Internet Entrepreneurs Anonymous - BLOG
You don’t need many customers, just wonderful ones
I was at the Business Networking International (BNI) National Conference last week, and I ran into an older man in the hall. I asked him what he did and he explained he was a Lamborghini mechanic. I had a very specific goal at the conference, so I started to look for a polite way to exit the conversation, when suddenly I realized I just needed to shut up and listen. This was a very wise, amazing man, and what he was teaching was original.
People in business think they need many clients, that growth is good, and that there is always room for more. He explained the exact opposite: “My clients have these very expensive cars,” he explained, “$200-$600k each, but you would be surprised how little some of them care about them.” He explained that he has limited time and can only work with about 100 clients. He is famous for the quality of his work because he totally loves what he does (“When I die,” he explained, “I want to have just perfectly torqued a bolt in a Lamborghini, and be standing there smiling to the last instant.”). People come to him with many different attitudes, but if they are not themselves totally in love with what they do, and totally in love with their cars as well, he won’t work with them. “If you don’t care, if you are miserable in your life despite everything, if you don’t love and appreciate what you have, I won’t work with you.”
There is a common misconception that businesses have to take the biggest clients regardless of their attitude. He totally disagrees: “Not only will the unhappy clients ruin your health and make your life miserable, they won’t make you a dime.” He said stick with the happy people, the wise content people and let others go work with firms and people that don’t really care what they do.
He looked me long in the eyes and asked me searchingly: “Do you really love what you do?” I really do. What I love about my work now is meeting all these great entrepreneurs, many of them so young, and already so brave and focused. I like finding win-win solutions for people, and getting out constantly into areas of knowledge and parts of society that are totally new. I like working with people that love challenges, and coming up with new, really creative inventive ways to solve problems, and I like meeting people like this man, who are deeply happy and love what they do.
By Eric Beckwitt