best friend. "My parents are the best role models for me," said Tim. "My dad always said, 'Pay your bills on time, be honest, and never owe anyone.' If he made a promise, he always kept it. My mom always said 'If you can't say something nice, then keep your mouth shut.'" Tim's best friend in college was another role model for him. He modeled reliability. If he committed to something verbally, he always followed through.
"In the business world, people don't do that now," said Tim. "If it's something that doesn't involve them, they don't call you back." Tim sees the effectiveness of Smile Therapy in the business world when employees begin their day with a positive message. "Businesses are affected by poor morale--it becomes expensive for businesses when employees are not happy," Tim explained. "It's important to have happy, engaged employees because it affects the bottom line."
College students are the next branch of venture for Smile Therapy. Tim believes a daily dose of Smile Therapy will foster positive outcomes among college students during times of stress. "It's an age where they are flexible, they can decide which way to go in life," said Tim. "Smile Therapy helps with confidence, especially with new freshman. We want them to have a good experience. Everybody wins. The kids get something positive every morning and it helps engage with the parents. I shared Smile Therapy with my step-daughter-- we conversed a lot more as we talked about the daily message."
Tim lives a pretty full life with his wife, step-daughter and two chocolate labs, but there's one regret that he carries with him: he wishes he could have met Coach John Wooden, the man he considers one of his mentors. In January, 2010, Tim contacted Pat Williams, the owner of Orlando Magic and the author of "How to Be Like Coach Wooden." He sent a check to Coach Wooden's foundation and a letter requesting to meet him. Months passed by. The check was never deposited. Coach Wooden passed away in May and his daughter contacted Tim about the check. As a tribute to the coach, Tim purchased 100 of the coach's books and distributed them. "I wanted to spread out the coach's ethics, morals and teachings," he said.
Positive, inspiring quotes are something that Tim seeks out every day to share with his subscribers. One of his favorites: "Stop worrying so much about life, you're not going to get out of it alive." Another one by Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Smile Therapy started out as a vision and a dream of one man, and Tim envisions the day when everyone will embrace a dose of it to start their day. "Basically I’m the guy who looks for positive information and puts it out every day. It’s so simple, it’s ridiculous. People need it."
To grab a dose of Smile Therapy: www.smile-therapy.com
One of the thank you notes Tim received:
Thank you so much for giving me the book about Coach Wooden.
What an extraordinary man and what a good role model for all of us to follow.
The advice given in the book is true and heartfelt. Reading it, practicing it, and believing it would make us all better human beings.
Your actions mirrored what Coach Wooden would have done.
You are a positive, kind and thoughtful person.
Keep smiling and bringing a positive attitude. People you encounter appreciate it more than you know.