My wife has a fundamental understanding of how to get ahead in the business world… or more specifically in the world of Enterprise Britain.
She understands that to do things for other people will always, always reap rewards.
Not always in the way you expect but somehow your good deed will be rewarded. As long as reward is not the reason you do the thing you’ve done to help someone out… if you see what I mean.
Let me give you a couple of examples…
One of her customers was having a few issues with bookkeeping and financial records. She helped out but didn’t charge him for the help. A few months later some greasy oink got a screwdriver under the Mini badge on her car and levered it off making a mess of the paintwork as well as nicking the badge.
The guy she’d done the favour for runs a garage and he got her a new badge, fitted it and tidied up the paintwork… and then wouldn’t let her pay for the work. In this case, the guy was just waiting for the opportunity to say ‘thanks.’
Okay, maybe it’s not massively business focussed… or so some might think. But here’s another example:
Another customer got some bad advice from a previous accountant, which my wife sorted out. Again, she didn’t charge.
The guy is a graphic designer who then referred my wife to a printer, who referred my wife to a leaflet distributor, who referred my wife to a photographer, who referred my wife to a wedding co-ordinator, who referred my wife to a plumber…
When we counted up it turns out that she was on a fifth generation referral.
I explained what had happened to the original graphic designer and the work my wife did to sort his situation out to another person in the same network as my wife.
‘Blimey,’ he said, ‘What she did was a bit above and beyond the call of duty.’
And there lies the fundamental misunderstanding that most small business people have about the way the small business economy works. You see, it’s only ‘above and beyond’ if you think like a traditional whatever it is you do… in this case an accountant.
If you turn things on their head and you just regard delivering ‘above and beyond’ as how we do things around here you will always get a reward. It might be something simple like a new badge or it might by five levels of referral.
Both are equally as pleasing in my wife’s eye.