Archive for June, 2011

Fair and Square

June 28, 2011

Recently, I hit up a friend for the sponsorship of an upcoming non-profit event, giving him just 3 days to decide whether or not this event would be a good fit for him and his business.  I was very late in my request, and knew my chances of securing this last minute funding were slim.  In the end, he decided to pass, but promised to support the event next year.

Later, when his wife had heard of the sponsorship opportunity, she suggested that in the future, I come directly to her for such requests…she could make things happen.  I knew this, of course, but that’s not how I wanted to play it.  In philanthropy, as in business, we want people to part with their money because we sold the vision and the value; because we earned the right to ask for the order.

Conceptually, the idea of the “good ol’ boys” network is intriguing, but if we’re honest with ourselves, that’s not really how we want to make a living.  Of course we want to win, but not because we have an angle or know what strings to pull.  We want to win because we truly won…fair and square.

Your Mother Doesn’t Work Here

June 21, 2011

But if she did, she’d tell you to get off your ass and get to work.  The summer is the best time of year to put your head down and focus, because most of your competitors have taken their foot off the gas.  Take advantage of the time you’ve been given…you’ll never get it back.

I’m Not Sure Everybody Gets It

June 10, 2011

I’m not sure everybody gets it.

For the 5,000 years leading up to about 10 years ago, bigger was better.  Bigger paid higher salaries, bigger won more often, and bigger carried more clout.  Bigger was low-risk and high-reward.

But not now.  Now, 2 guys with passion can launch a business on the side and literally change the way an entire industry operates.  Now, customers care about agile, and smart, and responsive – and don’t really give a damn about size.  Now, you can be anything you want to be, and create anything  you want to create, without permission or a lot of cash.

I’m not sure everybody gets it, but that’s OK with us, because we do.


This Ain’t the Ritz

June 4, 2011

The Ritz is known around the world as one of the finest hotel chains available…and they’re paid accordingly.  Room rates typically range from around $400 to $10,000 per night.  I’ve stayed at a few over the years, and though you might expect drastic differences between the Ritz and say, the Hilton, the truth is that most of the differences are marginal:

  • The beds are only marginally more comfortable
  • The decor is marginally more elegant
  • The food is marginally better (and sometimes not at all)

What really separates the Ritz from most other hotels is the customer service…the personal touch that employees are encouraged and empowered to provide.  The Ritz understands that people (some people) are willing to pay more than 3x the average nightly rate to be treated well, to be accommodated, and to be catered to.  And so they hire the right people, incent the proper behavior, and create devoted followers.

Before you allow yourself to create excuses for why you can’t deliver a phenomenal, consistent customer experience, just remember that it’s a choice.  Anybody can do it, if they really want to.


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