Here is one such piece:
COWS DON’T GIVE MILK
A peasant used to say to his children when they were young: —When you all reach the age of 12 I will tell you the secret of life. One day when the oldest turned 12, he anxiously asked his father what was the secret of life. The father replied that he was going to tell him, but that he should not reveal it to his brothers.
—The secret of life is this: The cow does not give milk. “What are you saying?” Asked the boy incredulously. —As you hear it, son: The cow does not give milk, you have to milk it. You have to get up at 4 in the morning, go to the field, walk through the corral full of excrement, tie the tail and legs of the cow, sit on the bench, place the bucket and do the work your self..
That is the secret of life, the cow does not give milk. You milk her or you don’t get milk. There is this generation that thinks that cows GIVE milk. That things are automatic and free: their mentality is that if ” I wish, I ask, and I obtain.”
” They have been accustomed to get what ever they want the easy way…But No, life is not a matter of wishing, asking and obtaining. The things that one receives are the effort of what one does. Happiness is the result of effort. Lack of effort creates frustration. “Unknown
So I see “stories” like this fairly often scrolling through Facebook. As I’m sure many of us do.
That is no surprise, since they’re a fast read, are usually somewhat engaging, and claim to pass along some “lesson” that is set up to be “critical to life.”
So why am I sharing this one?
Well, it isn’t about the overt message. There is no “secret” to raising kids, nor is there a “secret to life.” Your life is yours, and how you live it is according to your own beliefs, desires, and means.
I’m sharing this only so I can discuss it as it relates to an interesting dichotomy in business.
Let’s hit the overt message first: work hard to get what you want.
I’m sure there are shockingly few business owners who wouldn’t believe this. Especially those that go to sleep late and wake up early, pushing as hard as they can at every avenue to get what they believe in. To achieve the goals they have set for themselves.
Many of my clients are cut from that cloth, and I always enjoy hearing their stories of struggle and triumph. I especially enjoy seeing the world from their point of view, and with their perspective.
There is something extremely respectable about a small business owner’s mindset. There is never enough capital to “pay” your way to success, and there are never enough people to complete all the jobs necessary to work your way to the top. Unless you run an established brand, with a healthy profit margin, there is a good chance that your inventory, marketing, accounting, human resources, executive suite, and sales department are handled by two or three people.
There is also a good chance that your mind is always turning, always looking for the next thing you need to learn to advance your business. The next step, the next hire, the next product release, or just the next market. You are always searching because you have to be.
To keep in line with our lead story: you are always milking those cows.
When I hear clients tell me that they’re sorry, they have to run to another meeting, I just tell them I respect the hustle.
I am, and have been, in the same boat myself. While I get to enjoy the benefits of being a one-man-band, that also means I have to know everything there is to get the job done. And if I need to know more, then I have to put in the time to learn it while also putting it to use.
Now what about this dichotomy part?
Well, if you are running a B2C brand, then your sales hang in the balance of knowing your customers, and how they think and believe.
In other words… if your customers are of the opinion that the milk should come to them without any effort… then you have to embrace that idea to sell to them. Any time you spend not accepting the reality of their beliefs… is time and money you waste because they won’t buy from you.
Knowing you customer at a deep level is paramount in positioning your products to suit their needs. And that positioning needs to be phrased in their language, in line with how they think.
On one hand is the business owner who hustles their ass off to get what they want… and what they want may be a successful brand…. A brand that sells products to a consumer who believes in “life handing them everything”…
So the business owner needs to hustle their ass off to think like a customer that may not believe in hustle at all. Achieving the goal of the hustle, the dream, rides on the ability to appeal to a customer who does not hustle.
That shit is just fasinating to me.
While your beliefs may be extremely important to you… do not forget that your customers beliefs are important to them too. And those beliefs may be what stands between their money and you.
You don’t have to forsake your own beliefs to sell to those who have opposing beliefs. If anything, your ability to sit on the razors edge between them and you is evidence of your hustle. Your drive.
Respect the hustle. Think like your customer.