Embrace customer differences

Brian: Look, you’ve got it all wrong! You don’t need to follow me. You don’t need to follow anybody! You’ve got to think for yourselves! You’re all individuals!
Crowd: Yes! We’re all individuals!
Brian: You’re all different!
Crowd: Yes, we are all different!
Man in crowd: I’m not…
Crowd: Shhh!

– Life of Brian

Every shop believes her products of services are different. Frequently the words disruptive and innovative are (miss)used as part of the value statement. They have to; they need to stand out from the competition in their part of the universe. 

The question is, are your customers just as fixated with being different? How much do they care about your product and service?

A better idea may be to treat every customer differently. Take the time to understand what makes them tick; why did they show up on your doorstep? Or even better, what their unique needs are. Maybe, just maybe, your customer will see that you care.

Bottom line: Customer that love how you make them feel will talk about you. People talking about your shop is worth much more than being different.

Resilience, ask Bex about it

“How the hell do you do it? “…generally, I feel like I’m on top of things…”

Bex Band

For me, Bex, a fellow writing friend, is the symbol of resilience. With limited experience, not fit enough, doubting herself but still crossing the length Israel, 1000 km, on her two feet. How did she do it? One small step at a time.

Sometimes our ability to preserve and do our best bit-by-bit is more than enough to keep momentum. However, it doesn’t guarantee success, but hell, you can always change direction. Enough small steps will eventually lead to the next big thing. Ask Bex about the power of insignificant steps!

Another strategy is to admit that you are not always in control. Therefore you need to accept that any result is possible. And be able to thrive when things do go wrong. In these cases, you need the strength to pause, observe, take control and make a rational decision.

Bottom line: We are all on a journey, not an event, and resilience will pull us through. After all, it is a skill, you can learn it.

Failure, the key to success

Observing a skilful artisan at work can be so rewarding. To see how they control their tools, craft and material to create something from nothing. You may even think that they can do it with their eyes closed.

On the contrary, seeing a trader or gambler at work is not for the faint at heart. We will forgive you thinking that they require Buckley’s hope to achieve results. But how often do we misjudge luck and variance for skill?

Frequently, we base our judgement on a small sample of seemingly successful traders and leaders. In the process, we identify skills and categorize them as a requirement. Where in fact, many with the same skillset were not able to make it.

Bottom line: Only focusing on the successful will blind you for real reasons of success.

Go and spread like a virus.

There are viruses everywhere, in the air, even on my computer, and it can spread like wildfire. However, this is also true for kindness, as it will return in multiples. The same for laughter, it is infectious.

To spread kindness requires a network. We are too aware that a single node will bring us nowhere. The power is in the connections between the nodes. That is how we share kindness, trust and knowledge.

The same is true for distrust, doubt and scepticism. And fake news. Today you may be at the peak but throw us under the bus, and you will tumble quickly.

Bottom line: How we make people feel is the only thing that matters.

Entitlement, experience without work

Baking a cake that all my friends crave about does not transform me into an accomplished pâtissier. Sometimes it is beginners luck. The next one could be a flop. O, how tempted are we to project with only one data point.

Pushing your skills for 10,000 hours may get you there according to some. It appears to grit on your teeth and wade through the mud will help. That is if the rules of the game stay the same. 

Connecting the dots to early may be risky. But one thing is for sure; you need to stick around until you master the rules. If the rules are not clear, you may need a good dose of luck to succeed. But that’s a different game.

Bottom line: Living through all the seasons bring experience, everything else before that is entitlement. 

The fancy of the unkown.

Nothing is simple; everything has a level. Everyone will disregard the depth, but most of the time, it’s deep; from your flights of fancy, the tone of your voice, the palate of your wine, to the label on your jean.

So when things don’t go your way, a friend doesn’t answer a call or join you for dinner, is it a coincidence or by purpose? Your reaction will divulge your self absorbance. Because you are a projection of your thoughts.

Bottom line: Enjoy the little things in life. Stop, pause and absorb. And imagine the less—the unknown. Don’t measure yourself to deep.