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Good Business Is Always A Matter Of Attitude

We’ve been using the same painter and decorator for years. He’s been with us amid the chaos of three moves and two home renovations. Tom was a young, ambitious bloke when we first met. He was keen to offer a better than average service and at age 25 his goal of doing that was paying off. He had built a thriving business by delivering exceptional service and he was already employing three painters.

Half of the colours on our walls were chosen by Tom. He was so knowledgeable about current trends and new paint finishes and he knew what worked, but more important than that we trusted him. We were always so thrilled with his work, we never considered using anyone else.
So we didn’t. We made a great team.

Tom came and did a job for us recently and from the off we could tell that his heart wasn’t in it. Within a couple of weeks of him finishing we asked him to come back to look at new paint that was peeling, knowing he would want to put it right. He didn’t. Because the surface was old Tom rationalised that he couldn’t be held responsible for the sub-standard result.

“My job is to correctly apply paint.” he said.

When I heard those words I knew we’d lost him—that he’d forgotten what made him great and abandoned the thing that was the key to his company’s success. His ‘job’ had always been about so much more than applying paint up until that moment.

It’s a shame when a business owner goes from focusing on doing what’s right, to doing what he can ‘get away with’.

When you are doing the right thing by your customers, you know.

And when you make mistakes, all the rationalisation, excuses and blame don’t take away that knowledge or the responsibility you have—not just to your customers, but to yourself. Whatever kind of work you do you get to chose how you show up to do it.
Your job is almost never to get the task done correctly.

Image by Dave Clark.

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