You may or may not know this, but I really (really) love books. Real, physical, hold in your hands, books.
The smell, the weight, the look, the touch, the feel...it all equates to an experience.
Most likely it's because as a kid I perceived myself as never really having 'knowledge', and therefore now I seek out as much as I can...
Anyway yesterday, after having a 60 minute massage (a really good habit to have weekly to remove toxins from the skin and to relax), I saw a book store across the road.
Even though I was holding a book (Tim Ferriss' Tools of Titans), that I planned to read while having a coffee after my massage, I always like to look inside book stores and just have a look.
You never know, you might find something you really like.
So. I cross the road, enter the quiet book store, and start looking around. The owner is at the counter on the phone, which is cool.
I quietly go about my business and look at the different titles they have on offer.
After around 5 minutes, she gets off the phone.
Now, maybe I'm being a little unreasonable, but I would expect her at this point to say:
"Hello, how are you?" or "Hello is there anything I can help you with?"
No big deal in the grand scheme of things, probably got a ton of things on her mind as it's coming up to Xmas and customer orders might be keeping her mind occupied.
I keep looking but nothing catches my eye, so I decide it must be time for that coffee.
So as I leave and look at her and say: "Thank-you".
She looked at me like I was an alien...she didn't smile, didn't say goodbye, didn't even acknowledge that a potential customer was in her shop.
And keep in mind, we are not talking about Barnes and Noble or Dimmicks here, this is an independent, small business.
Also keep in mind, I am in no way offended she didn't show me attention (couldn't really care less), but I was more just shocked this is the way that a business owner conducts her business.
I would have thought customer service and over delivering value is the way to really set yourself apart....
So I leave to go grab a coffee at one of the many coffee shops up the road, and start to read Tim's book.
Around 30 minutes into it, I notice another book store right next to the cafe i'm sitting at.
Cool, I'll finish up and have a look inside.
this was the complete opposite experience (in an awesome way) than I had previously had.
As soon as I walked in, I was immediately greeted with a smile and a hello by the owner late 40's something owner.
She was bubbily, friendly and took the time to quickly mention that the book I was holding was really popular. She explained she hadn't read Tools of Titan's in particular, but really liked 2 of Tim's other books. "He is a very smart man." she stated.
I immediately felt warm, appreciated and like I was a valued customer (and I hadn't even bought anything yet!).
She suggested that if I liked business books or Tim Ferriss style books, they have a really big section for business at the back, as well as more self development books as well.
So I wander up.
MAN O MAN. Did they have some titles.
Not only were there 3 floor to ceiling shelves filled with great titles but there were hardly any double ups, and they were also all spine facing out (meaning I was looking at hundreds (if not thousands) of magnificent titles.)
I also found THREE Robin Sharma books I'd never seen before (which I of course bought to support my friend, Robin), and a ton more amazing titles.
While I was looking, the owner came up and we started this great conversation for 20 minutes on all of the different business books we had both read.
She GOT IT!
She felt that same passion for books and it immediately helped create the connection.
She even picked up "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" and told me that "this very book is the reason you're standing here. I read this 13 years ago and decided to quit my job and open a book store"
I said "I should take a photo and we can send it to Robert Kiyosaki!" (the author), to which we both laughed.
I literally cannot wait to go back when I need my next fix of books.
In fact, I'll probably go back sooner just to say g'day and grab some more gifts...!
Now...I know this is a long story, but I want you to appreciate why I'm telling you this.
Whether you own a business or not, you need to be aware of your energy.
In life, there are two choices.
You can either be open and friendly, ready to SERVE, or you can be bitter and cold...ready to RETIRE (sometimes forced retirement on account that your business fails).
So today, I want you to make a decision....
Either FIRE Up and love your clients, or fire out and do something you actually love.
Because the commodity days are gone.
The days of simply lowering your price as outdated. Globalisation and the internet have destroyed that as a 'point of difference'. Price is THE worst point of difference.
What you want to sell, is your energy....
Enjoy your day and I'm sure we will chat shortly.
(drop a comment below with any thoughts).