When I was working for a small independent Brewer in Salisbury called Gibbs Mew, I remember one night going out for a drink with the Managing Director. He was looking tired and stressed, so I asked him what was up.
He looked up, and with a sigh, downed his pint of Bishop’s Tipple and said to me:
‘It’s like wading through mud. Anything I want done seems to take forever to get done and rarely seems to get done to the standard I want it, and it’s so hard to change anything! I’m tired and fed up and I don’t know which way to turn.’
Being young and green, I had little to offer him in comfort besides another pint of the wonderful Tipple, but his words have always stuck with me, and I’m often told a version of them by independent business owners and managers to this day.
These days I have better advice than ‘have another pint’ … but it seems to me that this problem needn’t exist: of course you can’t wave a magic wand and make them go away, but you can take small actions, repeatedly, that, over time will help you escape the mud and instead feel like you’re on skis!
This problem is also particularly upsetting when you consider these 2 facts:
- Customers WANT to find suppliers to be loyal to – it makes their life much easier and richer.
- Employees (or ‘internal customers’ as I like to refer to them) WANT to find an employer they love and work they find stimulating and rewarding.
All you have to do to move away from ‘mud wading’ is to start to align yourself better with what customers, internal and external, are looking for, and they’ll start giving you a helping hand!
Another story that I heard this week was that the famous Thomas Edison (inventor of the first practical lightbulb and electricity systems) was told by his mother, when excluded from school that he was ‘too smart to be at school’ and so needed to be home schooled – and this fact was a continual source of energy and encouragement to him throughout his career.
The fact that his teachers had actually said to his mother that he was ‘unteachable’ he didn’t learn until many years afterwards (and long after he believed he was ‘remarkable’ (using our words)).
Yet so few of us genuinely believe we can be ‘remarkable’ or that life can be anything other than ‘wading through mud’ and instead settle for the ‘same old, same old’ … or, as Churchill used to say: ‘keep buggering on’.
And this set of untrue beliefs holds us back every day.
But that needn’t be the truth: you CAN be remarkable … and you CAN start today.
All it takes to be remarkable is to keep moving forward in a steady direction, step by step, inch by inch without stopping, and then, before you know it, you’re head and shoulders above the competition … and that’s truly ‘remarkable’.
(And, as we discussed in a previous blog, it may be necessary to be ‘remarkable’ to thrive or even survive in the super tough economic meltdown that’s on its way…).
So: like all common sense, this is easy to say, but harder to do: but in this case I’m suggesting that it SEEMS much harder to do that it really is … and I’m also suggesting that there are 3 principles you can follow to ensure you get there … and you can start today. Here they are:
Principle 1: You need an unshakeable belief in a ‘worthwhile goal’ to keep you strong and focused and start the get the customer to want to notice you. You are NOT here to make money … you are here to do something so well, and to add so much value that people want to give you their money. No exceptions!
Principle 2: You need to behave in accordance with this principle: day and night: practice what you preach: no it isn’t quick and it isn’t easy …. That’s exactly the point! (If it was quick and easy then everyone would be doing it already … and it wouldn’t be remarkable!!!!). People judge you by your actions, not your words.
Principle 3: Systems make things happen consistently: so if you want to be consistently remarkable, then you need systems to make this happen. McDonalds don’t make the best burgers in the world, but they are remarkably consistent … and that’s the secret of their success!
What sort of systems will work? Step by step, ‘Go the extra inch’ systems of course! (You’re already busy enough, you wouldn’t have the time or scope for large system changes … but small changes and small system developments done continually, week by week, over the long term will make ALL the difference).
And THAT is the route to remarkability!
Luckily these are the principles that drive everything in ‘Slow Selling’, so make sure you’re signed up to our free weekly email tip and idea service.
Remember: you CAN be remarkable (and you may have to be in order to survive the forthcoming meltdown), and you CAN do it step by step, inch by inch!
To listen to the Podcast on this subject, please click below:
To read a short independent account of the Edison story, please click here: https://steemit.com/education/@crazymumzysa/thomas-edison-the-influence-of-a-mother
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