Unless there’s a big snow storm or something like a tornado or hurricane, how many of us ever have to think about whether the lights will go on when we flip the switch? Or whether a phone call will go through or will our connection to the internet be reliable enough to send a critical file so that it arrives in time for an important deadline?
I know I take those things for granted, however, after the past week, look at things differently now.
If you’ve never used Fivrr at least you’ve probably heard of it. Last Friday I commissioned someone to do a large postcard to hand out at an event I’m going to on Saturday, because after donating a package worth $2100 found out that they won’t do more than a short one sentence description of it.
I’ve had good experiences with Overnight Prints and serendipitously they were having a fantastic sale, so I wrote down all the specs and sent them off to a Fivrr person who, it so happens, lives in Nigeria.
And you think OUR infrastructure is bad?
It also turns out that internet service in Nigeria is very dodgy, and there were frequent and long periods of time it didn’t work, making it between difficult and impossible to upload any files or even communicate.
So what should have been a one to three day proposition ended up being six days, and the shipping is going to cost nearly three times the printing cost because it had to be expedited.
Evolution or Transformation?
Forget about the money, the stress was unbearable, because if the printer didn’t receive the files yesterday, the cards wouldn’t arrive in time. Looking back on it, there was a time I’d have been absolutely furious at the Fivrr guy and would have said things like “I’ll never do business with you ever again,” and probably worse.
Fortunately it’s very rare that things like this happen to me, so there’s no way to know when I stopped being that kind of person.
Not only wasn’t I upset with him, I felt really bad for him. Here’s someone living in some godforsaken place trying to make an honest living and the infrastructure is so bad (because the government is so corrupt) it makes that very difficult.
What I decided to do
He’d done a great job with an e-book cover as well as with this postcard and I could tell he was apprehensive that I’d never use him again or even worse, give him a bad review. For something that wasn’t his fault and that he had no control over.
Nope, not going there. Next I’m having him do a business card and design a better-looking sales page for Uncensored Sales Strategies.
“When they go low, we go high”
It feels like we’re living in such angry, negative times and the haters are out of control and taking over. But if each of us would reach out a helping hand and be kind to even one person who isn’t as fortunate as we are, at least we can look in the mirror at night and know that one person is better off because we didn’t overreact and instead, “went high.”
Sales Choreography 101
Have already used up the 800 word limit I set for myself, so will make this short. There are choreography lessons in this story we can all apply to our businesses and ourselves.
The first is, don’t take your business for granted. Something could suddenly make it difficult for you to do what you do. Have you recently done a vulnerability check to identify what those “somethings” could be and do you have a plan in place so that you aren’t left scrambling at the last minute?
Second, don’t take your clients’ loyalty for granted. Someone could easily come along and pay more attention to them, treat them better, provide a more compelling experience, have a website that’s easier to navigate or an office that is more up-to-date and attractive. Do a vulnerability check for this, too.
Third, build a network of goodwill with local or industry organizations, colleagues, even competitors, so you have a safety net to fall back on if you ever need it. Think of it as a personal version of NATO – if something bad happens to you, you can count on support and assistance from the network you’ve cultivated, because they know you’d do the same for them.
What’s the lesson here?
One: Be prepared. Don’t assume that just because things are good now and have been for years, they will always stay that way. Keep up with what’s going on, and get your information from numerous and disparate sources.
Two: Your brain has a built-in resistance to change, so be aware of that and be vigilant that it doesn’t filter out information that you need to be aware of, so that you can stay on top of possible vulnerabilities.
Three: Strive to “stay ahead of the curve,” even when doing so necessitates doing things differently or letting go of the comfortable and familiar. Neglect this step and run the very real risk of being left behind and losing business to those who are offering what people want now in the way they now want it.
Always take the high road
That’s a term that’s now been replaced with “When they go low, we go high.” (Thank you Michelle Obama)
And remember, going high isn’t something you do only because you’re looking to get something back, although it often ends up working out that way.
It also used to be called “being a stand up guy”
In the best case scenario, you do it because that’s who you are. Because it makes you feel good. Because you like being that kind of person.
I’ve taken the high road numerous times when it wasn’t in my personal best interest. In fact, it’s one of the contributing reasons I got kicked out of boarding school at the end of January of my senior year.
OK, we’re over a thousand words now, thanks for sticking with it!
And for allowing me to get up on my soap box, which I wasn’t planning to do!
Have a beautiful and happy Valentine’s Day with your One Special Person and if you haven’t got one at the moment, with another special person or persons in your life.
Everyone deserves to be special to someone on Valentine’s Day. You could even do something special for your Self, particularly if you don’t pay much attention to him or her very often.
Wishing you happiness, prosperity and abundance in all things,