My favorite brother’s brain is wired totally different than mine.
Here’s only one example of how I know…
We both grew up in our parent’s grocery store. We both watched our parents spend the same number of hours there; saw the same customers in the same small town that shopped there; and we both witnessed the same customer interactions and service provided. Today, my brother speaks about creating distinction through ultimate customer experiences — and mentions his first interest in his field of expertise was in the same grocery store I grew up in.
Dad was a butcher and people came from miles around to buy meat at McKain’s Market. Scott understood what made our little store stand out (from the big, bad IGA — and everyplace else), was Dad’s distinct offering of fresh meats PLUS the unique and enjoyable experience provided to everyone that walked in that little store. Of course, these steps are key to any successful business, but I simply didn’t put it together until hearing it presented.
What I understood was that we rarely had dinner at home (the store closed at 9:00 PM), Mom seemed to forever be doing bookwork, and Dad often worked in extreme conditions to the point that blood would freeze on his hands. While I remember Dad always had a kind word for everyone, I thought that was just ‘Dad being Dad.’ I never imagined it had anything to do with customer service or providing ultimate experiences.
That’s not to say that I didn’t absorb other valuable insights that I’ve carried throughout my years personally and professionally.
Here is a list of 5 takeaways my differently wired brain captured from the small business experiences of my youth:
- There are people that just expect more for less. (‘Can you throw in this — or can I get a deal on that people’ only escalate their behavior after you reward it.)
- You are just as likely to get a bad check, a late payment (or none at all) from people you THINK have plenty of assets. I tend to think it’s even MORE likely, but I’m trying to be fair.
- Some humans steal. The majority of them steal because of something they want, NOT something they need. While that stinks… it is what it is.
- The perception is if it costs more, it’s better.
- The best food combination on the planet is potato chips with french onion dip.