Recently- the super sweet and seriously gorgeous man in my life did me a favor…. (Bear with me because this will seem very random.)
Here’s the background: When my boys and I take out the trash barrels every Thursday for trash day, we have to roll them from the side of my house to the front curb. The side of my house doesn’t have any concrete, it’s just dirt and patches of grass. So, quite often it’s a muddy trek from the side of the house to my front curb. This didn’t bother me too much; I’ve gotten used to it and the resulting muddy shoes- but aforementioned sweet and gorgeous man apparently found this situation unacceptable.
So, he took it upon himself to solve my problem: 1. Find and set gigantic concrete stones to use as a pathway and 2. Find and spread mulch on the pathway to eliminate the mud problem.
Here’s where the title of this post comes in…. As I watched him, I realized he was using leverage, tools and kindness… 3 powerful tools and it made me contemplate how it applies to life as an entrepreneur.
- How he used it: He had heavy concrete stones to position exactly “so”. Instead of manually trying to move each stone an inch or two this way or that (like I would have), he went “stonehenge” on me and slipped a shovel under the stone, leveraged a shovel to lift the stone up slightly and move it forward two or so inches effortlessly. It was effective and didn’t pull out his back.
- How we can apply it: Many great books talk about the power of leveraging resources, time, other people’s money and networks. But, seeing it in action in such a simple way really illustrated its power. Why push and shove with all your might when by accessing a little leverage instead- it makes the task at hand way easier and more enjoyable. Not only that, but you can accomplish so much more with it than without it. This is something I really need to work on- look for ways to leverage my own network of resources to power up my business.
- How he used it: As mentioned above, he used a shovel for his leveraging tool. Nothing fancy whatsoever but just right for the job.
- How we can apply it: Simple is really ok. With the “shiny object syndrome” of our society, it’s so easy to think our tools have to be ultra high tech (i’m so guilty of that!). But, as in the case of a shovel, sometimes simple and old school is not only ok- but perfect for the job. So, before you get caught up in looking for the techiest and costliest of tools- think of the shovel- maybe there’s a simpler, low-tech one you might be overlooking.
- How he used it: I don’t even think I need to explain this one, but he did this without my asking and he cared much more about it than I did. This random act of kindness made me want to return the favor in appreciation, make him a nice dinner or do something nice unexpectedly. Kindness works that way- it has a viral, infectious effect that makes you want to pass it on.
- How we can apply it: I could come up with a ton of business analogies here. But what struck me most is how he cared about the project more more than I did. What a stellar “customer service” example! What if we actually apply that to our businesses- not just some of the time, but ALL of the time! TRULY provide remarkable customer service and care about our clients’ projects even more than they do? Will they return to us? Yes. Will they refer us to colleagues? Of course! How about doing something unexpectedly for a client without being asked? The loveliest aspect is that it’s such a win-win. Feels great whether you are the giver or the receiver.