As you become familiar with Daniel the blogger you likely have deduced that I was not educated at an Ivy League school. That’s okay because we shouldn’t be judged by where we went to school. In fact I wasn’t even remotely a business major. I majored in religion, and my original plan was to become a pastor. Plan B had to go into affect. Actually I’m on Plan G to be perfectly honest.
That train of thought got me to thinking about this particular blog. When I come here to publish my business related thoughts I try to bridge the gap between Martha Stewart Living and Good Housekeeping. The Yale educated scholar and the community college scholar can teach each other, and Martha’s publications and Good Housekeeping type of publications can teach each other. Rich, middle class and poor can all learn from each other, and none of us have to patronize the other to get what we want. We all want something, and many of us want many things, and I think Zig Ziglar is right in that if we help enough people get what they are seeking then we will receive everything we are seeking.
A prospect called me yesterday to do a deep clean on an empty house. I declined the project because not only do I not do a good job with move-outs and move-ins I don’t enjoy them either. I do spring, weekly, bi-weekly and monthly cleanings on furnished homes. I do not do windows, carpets or commercial cleaning. That frustrates me and gives me a much needed focus. It frustrates me because I have to turn prospects away like I did yesterday, but it provides me with a focus so that I don’t do more than my business can deliver. So even though you want to help people accomplish what they are trying to accomplish you shouldn’t be frustrated when you decline a service that in the long run would cause more frustrations. Know your limitations, and draw boundaries to reach win/wins.
It’s taken me 20 years to learn that because when I first started college it was not unusual for me to take 18 semester hours, work a part-time job and travel on the weekends to speak or teach at churches. I was trying to be too many things to too many people and organizations.
Good business is simple. Look at Apple, Google, many local Nashville businesses like the Donut Den, The Well and The Bluebird Cafe. They concentrate on one thing, and they do that well. I think about McDonalds too. Sure they are trying to capitalize on the coffee industry, but for the most part they focus on hamburgers, and as a result billions have been sold. Nordstrom is infamous for customer service, and although I haven’t experienced it yet I look forward to partaking of this infamous service they offer.
I think this line of thinking is very beneficial as we approach Black Friday, and as we all get online to shop for the latest Chia Pet for grandma. As you walk the mall or type on the iPad or keyboard to research the best companies look at the lowest prices, but are they giving to the poor and do you respect the owners of the business?
I understand there is a randomness to our buying habits, but when you consider the factors that go into why we go to this coffeehouse and not that coffeehouse think about why you do, and I would surmise there is a root cause that business garners your attention. And even if there isn’t a reason you walk into a particular business I’d imagine there is a person you connect with, and it keeps you coming back.
And keep me posted. What business do you patronize, and why do you support that business?