Checking off the steps in a manual is following, not leading. Often, it’s attitude, more than aptitude, that determines altitude. I have learned that only when we are put in a position to fail, can we truly succeed. I didn’t learn those buzz phrases from any sales seminar, but from my years working in sales and sales management …
Do you pay your bills on time as they arrive, before they’re even due, or do you wait until the last minute, maybe longer? How about the people who pay you, your clients or employer? Does that money arrive on time, or do you often need to wait – even needing to chase down your pay check? As a small business owner, I lived every emotion. To understand what fast payment can do for a relationship, on both sides, follow me on my Saturday morning routine in the mid 1980’s.
John Pavlish was a friend and co-worker. He was also an accomplished stone mason, building many a wall in his spare time. Building walls was John’s hobby, but building bridges was his day job. He had a disarming way of connecting people, of calming differences, and of reaching consensus when others at the table had walked away. John spoke with quaint sayings so listeners needed to pay attention for any strange gem that might appear. His sayings formed the bridge to many an agreement. I understood most, but I needed help with one of them …
Smucker’s would be the ideal fit for us. But when I finally got the Region Manager on the phone, he told me he would only be in Charlotte for one day and his interview schedule was already full. Sorry. Later that evening, my thoughts started to come together. I was not going to accept his NO answer. Period.
Can something like delivering bread be the key to business success? You bet! Sometimes, you may be just the person to do the simplest job. Case in point. Even though every customer was important, it was always special when I got an appointment with the president of my largest distributor customer. Those meetings could turn to gold – overnight. That day, Howard, Jr. was giving me his complete attention, at least until his phone rang …
It’s true that each business has at least a few unique qualities, yet if your business will be larger than just yourself and will interact with Clients, Customers, and Co-Workers, you will need some guideposts along the way. Here are mine.
“Everyone makes me happy,” I said. “Some when they arrive – others when they leave.” That was before Mike taught me the magic answer. Mike was in the small group who only made me happy when he left my office. He could be my worst nightmare.
After twenty years of paying rent, it was time to buy a building we could call our own. Upcycling … finding a tired building, that others might tear down, and giving it new life with an even higher purpose would be better for the environment – as well as for my bottom line. My 2002 search took me to an area in Charlotte that today is being branded as Queen’s Park.
The Cheshire cat asked where I wanted to go. Was he asking about a place, a destination? Yes, but maybe he was asking more. Maybe he was asking about a state of mind, of being. Maybe it was about an attitude that would help me make choices to steer my journey – things I needed to pack and have handy for the trip.
After 17 years, McIntyre and Company was a proud and established brand. Every one of our 30 professionals were positive about our future and it showed in their daily work ethic. Then, on a Friday in 1997, the unthinkable happened. We got fired.